Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Australian goes into overdrive as it tries to resurrect Tony Abbott's political reputation

Russia responds after Tony Abbott’s warning about MH17 crash site probe trumpets The Australian on 21 July 2014 at 8:35PM – in a vain effort to recast Prime Minister Tony Abbott as an international hero.

Abbott’s media team may be working overtime on the Prime Minister’s image, but the fact remains that he was at the back of the queue when it came to contact with the Russian president and, did little more than repeat the early stance of the United Nation’s Security Council.

The day after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was reportedly shot down over Ukrainian airspace the Council issued this media release:

At least one media report stated that on 18 July that Russia also demanded a full, independent probe of the downing.

As one of the twenty-four nations speaking at the two-hour long emergency meeting of the Security Council on the same day, the Australian delegation quite properly had this to say:

PHILIPPA KING ( Australia) pointed to mounting evidence that a missile had downed a Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine, and that Russian-backed rebels were responsible.  Welcoming the separatists’ decision to allow access to the crash site, she urged the Russian Federation’s full cooperation with investigations.  Despite a Council press statement calling for an investigation, she urged adoption of a resolution that would reinforce the need to grant access to the crash site and for a full, thorough, independent and international investigation.  In 19 Council meetings on Ukraine, “the overwhelming majority” of members had called for an end to violence and destabilization, together with de-escalation of tensions, the laying down by separatists of their weapons and genuine dialogue.  It was “time for the equivocation and dissembling and false narratives of some to stop”, she said.  Russia needed to end provocations and any support for separatists, and to prevent weapons, equipment and fighters flowing across the border.  Pointing to the promise of the four party talks, she hoped to see results from their agreements.

Prime Minister Abbott's rather intemperate language megaphoned through the media saw the Russian president delay making direct contact with him until the evening of Sunday 20 July.

Update 7.26am - the UN Security Council unanimously voter for a draft resolution co-sponsored by thirteen countries, condemning the downing of MH17. The text of the resolution was based on an initial Australian draft amended to remove language which presupposed the result of any independent crash investigation.

One has to suspect that behind the scenes it is Australia’s professional diplomats who are doing the heavy lifting on this issue, while both News Corp and the prime minister’s spin doctors attempt to give all the credit to Abbott.


The Australian rewriting history in Leadership in face of tragedy on 22 July 2014 at 12:00am:

Tony Abbott has found his voice and heart in the wake of the shooting down of Flight MH17. In seeking to reflect the nation’s grief and outrage, the Prime Minister has been tough, measured, compassionate and intuitive. Mr Abbott’s natural instincts have been spot on in asserting the nation’s honour and leading the global community’s response in calling for justice, respect for the victims and proper processes. Bill Shorten, too, has displayed his best characteristics at a time of sorrow and anger. Both leaders have stepped above the domestic fray and presented a united front in demanding action.
This experience should serve as a reminder that Mr Abbott, contrary to the expectations of critics, has made an assured impression on the world stage. His first overseas trip as Prime Minister was to Indonesia during a difficult time for bilateral relations. There were revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the tapping of the phone of Indonesia’s first lady, on Labor’s watch, and tensions over boat turnbacks, yet Mr Abbott handled the matters with aplomb. On a trip to North Asia, combining visits to Japan, South Korea and China, Mr Abbott led an impressive delegation of business leaders. The venture managed to promote our trade and economic ties with key partners, while balancing security considerations in the region. On a long-haul trip that included D-Day’s 70th anniversary in France and a meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington, Mr Abbott showed dignity, a knowledge of history and confidence in handling the complexities of strategic diplomacy.
His nuanced, instinctive approach in these matters is a pointer to the sort of leader he could be if he reached out to voters beyond the comfort zone of talking points and daily retail skirmishing, an operating mode that diminished his Labor predecessors Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. This newspaper has chastised Mr Abbott for relying on a low-risk formula fashioned by his backroom, which has stunted his ability to speak openly and show voters he is intelligent, big-hearted and steady. The current crisis will continue to test his character and skills but it is an opportunity he must grasp.

The Australian's stablemateThe Daily Telegraph joins in:

Taken from @NewtonMark

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Push Putin up against a wall, hold him by the throat and punch the wall either side of his head. It worked last time for Tony!