A study in conservatism

abbott harper key

These are the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand having a quiet lunch together when they met up at the funeral of Nelson Mandela. I don’t know whether what I like most about it is the quiet reflective down-to-earth mood or that they are three conservative leaders at a time when conservatism is very unfashionable amongst our political elites. I fear that quiet scenes such as this amongst sensible leaders such as these will become more of a rarity. This is from Mark Steyn at National Review. I wonder if this picture has been reproduced anywhere else in Australia.

[Thanks to BW for sending it along.]

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45 Responses to A study in conservatism

  1. Infidel Tiger

    No booze. Not a good look.

  2. Petros

    Great photo. Looks like a painting.

  3. candy

    Very modest looking. You wouldn’t guess they were leaders of nations, if you didn’t know that.

  4. I’m hoping like hell they’re discussing how to insulaet ourselves from the ramifications of the USA’s profligacy! 2014 Ride that roller coaster! YYYeeehhhhaaaawww, hear we come!

  5. Ant

    Did they do a ‘selfie‘ before the dessert?

  6. Andrew

    John Key is a conservative in name only, however Harper is pretty solid.

  7. Crossie

    This picture shows us a world before selfies or rather the time when adults were in charge.

  8. stackja

    Three good blokes having a meal.

  9. Armadillo

    Really nice photo. But Steve, one would really have to know who BW is to put it into context. Is BW a photographer or staffer or just someone who happened to be at the table next door?

  10. Steve Kates

    BW is a mate who sent it along from the National Review so I thanked him for sending it. If you trace back, the photo seems to have come from someone who had accompanied John Key. But it wasn’t set up as a photo opportunity; it’s just a snapshot of three guys having lunch.

  11. A Lurker

    It is a very modest story that picture is telling. Very humble. Very unassuming. Very quiet. Very traditional. Very simple. It seems to be a reflection of what Conservatism is all about. Of quietly celebrating and retaining the best of what remains of what has gone before.

    Progressivism seems to me to be exactly the opposite – loud brashness, in-your-face jarring extremes, discordance, of change for change’s sake, and pushing change through without concern for whether it is proper or needed, or indeed what may be broken or destroyed in the process.

  12. ar

    The pic was published in Australia – I’ve seen it before… remember thinking at the time I’m glad Shorten wasn’t there… :)

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    No booze. Not a good look

    No alcohol while you talked business was a good rule.

  14. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Yes, this photo is a study, captures a moment, painterly.

    I couldn’t help thinking about the white shirts and who was cleaning them. Probably some hotel laundry. But at home, things are different. Wives generally clean them. I have just Nappisan’d some of HIA’s good white shirts. Left in the wardrobe, no matter what you do, the collars on them tend to go yellow over time. Is this just my poor laundering, I wonder, residual sweat that will out, the tension of meetings held and deals done.

    Other women, of course, may have more success than me. Mrs. Abbott, perhaps. Good on her.

  15. H B Bear

    Doesn’t the UK have a Conservative PM too?

    Bwahahahahaaaaaaaa

  16. Crossie

    Lizzie, you’re right, Napisan is the best for keeping whites white.

  17. sabrina

    He was discussing the merits of appointing Sophie Mirabella to the board of ACS. Apparently, the other two wanted Sophie to take up positions in their countries. Tony had a tough time dissuading them!

  18. Cold-Hands

    No booze. Not a good look.

    No food either. Curse this austerity!

  19. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From stackja at 10:01 pm:

    “Three good blokes having a meal.”

    with a mature perspective on the responsibilities they have and of the importance of their contributions.

    I’m pleased it is there to be seen, as a counter to the favoured image of government leaders doing stuff with their coat buttoned, for a three second film grab, to satisfy the enthusiastically inane who hang on every word of advice of the Vacuous Mellie / Kochie class to get through their day.

  20. the time when adults were in charge.

    Look at these three. They may be the last.

  21. JohnA

    Zulu Kilo Two Alpha #1114841, posted on December 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    No booze. Not a good look

    No alcohol while you talked business was a good rule.

    Still is.

  22. WadeJ

    So Steve along with your economic wisdom do we now have you an expert at reading body language, context and content all from a single photo. First the surprising conclusion that Obama’s a selfish git from a single photo of him walking down the steps, and now a second shocking conclusion that three conservative leaders have quiet, conversation over lunch showing their poise and down-to-earthiness. Your powers of analysis are amazing, simply amazing.

  23. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Lovely. Three men having a meal together, not bothering anyone else, content in their own company and with obvious affection for each other, safe from the scorn and hatred of the loons who disapprove of them and what they stand for.

    A great advertisement for polygamous gay marriage.

    Only things missing are the beagles. ;-)

  24. Blogstrop

    “Your powers of analysis are amazing, simply amazing.”

    I get this mental picture of you, Wadey, with a really big chip on the shoulder and a constipated look on your face. I can do that, without even seeing your photo.

  25. .

    So Steve along with your economic wisdom do we now have you an expert at reading body language, context and content all from a single photo. First the surprising conclusion that Obama’s a selfish git from a single photo of him walking down the steps, and now a second shocking conclusion that three conservative leaders have quiet, conversation over lunch showing their poise and down-to-earthiness.

    I would rate that as true, on the ABC’s fact checker.

    1. Abbott is a volunteer firefighter.
    2. Obama went to a fashion show during a freak storm.

    Status: TRUE.

  26. Abraham

    So Steve along with your economic wisdom do we now have you an expert at reading body language, context and content all from a single photo. First the surprising conclusion that Obama’s a selfish git from a single photo of him walking down the steps, and now a second shocking conclusion that three conservative leaders have quiet, conversation over lunch showing their poise and down-to-earthiness. Your powers of analysis are amazing, simply amazing.

    So, unable to add any real value to the thread, WadeJ resorted to sarcasm. The Leftard stereotype has this uncanny ability to reenforce itself.

    WadeJ, stop being a douchebag buddy, the adults are talking.

  27. Cold-Hands

    A great photo of Tony Abbott, John Key, Stephan Harper and Barack Obama having an informal meeting before the Mandela memorial service. What’s that? You can’t see the Kenyan? He’s there!

  28. Indolent

    Anyone notice the sign opposite Abbott?

    “New selection – of ties”

    Hahaha

  29. Rabz

    Softcocks, all three of them.

    When is a conservative going to emerge that will truly stand athwart history, yelling Stop?

  30. boy on a bike

    I’m guessing Abbott is telling them about his plans to appoint Tim to the HRC. The threesome then happily dined on exploded leftard brains, quickly pan fried and served with a caper sauce, washed down with a fine vintage of Tears of Rage.

  31. Rococo Liberal

    COnservatism out of fashion?

    Your’e having a laugh!

    The fact is that conservtive PMs are now in place in 4 Anglosphere countries. Soon all Australian STates will have conseervtive premiers.

    WHo gives a fuck what the political ‘elites’ think?

  32. handjive

    The empty chair.
    The symbolism of the empty chair, as highlighted by Clint Eastwood.
    Obumbles was there … in spirit.

  33. Mr Rusty

    Doesn’t the UK have a Conservative PM too?

    The empty chair next to Tony Abbott…?

    Maybe it’s symbolic.

  34. Empire Strikes Back

    “You reckon you’ve got problems Tony? My great grandkids will be in a retirement home by the time we pay off the squandermonkey’s largesse.”

  35. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Wonderful picture Mantaray.

    Two men, one of whom is wearing a skirt, enjoying a quiet moment with their beagle.

  36. Mantaray

    koo koo. It was your first comment which reminded me of that photo.

  37. Struth

    The jury is still out with me that the one on the left IS a conservative.

  38. Just A View

    Putting to one side the fact they’re all political leaders of Commonwealth democracies, my mother would notice the bad table manners (in case you’re wondering – it’s the elbows on the table).

  39. Mantaray

    Here’s another for you koo koo.

    In this one the happy couple walk between a line of wedding guests who are all wearing Tin Foil Hats

  40. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Out and proud!

    A warning to Tories: you don’t want to mess with this lobby’s ‘militant wing’!

    Laughing out loud here Manta. You’ve made my morning.

  41. johninoxley

    Fine photo, a few more steps to the right would help.

  42. adrian

    what are they talking about, do you think?

  43. Mantaray

    adrian (12.41am). Let’s go to the tape……

    Key; Yeah she grabbed my arse more than once. Soon as she heard I was married with two kids, it was. Hard to believe she used to be young and naive, with a nose like that, eh?

    Harper; Barry warned me John, but I thought it was because he was black, so I let her get quite a bit closer than I should’ve I s’pose. I told her I was a really good Canuck with three kids to show for it…and then it was on for young and old. Still got the bruises, and I feel a little…dirty, even now.

    Abbott; Sheesh guys. I used to have a regular morning spot with her years ago…

    Keys+Harper (interrupting); Huh. Every morning? Before or after the bike ride Tone?

    Abbott; Nah…we used to meet on live TV with Karl+ Lisa standing guard. Karl warned me about her too….just like Bazza and you Steve, but I thought it was ’cause Karl’s a wog. And then…one day….one day. Nah, I won’t go into it. I feel kinda dirty too. Waiter, bring me a coffee; a very strong coffee. This cup’s empty.

  44. WadeJ

    I think sarcasm is the proper response to photographic tea leaves reading on a libertarian/economic blog. Kates’ has no idea what is being discussed, he’s just sees a nice photo and decides to use that to fit his preconceived ideas about the people in the photo.

    For what it’s worth I support Abbot but I don’t see how you can read that much in one fricken photo.

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