Thursday, July 22, 2010

Which part of the phrase 'united nations' doesn't she understand?

I got an insight into the way that Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop 'thinks' tonight while listening to the ABC news on the car radio. It had been made known that Kevin Rudd had been offered a job with UN -- one that would involve no more than sitting on a panel that meets only a few times a year -- and Bishop was contributing her two cents' worth (I use the expression advisedly) of opinion.

She said she thought it could create a conflict of interest, which made me wonder whether she understands what that phrase means. (She didn't give an example of the sort of thing she meant.) In a sound bite not quoted in this news item but used in the radio bulletin, she also said that if Labor were to win the election and Rudd to be appointed Foreign Minister, she didn't see how it was possible for him to work for the UN without it undermining (not a direct quote: can't remember the actual word she used, but this is the gist of what she said) his work for Australia as Foreign Minister. Bishop gave the distinct impression that she regards the UN and Australia as both mutually exclusive and mutually hostile, and the UN as a sort of foreign country.

Bob Brown, by contrast a sensible and intelligent chap, said he thought it was a great idea.


Deborah said...

I thought it was odd that she assumed that Rudd would be Foreign Minister.

And coming from sort-of the outside, what's this great reputation that he is supposed to have? With respect, not managing to retain the leadership of his party through a single term as prime minister is not exactly a recommendation.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Well, yes. Quite.

But do not under any circumstances say anything like that at LP. It will get you into terrible, terrible trouble.

Mitzi G Burger said...

Is this actually an opportunity to accuse a fellow Strayan of suffering the Tall Poppy Sydnrome? Julie's got it.

Anonymous said...

I think Ms Bishop is a complete and utter dweeb, and I almost puked to see her channelling Princess Di and giving those flirty little smiles to all the Young Lib types ranged in the front rows of the Q&A audience this week. Shudder.
But there's something not quite right-seeming with Kev at the mo. Understandably, I guess.
And if he is to be foreign minister, we the people ought to expect him to apply himself fully to meeting the job specs, which are biggies.
I really like good guy Stephen Smith, and admire his non-egotistical (unlike Downer, or Gareth Gareth) and quiet diligence. I'd be very happy to see him stick at it, if Julia let's him.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I agree with most of that, anon. Especially the bit about Kevin, who looks quite ill. There was a pic in the Age (online at least) yesterday of him in tears, with a caption saying quite unambiguously that the photo was taken that day. Crying immediately after you get rolled is one thing, but if he's crying in public again, there's maybe a bit wrong. Not in a stupid 'Boys don't cry' sense, but in the sense that the sight of any adult crying in public over something other than immediate trauma is to my mind cause for concern about their state of mind.

I agreed with you about Stephen Smith until the day Fran Kelly interviewed him about the East Timor debacle and it was full-on bunny in the headlights -- you could see the little man in his head saying 'Stay on message, stay on message' and it produced the following conversation (approximation only, though SS's lines are pretty much verbatim):

FK: If you're going to continue processing people offshore anyway, why East Timor? Why not use the facility already set up on Christmas Island?

SS: Because we're focusing on East Timor.

FK: Yes, but why? Why East Timor?

SS: Because that's where we're focused, we're focusing on East Timor.

FK: But there's already a facility ready to go on Christmas Island, why not just use that?

SS: [remembers his lines, belatedly] Because they're not a signatory to the UN agreement on refugees.

FK: But they have said today that they are willing to sign, so why go to East Timor?

SS: Because we're focusing on East Timor.

FK gave up just in time, before someone shot SS and put him out of his misery. But either he'd temporarily forgotten all his media training, or someone didn't give him enough to start with. And either way he didn't have the wit to deal with it, which makes me wonder how he'd go in tricky international moments.

Ann ODyne said...

for a bishop laugh please do visit Lol Polz for dogged politics.

Bernice said...

Share your concern with KR's mental health state. Had a couple of conversations now where that concern is also being applied retrospectively. Mind you, whoever cooked up the climate change policy announced by Gillard today has more than a few roos loose in the top paddock.

Anonymous said...

Bernice and KG: Funny you should mention that — my husband and I were wondering the other night whether KR might have had 'an episode' on the night of drama in Parliament House. Which led to the spill.
Explains Gillard's absolute refusal to discuss the events. And means she can't talk about it when defending herself against idiots who insist she was treacherous and backstabbing in assuming the leadership.

KG: I didn't see the interview with Smith you mention. I'll keep an eye on him!