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Oct 20, 2017

Bishop demonstrates that when in a hole, it’s best to stop digging

Julie Bishop made a dill of herself over New Zealand. The fact that she hasn't worked it out suggests her lack of judgement continues.

There’s something about New Zealand that plainly irks Julie Bishop. The Foreign Minister did her block on Twitter last night as she received snipes from all and sundry about the embarrassing reality that she’d have to deal with a New Zealand Labour government. 

Bishop is in this embarrassing mess because back in August, it looked for all the world like Bill English and the Nationals would coast to victory in the general election there, despite the Jacindamania that had greeted the elevation of new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern. “I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia,” she piously intoned on August 15, in an effort to blame NZ Labour for exposing the fact that Barnaby Joyce was a Kiwi (inconveniently, the relevant National minister said that it was inquiries from journalists that prompted it).

Plainly at that stage Bishop assumed that it was extremely unlikely she would ever have to deal with Ardern, so intervening so clumsily in the internal affairs of a close ally was fairly risk-free.

Turns out, not so much. Ardern is now PM. So Bishop is trying to pretend she never attacked New Zealand Labour. “Rubbish,” she angrily tweeted at Fairfax’s Peter Martin when he pointed out her attack. “Also rubbish,” she tweeted at ABC’s The Drum. “Why not refer to what I actually said?” she threw at the Courier-Mail’s Dennis Atkins. Presumably her staff wrestled the phone off her before she could start tweeting “fake news!” and “sad” at the rest of the press gallery.

Fighting with journalists on Twitter isn’t merely a bad look, it suggests that lingering, long-term sense that Bishop’s judgement isn’t all it should be is a valid one. That lack of judgement led her into picking a fight with New Zealand in an effort to distract from the debacle of Barnaby Joyce in the first place. For a minister whose mates in the press gallery like to suggest she shouldn’t be overlooked as a possible replacement for Malcolm Turnbull, it makes you wonder how she’d go handling serious domestic issues, rather than attending polo matches and international fashion shows.

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14 thoughts on “Bishop demonstrates that when in a hole, it’s best to stop digging

  1. paddy

    It’s not often you cause keyboard destruction at chez Paddy Bernard. But… “Presumably her staff wrestled the phone off her before she could start tweeting “fake news!” and “sad” at the rest of the press gallery.”
    …did the trick. Kudos!


    Making a complete goose of yourself by saying stupid things about the NZ election result seems to be an affliction shared by a number of female Liberal Party ‘Leaders’.

    This was Gladys Berejiklian’s response posted within minutes of the confirmation of Jacinda’s elevation to PM.

  3. Mike Smith

    “Why not refer to what I actually said?”
    Its on record, possibly even Youtube, Julie. Let’s see:
    1:00 in
    And some lovely NZ newsreader accents.

  4. zut alors

    ‘…those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia’.

    Surely Bishop should be more mindful of Tony Abbott undermining the Oz government rather than cite the NZ Labour Party…

  5. James O'Neill

    I have just read Bishop’s speech, the 28th Fullerton Lecture, delivered in Singapore on 13 March 2017. In the speech, remarkable for its vacuity, she said: “Russia’s annexation of Crimea is the first attempt at redrawing Europe’s international borders since Hitler annexed Czechoslovakia and subsequently invaded Poland in 1939”. So to add to her foot in mouth comments about NZ’s Labour Party, one must add a remarkable inability to understand history, and not just Crimea (given by Khrushchev to Ukraine in 1954 without consulting either Russians or Crimeans; but also the reunification of Germany in 1989; the dismemberment of the former Yugoslavia; the separation of the Czech and Slovak republics; the forced (by NATO) creation of Kosovo and of course the breakup of the USSR itself. All of which is presumably a mystery to Bishop who is an embarrassment to say the least.

  6. Woopwoop

    I’m not so sure it will damage her prospects. After all, Howard said something equally ill-judged about AlQaeda welcoming Obama’s election (when that too looked unlikely) and it didn’t seem to harm him.

    1. Paul Flynn

      Didn’t seem to harm him … apart from losing an election six months later and being only the second prime minister in Australian history to lose his own seat.

  7. Barry Reynolds

    Why won’t the odious woman simply fek off? and take her Liberal, National, One Nation and Australian conservative flunkies with her?

    1. lykurgus

      Because it would make the LNP look like a sausage-fest?
      Or because she can’t actually go anywhere without a chaperone (their word btw, not mine)

  8. blenda

    I tried to look into Julie Bishops eyes. I felt like I was staring into her limbic system as her eyes retreated from mine and hid in their dark burrows. Amazingly I discovered her amygdala was missing. The almond-shaped amygdala attaches emotional significance to events and memories. Julie should stick to photo shoots as she attaches no emotional significance to her collusion comments.

  9. lulu2503

    Oh, dear – “the lady doth protest too much,me thinks”. She’ll be saying “Out, damned spot” next. Guilty!

  10. klewso

    Bumbling from pissing off the Chinese, to being corrected about what was said at a meeting with Indonesaian officials to trading back Sri Lankan refugees to that regime (in concert with Slomo) – misleading parliament about correspondence between Monis and Brandis’ Department – her DIY public funding of her “coincidently arranged” trips to interstate cities her Eagles were playing, or her sister’s birthday parties – Lady Penelope’s come with strings attached – usually around her ankles – but not enough for those lumps that choose to remain blind of our viewsmedia?

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