Julie Bishop’s glare, it is said,
Could knock any man dead.
We know that this power
Was used to devour
Two Liberal leaders.
So, do avid news readers
Believe it’s her eyes
Or her super trim thighs
Which convinced Indonesians
There could be good reasons
To help her win votes
By taking back boats?
She says she wasn’t misled.
Yes, there were things unsaid
But their meaning was clear,
As we’ll all see next year.
Perhaps Julie’s born to be
A latter day Mata Hari.
She could put on a burqa,
Be an undercover worker.
Even without a disguise
She can still mesmerize.
She just has to stare.
Not turn back boats? They wouldn’t dare!
This article in today’s Guardian by Lenore Taylor says it all, particularly this contradiction of Julie Bishop’s latest denials of her Indonesian gaffe.
Paraphrased plainly, we think Bishop said that notwithstanding what Indonesian officials may say in public, on the basis of private discussions with Indonesian officials she was convinced that the Coalition could work in co-operation with Indonesia to achieve the Coalition’s policy aim.
There’s an even stronger and more detailed confirmation of the above paraphrase of our aspirant Foreign Minister’s statement in today’s Guardian (06/06/13) by Lenore Taylor in her story on our current Foreign Minister, Bob Carr’s response to Julie Bishop’s confidence in a Coalition governments ability to work with the Indonesian government to turn back boats.
“In the interview published on Monday, Bishop was asked
whether Indonesia would take boats back. She replied: “I am confident we would be able to achieve what we did in the past. The fact is they are Indonesian boats with Indonesian crew and I am sure we can work co-operatively with them and … one thing you understand about diplomacy and others do as well is the professional diplomats are paid to present particular views but what goes on behind the scenes can be quite different. What people say privately can be different to what they say publicly, that’s why I am devoting my time to quiet consistent diplomatic messaging and relationships.”
And her conviction seems sincerely held. If indeed she has succeeded in persuading the Indonesians to cooperate with an incoming LNP government on this she will have had more success than Tony Abbott whose boat plan is not only unpopular with the Indonesian government. Not much seems to have changed in the eighteen months since he had to
defend his party’s renewed policy of turning back all asylum boats at sea as the approach was attacked by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Indonesian authorities and a former (Australian) naval chief as dangerous and breaching international law.
So, is Bob Carr right to be highly critical of Julie Bishop’s comments to Guardian Australia about her belief that Indonesia would co-operate with the Coalition’s border protection policy? Could Bishop’s saying that diplomats often said different things in private than they did in public – despite that country’s stated opposition to turning back boats – cause a diplomatic incident? Or does Julie Bishop have hitherto unappreciated skills in the area of under cover negotiation? Has she missed her vocation in that Canberra location?
Fiona, 29/08/13, Patricia, As always, lovely to see you – and you have email with, I hope, the link you want. Great poem.
puffytmd, 29/08/13, Love, the pome. puffytmd
Patriciawa, 03/03/14, Looking back on this pome now that Julie Bishop has been our Foreign Secretary for coming up to a year I ask myself how did I ever imagine her as a ‘latter day Mata Hari’ – even satyrically?