Scott Morrison Joko Widodo Israel Embassy Jerusalem Free trade agreement
Scott Morrison with Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

The seemingly abandoned Jerusalem embassy shift is still paying dividends for the Coalition, who are trying to staunch the damage it caused to our relationship with Indonesia (including potentially derailing a massive free-trade deal). Crikey readers had some things to add to the matter (which Bernard Keane wrote on yesterday). Elsewhere, there were some fair questions about the prospects of would-be Victorian premier Matthew Guy, who Charlie Lewis profiled yesterday in our ongoing series on the major players in the Victorian state election.

On fraught Australia-Indonesia free trade deal

Vasco writes: The look on President Widodo’s face and body language when he met Morrison, who couldn’t get his hand out of his pocket, pretty much sums up where we are at.

BM writes: How much of the blame should be shared by Dave Sharma who seems to have been the one who persuaded the PM to announce the possibility of moving the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem?

Dog’s Breakfast writes: Morrison deserves this –great though that he might learn a lesson not to open his mouth, ever. OK, that’s not likely to come to pass. These FTAs are a great example of why foreign affairs should be a separate department from trade, and probably trade should come under an economic portfolio (trade is an economic decision, isn’t it, or shouldn’t it be, for our ever loving free trade governments?) None of these FTAs are actually free trade at all, and largely are about preferential deals and cementing anti-trade credentials in intellectual property and trademarks/patents, largely outsourcing it to the USA, and undermining government sovereignty generally.

Mark e smith writes: Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to just ditch Pyne. There’d have to be an electoral boost and then we could get off-the-shelf subs elsewhere. But that would be too easy I suppose. And I keep reading about upcoming obsolescence of military subs.

On Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy

The hood writes: You forgot his unilateral planning decision to rezone the Fisherman’s Bend precinct against the advice of his own department advice. In the stroke of a pen he added $100 million value to existing properties in the precinct, delivering massive gains to a number of Liberal friends and this was done before the Government had set aside land for public use, e.g. schools, to facilitate proper planning for this new residential zone. In short, the public didn’t gain value from his rezoning decision, only certain individuals, some known to the minister. An absolute planning disaster that should have been investigated fully.

DF writes: Does the Bible have anything to say about political acumen, transparency and corruption? Not pointing any fingers, just a general question. Perhaps some of our self-proclaimed politicians in Australia might like to provide a biblical reference on such things, just to set it out in plain English for we naive and ignorant atheists.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey