A week ago I sent the following letter to The Australian:
Your editorial tells us Malcolm Turnbull and Jacinda Ardern ‘are off to a good start’. Really? Let’s hope not. Here we have New Zealand’s neophyte PM throwing a grenade into our fractious immigration debate at a particularly difficult time during the Manus stand-off. Turnbull courteously declined Ardern’s gratuitous public offer to take 150 illegals, made for no apparent reason other than virtue signalling. If the offer were genuine, it would have been made in private and not announced until it was accepted and the details threshed out. Turnbull courteously declined the offer. It is to be hoped, however, that he made it clear privately, in no uncertain terms, that such interference in our affairs would not be tolerated in future. That would be hypocrisy on steroids, of course, given Turnbull’s cynical ploy, negotiated with the Obama administration on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, that saddled the incoming President with an outcome that his public statements made clear he would not have agreed to himself. But, then, we all know Turnbull’s no stranger to hypocrisy.
It wasn’t published, of course, because God forbid one should criticize the editor of The Australian. I’m now guessing, as predicted, that Turnbull copped it sweet because, barely a week later we have Ardern, in full frontal moral posturing mode , as reported in today’s Australian:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has blasted Australia’s handling of the refugee crisis on Manus Island as unacceptable as she seeks another meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue.
Thank God we’ve got Julie Bishop to smooth things over. Oh, wait.