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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the ugly Australian « Previous | |Next »
November 22, 2013

The Indonesian Government is critical of the Abbott Government's policy to turn the boats back and to buy Indonesian fishing boats, and they are angry about Australia's tapping the phones of Yudhoyono, his wife and other senior figures. They are taking it seriously.

The in-your-face response of the conservative base of LNP is to give the Indonesians the finger. Liberal party pollster Mark Textor then fires of this tweet: “Apology demanded from Australia by a bloke who looks like a 1970’s Pilipino [sic] porn star and has ethics to match”; followed by having a go at President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono "What sort of head of state communicates with a head of a neighbouring government by twitter FFS? SBY”.

RoweDTextorM.jpg David Rowe

The snark from the conservative loud mouths, who pride themselves on their strategic grasp of politics, will only deepen the rift. The Indonesians see Australia as demanding that they capitulate to Australian demands. Australia's interests have priority.

The choice is becoming starker for Abbott as he is backed into a corner from adopting the adversarial approach: he can back down, dump the hubris and try to restore co-operation, or continue to risk the rift in the relationship deepening by playing to the conservative base by attacking the Indonesians.

If it is the former, then Abbott is being required by Indonesia to give some assurances about the scope or nature of future Australian surveillance before behind-the-scenes negotiations can succeed.

The ugly Australian is also in evidence with respect to Tamil asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, with his condoning the use of torture and detention camps by the authoritarian regime.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:44 AM | | Comments (7)
Comments

Comments

"Abbott as he is backed into a corner from adopting the adversarial approach"

Abbott is handling the issue of Australia spying on the Indonesian president as he would a political fight with his opponents-- trashing them.

A political fight is hardly the right approach when Abbott says again and again that Indonesia is an important ally, friend and neighbour.

Well bugger me. I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! Now our Gillard says that Australians needed to appreciate the "difficult judgments" of national security.

Get it people?

You can and should trust the Australian government (along with the NSA) to spy on you... and to spy on the Indonesian government.

Because terrorism. BOO!

"Abbott is handling the issue of Australia spying on the Indonesian president as he would a political fight with his opponents."

The Conservative base says that Indonesia is not an ally or friend; and that it's about time someone stood up to the Indonesians. They threaten Australia's national interest and cannot be trusted. Not standing up to the Indonesians is appeasement!

"The snark from the conservative loud mouths, who pride themselves on their strategic grasp of politics"

Textor is noted for his view that there is divide between ordinary Australians and elite political observers as the "two-speed political economy".

On one side is the fast lane of journalists and commentators talking to themselves; on the other side are the "poor voters just wanting to know", with a thirst for facts about how particular policies would affect their lives.

Textor is known for his qualitative research and ability to discern what ordinary Australians are feeling and subsequent advice to the LNP to help them win elections.

Mark Textor is obviously out of his depth in the world of diplomacy.

Paul.. you're probably right about Textor and diplomacy. But I have little doubt that his tweets are going to be well received by conservative voters. And isn't that all that matters?

The clear inference of the Abbott strategy to turn back the boats was that Australian sovereignty was somehow superior to Indonesian sovereignty.

No wonder the Indonesian's took offence.