I’m going to have to find a better class of fish wrap

There I was wrapping the fish when this column by Greg Sheridan caught my eye: All credit to Turnbull for trying to seal deal with a troubled Trump. I gave you my view a couple of days ago but this is surreal. So let me take you to the end of the DT-MT transcript:

MT: You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

DT: I have no choice to say that about it. Malcolm, I am going to say that I have no choice but to honour my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcolm. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

So what does Sheridan say about the significance of this first-ever phone call between the PM and the new president:

A sensible prime minister goes into a conversation with a US president with two objectives in mind: to build a relationship and to secure one or more specific outcomes.

The fact of the matter is that the Australian-American alliance is crucial to both countries. But if you think MT came away with anything other than the most comprehensive disdain from PDT you are as out of the picture as Greg Sheridan himself seems to be.

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52 Responses to I’m going to have to find a better class of fish wrap

  1. stackja

    Greg Sheridan is not a DT fan.

  2. rickw

    A decent Prime Minister would recognise a land mine left by the worst American President in history and would consider the deal null and void.

  3. rickw

    Greg Sheridan is not a DT fan.

    Greg Sheridan is as dumb as dog shit.

  4. I am the Walras, Equilibrate, and Price-Take

    Sheridan is long past having anything of interest to say.

    Treat him accordingly.

  5. Habib

    Not far off binning my sub to the Oz. The op/ed has been veering left for a while, it’s near impossible to get a letter published, the content is mor opinion than fact, and now the two cartoonists are shit. Fairfax lite, like the LNP becoming Labor lite. The meeja in this country is embarrasingly unprofessional, illiterate and utterly compromised. Anyone who still takes any notice is deranged.

  6. Sinclair Davidson

    Steve – your argument here is a tad subtle for me. Clearly you’re pissed off because the infidel dared type Trump’s (pbuh) name but what exactly is wrong with Sheridan’s comment:

    A sensible prime minister goes into a conversation with a US president with two objectives in mind: to build a relationship and to secure one or more specific outcomes.

    To be sure it violates my “one thing at a time” rule, but why else would Turnbull call Trump?

  7. Habib

    Trump’s obviously a shrewd judge of character, unlike the bedwetters in the Liberal party room. Mind you, many of us also spotted the character and intellectual flaws of Little Lord Fartleroy before his first stint at leadership, even before his insipid failure as a cabinet minister. Why would Trump waste his time on a walking corpse?

  8. Sheridan views everything through the lens of the free wine that comes with the free food that comes with the free name-drop. In other words, some wannabe journalist repeats some shit he heard from someone of great self-importance in payment for a free feed. Newspapers are barely good enough to wrap prawn heads for a reason.

  9. Jo Smyth

    The only reason I still subscribe to the Oz is I need to vent my anger with them in the comments.

  10. Rob

    Poor old Greg Sheridan is a well known Trump hater who once again is shredding his credibility.
    His contributions to The Australian must always be qualified and discounted by that reality.
    His glowing references to Turnbull are something else – a pathetic and self destructive attempt to ingratiate himself with a failing Prime Minister who desperately needs all the help he can get.

  11. Leo G

    “… a failing Prime Minister who desperately needs all the help he can get.”

    Surely it’s the parliamentary party that’s failing- and that’s not helping the PM.

  12. Malcolm Thomas

    More unhinged commentary from Kates.

  13. ArthurB

    I wonder what Trump will think of the Prime Minister who is poised to take over when the Liberals implode and the CFMEU’s puppet is installed in the Lodge.

  14. Jannie

    It seems to be forgotten that this wretched deal was a little landmine stitched up by Obama and Turnbull after Trump had won the election. Trump was losing skin by honouring any part of the deal, and it was respect for the ally Australia, not leftist Turnbull, that pushed Trump to go with it.

    Trump’s clear disappointment in his supposed ally Australia is pithily displayed in his last line:

    Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

  15. Mark A

    We (our company) deal with CEOs and Chairmen of companies who can be of benefit to us to many millions and more, but it would never occur to me to push business on the introductory meeting.

    MT has no political nous and seems no sense of protocol either.
    We are the poorer for it.
    To see peeeps defending and excusing him is distressing.

  16. Tintarella di Luna

    Malcolm Turnbull for all his supposed intelligence is a politically inept and without a shred of judgment, wisdom, courage or restraint.

  17. Tom

    Greg Sheridan is as dumb as dog shit.

    Fact-check: correct.

    More unhinged commentary from Kates.

    And yet here you are.

  18. OldOzzie

    rickw
    #2461030, posted on August 6, 2017 at 9:29 pm
    A decent Prime Minister would recognise a land mine left by the worst American President in history and would consider the deal null and void.

    A “decent” Prime Minister would not have done a deal with Obama, 2 days after Trump won the Election – Lord Waffles of Wentworth TurdBull – “Thick as a Brick”

  19. Texas Jack

    Sheridan conveniently forgetting the Turnbull pre-inauguration stitch-up is nothing new. He’s almost as useless as Van Wrongsolong.

  20. OldOzzie

    Andrew Bolt’s Summation

    Donald Trump’s conversation with Malcolm Turnbull reveals PM’s refugee swap deal is a sham

    MALCOLM Turnbull has conspired with Donald Trump to cook up a fraud of a people swap that puts Australians potentially in more danger.

    That is the clear message from the leaked transcript of the first conversation between our Prime Minister and the then newly elected President of the United States.

    Ignore the commentators who say the transcript shows Turnbull in “one of his finest moments as Prime Minister” being a “tough negotiator” and “forceful in defending Australia’s interests”.

    Wrong. The transcript shows Turnbull trying desperately to save a deal that was in his own interests, and not Australia’s.

    It shows Turnbull telling Trump he’d take in “not-very-attractive” people the US was trying to get rid of — “anyone you want us to take” — in exchange for Trump just pretending he might take our own unwanted boat people still on Manus Island and Nauru.

    The transcript of the two leaders’ January 28 phone call confirms Trump was furious with the deal predecessor Barack Obama had made with Turnbull to take up to 1250 of our boat people on Manus Island and Nauru.

    This directly contradicted Trump’s promise to stop taking in refugees from jihadist countries.

    “I signed an executive order saying that we are not taking anybody in,” fumed Trump.

    “I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.”

    But then Turnbull made a suggestion. Trump could just pretend to honour the deal, while taking next to none of our boat people.

    “Every individual is subject to your vetting,” he assured Trump.

    “You can decide to take 1000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process.”

    Trump finally got it: “Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?”

    And this is the con that Turnbull agreed to: “That is the point I have been trying to make.”

    But this was only one half of the sham deal that could have the US taking as few as zero (according to Trump) or 100 (according to Turnbull) of our boat people.

    The other half is what Turnbull had secretly agreed to do for the US in exchange. And this is the most disturbing part of the conversation.

    Turnbull told Trump that if he stuck by the deal “we will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 (inaudible) that you need to move on from … Basically, we are taking people from the previous (Obama) administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more.

    “We will take anyone that you want us to take …

    “So we would rather take a not-very-attractive guy that helps you out than to take a Nobel Peace Prize winner that comes by boat.”

    All commentators assumed Turnbull was referring to his promise last year to take refugees from Costa Rica (which Turnbull had until now denied was a quid pro quo).

    That meant assuming that Turnbull’s reference to “31” was a transcription error.

    It also meant accepting that Turnbull misspoke in referring to the Costa Rican refugees as “not-very-attractive” people that the Obama administration was “very keen on getting out of the United States” when they are in fact in Central America and not even a US responsibility.

    Such a deal would be bad enough.

    Why is our government agreeing to take in just “anyone” from Costa Rica, including “not-very-attractive” guys?

    I can see why it might help Turnbull by letting him pretend to be fixing the standoff with boat people on Nauru and Manus Island.

    But how does it help Australians to import any number of “not-very-attractive” people that the US is “very keen” to get rid of?

    But here is a bizarre coincidence.

    What if “31” is not a transcription error? What if Turnbull did not misspeak?

    See, there are indeed 31 unattractive people that Obama was very keen to get out of the US.

    They are the 31 remaining suspected jihadists still held by the US in Guantánamo Bay, excluding 10 others who have been charged or convicted of terrorism.

    The Prime Minister’s office assures me the reference to “31” is not just a “pure, 100 per cent coincidence” but indeed also a transcription error.

    So the question remains: who are the “not-very-attractive” people Turnbull will take from the US?

    And why on earth would we want them?

  21. Exit Stage Right

    I think it is pretty clear from the transcript of their conversation that the Trumpster has little time for Waffleworth. The fact that Maladroit even raised this refugee swap in their first conversation reflects badly on the PM. Surely such a delicate matter could have been discussed further down the track, not in the first week of a new Presidency. It was a point scoring exercise by Shallow Mal which back fired. As far as Sheridan and the Australian are concerned, no thanks! Even a free tablet valued at $300.00 could not persuade me to subscribe. Read the headlines only, the rest stays behind the Paywall.

  22. Bruce

    Steve versus Sinclair? I’ll back Steve’s judgement every day. Sheridan didn’t just shoot himself in the foot he blew the damn thing off with his incessant raging against Trump pre-election. Lost all credibility.

  23. Cassie of Sydney

    Greg Sheridan has been way off picture on most things for a long time now. I actually find his writings to be more like tedious ramblings particularly on the subject of Trump. Sheridan has no credibility.

  24. incoherent rambler

    Sinc’s reflexive defence of all things Mikey Trumble, makes me wonder; what photos of Sinc does Mal have?

  25. J.H.

    Sinclair Davidson
    #2461055, posted on August 6, 2017 at 9:54 pm
    Steve – your argument here is a tad subtle for me. Clearly you’re pissed off because the infidel dared type Trump’s (pbuh) name but what exactly is wrong with Sheridan’s comment:

    A sensible prime minister goes into a conversation with a US president with two objectives in mind: to build a relationship and to secure one or more specific outcomes.

    To be sure it violates my “one thing at a time” rule, but why else would Turnbull call Trump?

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    Because you are completely missing the point Sinclair Davidson. The whole “Refugee” problem is a fiction created by our Western Socialists.

    These people are not refugees, they are illegal immigrants, but not only are they not refugees, they are active participants and agents in undermining our civilization and society in their alliance with our Socialists. These “refugees” are willing pawns for our Socialist lawyers, politicians and activists within our own citizenry and they are compliant pawns in the Islamofascist strategy of flooding the “West” with a tide of humanity.

    Trump doesn’t want calls from dimwitted leaders who are either willing advance this anti Western attack or too stupid to understand it for what it is.

    Trump expected a call from an Australian Conservative Prime Minister who understood Trump’s stance on American borders and Sovereignty and had the same stances himself….. Instead he got a White Obama with an Australian accent in a geopolitical sense, with Labor Lite political values domestically.

    …. no wonder Trump thought and said it was the worst phone call of the day. Up until that moment President Donald Trump thought Trumble/Turnbull was like Tony Abbott….. and was completely disappointed to discover Trumble/Turnbull was anything but.

  26. OldOzzie

    J.H.
    #2461187, posted on August 7, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Trump expected a call from an Australian Conservative Prime Minister who understood Trump’s stance on American borders and Sovereignty and had the same stances himself….. Instead he got a White Obama with an Australian accent in a geopolitical sense, with Labor Lite political values domestically.

    Best summation I have seen of TurdBull

  27. President Trump also told Prime Minister Turnbull that Mrs Merkel told him she now regrets her open door refugee policy.

    I would have thought that this is a news story of some magnitude that has not been picked up by media organisations anywhere in the world.

  28. Spring is near

    PMMT cooked this deal up with PBO when PBO was heading out the door.

    PDT was just beginninig his term as President. PMMTeases PDT in by making him eat a sh!t sandwhich. PDT has every right to angry. PMMTsacrifices Australias long term interest for a short term political gain.

    Signals a few things:
    1. Reinforces PMMT is only in it for his own self gratification.
    2. The Canberra crowd are so out of touch they just do not get the shift in US politics and do not accept PDT as POTUS.

    Appalling.

  29. Andrew

    President Trump also told Prime Minister Turnbull that Mrs Merkel told him she now regrets her open door refugee policy.

    I would have thought that this is a news story of some magnitude that has not been picked up by media organisations anywhere in the world.

    Yep, I was saying that to someone on the weekend. A massive bombshell, far beyond the rubbish that was actually concentrated in by the FakeNews meeja. But of course they could never actually write that.

    Equally noteworthy was St Malcolm’s reply – “I agree with you.” Wonder if he said that to St Angela while they were both sneering at Trump666.

  30. Mother Lode

    The ‘up to…’ bit reminds me of that Monty Python thing about the Welsh Martial Art, Llap Goch.

    The ad promises you will:

    DEVELOP UP TO 38″ BICEPS
    GROW UP TO 12″ TALLER
    LOSE UP TO 40″ OF FAT IN YOUR FIRST WORK-OUT!
    PROLONG YOUR LIFE BY UP TO 1,000 YEARS
    GO TO BED WITH UP TO ANY LUDICROUS NUMBER OF GIRLS YOU CARE TO THINK OF PROVIDING YOU REALIZE THIS STATEMENT IS QUITE MEANINGLESS AS THE PHRASE “UP TO” CLEARLY INCLUDES THE NUMBER “NOUGHT”

  31. Rabz

    The only reason I still subscribe to the Oz is I need to vent my anger with them in the comments.

    Likewise.

  32. H B Bear

    As already noted Lord Waffleworth, smartest man in the room, did this deal with the Magic Negro the lamest of lame duck Presidents after Trump had been elected. Beyond Gillardian.

  33. Mother Lode

    Not far off binning my sub to the Oz. The op/ed has been veering left for a while

    There is a strange sort of gravity exerted by the left on the weak minded. I suppose it is a low energy state and it is like the way a book will fall off a table to the floor, but not fall from the floor back up onto the table.

    When Rupe snuffs it his sons will take Fox to the left – looking at how left wing publications have low circulations and thinking this is an opportunity, and not realising that it is because lefties tend to think of themselves as moral colossi while actually being miserly little shits. They will talk about how important their media are to them but think it should be given to them for free.

    In all cases they use the same logic as Mark Textor enunciated and Maolcolm and his dead-party-feeding maggots – that the right have on where else to go so we can dump on them all we like.

    In the US they have Breitbart which is still a niche offering (and rather to stridently dogmatic for my liking) but which might do well out of Fox’s abdication of intellectual honesty.

    We ain’t got nuthin’.

  34. Fulcrum

    There are countless leaders in Europe and Canada and Europe who are desparate to take in undocumented migrants.
    They probably wont get 10 million a pop, like the guy with middle eastern and gismo connections but sometimes life is unfair.

  35. NuThink

    I have a recollection that Turnbull warned Australians not to panic when Trump won the election?
    Secondly, who makes a deal with an outgoing President on his second last day in the job, and then claim as he did recently that in business a deal is a deal, when he clearly clearly did not think a deal is a deal when he white anted and ousted Abbott. Turnbull promised an open and consultative administration, yet has not delivered.

  36. politichix

    Bruce
    #2461179, posted on August 7, 2017 at 6:47 am
    Steve versus Sinclair? I’ll back Steve’s judgement every day. Sheridan didn’t just shoot himself in the foot he blew the damn thing off with his incessant raging against Trump pre-election. Lost all credibility.

    Yes…

  37. the sting

    I agree with other commenters that a decent PM would not have made a deal with the outgoing President after the result of the Presidential election was known,during essentially the caretaker period.

  38. Dr Faustus

    A prime minister in a conversation with a US president building a relationship and securing one or more specific outcomes:

    Prime Minister Turnbull: Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start.

    Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take.

    The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    Prime Minister Turnbull: You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    The President: I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    Job done.

  39. Faye

    Turnbull works on the angle that being ‘nice’ all the time will protect him from any harsh criticism. It also saves him from being belted in the face.

  40. littledozer

    Also, remember the whole of the front bench including the PM had no contacted with any of the Trump people. Greg Norman provided Turdball with Trump’s number after his win so he could congratulate Trump. No effort was made in that regard while many ministers ran round the week before the election publicly declaring Hillary. The Australian media has been silent on the 620 million donated to the the Clinton foundation and various connected entities.

  41. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From OldOzzie at 7:35 am:

    J.H. … posted on August 7 … at 7:27 am

    “Trump expected a call from an Australian Conservative Prime Minister who understood Trump’s stance on American borders and Sovereignty and had the same stances himself….. Instead he got a White Obama with an Australian accent in a geopolitical sense, with Labor Lite political values domestically.”

    Best summation I have seen of TurdBull

    We’ve regressed mightily in just a decade thanks to Comrade Dear Leader, who is insane; the slag from Altona, who is utterly unscrupulous, evil and dangerous still (as is the magic negro); and this drongo who is simply stupid, stupid, stupid.

    He got lucky with the Spycatcher success thirty years ago; went into business with Nifty and Gough’s way less gifted son, which gave him the rails run at lucrative government contracts; then sat on his clacker in the Parliament for a decade doing precisely nothing. Nothing. Oh, he did have shadowy figures call around to the Estate often, with regular reports on the contents of Tony Abbott’s wheely bins.

    His personal best for mine is the 2015 purchase of all shares in the Liberal Party, followed by a determined effort to dust its leaves with toxic chemicals and to hammer copper nails into its trunk.

  42. Dr Fred Lenin

    Any PM with an ounce of nous would have told obummer where to stick his devious slandmine ,as far up as he could get it . Only an idiot offends the man who will be President for at least the next four years ,and possibly eight years ,long after ruddbull is consigned to infamy , only an arrogant lawtradesperson would be stupid enough to believe Trump would buy this deal . They regard Trump as inferior ,he hasn’t got a degree in lying like them ,Bloody maggots!

  43. Faye

    Turnbull would have been practising his strategy for weeks ready for his first conversation with Trump. Part of why Trump won the election, is his dead set ‘honesty’ of what he really thinks. He is so honest, it gets him into trouble but the people love it. They are so fed up with politicians speaking with fork-ed tongue, they find Trump refreshing and trustworthy.
    A “decent” Prime Minister would not have done a deal with Obama, 2 days after Trump won the Election – Lord Waffles of Wentworth TurdBull – “Thick as a Brick”
    This alone, tells Trump that Turnbull is the not-very-clever enemy and not to be trusted.

  44. cohenite

    These people are not refugees, they are illegal immigrants, but not only are they not refugees, they are active participants and agents in undermining our civilization and society in their alliance with our Socialists. These “refugees” are willing pawns for our Socialist lawyers, politicians and activists within our own citizenry and they are compliant pawns in the Islamofascist strategy of flooding the “West” with a tide of humanity.

    Trump doesn’t want calls from dimwitted leaders who are either willing advance this anti Western attack or too stupid to understand it for what it is.

    Trump expected a call from an Australian Conservative Prime Minister who understood Trump’s stance on American borders and Sovereignty and had the same stances himself….. Instead he got a White Obama with an Australian accent in a geopolitical sense, with Labor Lite political values domestically.

    …. no wonder Trump thought and said it was the worst phone call of the day. Up until that moment President Donald Trump thought Trumble/Turnbull was like Tony Abbott….. and was completely disappointed to discover Trumble/Turnbull was anything but.

    Correct. Well said.

    I am coming to the conclusion that turdball is even more egotistic, self-absorbed and sociopathic than rudd. Those qualities made rudd do stupid reckless things; turdball has already exceeded rudd’s weird political errors and hasn’t got rudd’s flair for being ridiculously unaware so he’s less interesting. God help us with tits waiting in the wings.

  45. .

    Well…don’t give them welfare. It’s not like solving Fermat’s Last Theorem.

  46. Indolent

    A decent Prime Minister would recognise a land mine left by the worst American President in history and would consider the deal null and void.

    Then this proves that Turnbull is anything but. If I remember correctly, this deal with rushed through AFTER the election to try to tie Trump’s hands. His view was well known by the point. Turnbull effectively set the trap for himself!

  47. Indolent

    To be sure it violates my “one thing at a time” rule, but why else would Turnbull call Trump?

    To congratulate him, perhaps? To introduce himself to the new leader of the most powerful country in the world? Trying to spring a trap in these circumstances can only be called self defeating.

  48. mh

    Greg Sheridan, November 8, 2016:

    You can take it to the bank — the American election is effectively all over, Hillary Clinton has won.

  49. Rohan

    OldOzzie
    #2461157, posted on August 7, 2017 at 5:29 am
    rickw

    A “decent” Prime Minister would not have done a deal with Obama, 2 days after Trump won the Election – Lord Waffles of Wentworth TurdBull – “Thick as a Brick”

    Turnbull likely consulted Godwin Gretch, who thought it was a sure thing to stitch up Trump this way. A real vote winner. It sure does has the political masterclass of the Utegate affair. Agile and Innovative Potential Greatness™.

  50. Irreversible

    Ahem. Folk here may not have noticed, but Manus had to be shut. Turnbull did a deal with the US designed to cover that. Trump doesn’t like it. Turnbull got him to stick. That’s it. Te whole story.
    Kates chooses, typically, to make out that Turnbull somehow sought to insult POTUS. Yet all Trump says is he had a tough conversation. “Worse” than the one with Putin. Is there any evidence that Putin asked for a deal on Ukraine or Crimea? No. Or that Trump got a deal from Putin on Syria or anything else? No. They were probably swapping bodily fluids.

  51. Crossie

    The Australian media has been silent on the 620 million donated to the the Clinton foundation and various connected entities.

    I will never forgive those two women for that scandalous waste of our money. Julia and Julie are the lowest form of Australian political life.

  52. Nerblnob

    A “decent” Prime Minister would not have done a deal with Obama, 2 days after Trump won the Election

    For sure. It seems he thought he would stitch Trump up and it looks like Trump thinks that too.

    In the circumstances he was reasonably polite to Turnbull.

    In describing it as an unpleasant call, I’d say for two reasons:
    a) he hates the deal Obama made because it makes him look inconsistent
    b) it looks like Turnbull colluded with lame-duck Obama to stitch him up

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