Bullshit Watch #7
By Sean Bruce.
The G20 was last week, and as Australians we had the honour of hosting the event and watching from the sidelines as Tony Abbott embarrassed the shit out of himself and the nation as a whole.
Is this guy seriously your leader?
The G20 was last week, and as Australians we had the honour of hosting the event and watching from the sidelines as Tony Abbott embarrassed the shit out of himself and the nation as a whole. Let’s be honest, on the international stage, Australia is kind of like that weird second cousin that you only ever see at weddings, and this event was our chance to finally show the world we are ready to be a main player. Because we have it all in this country; mineral wealth, educated population, low crime rates, relatively low corruption, proximity to China, close ties with all the major powers, economic stability - the list could go on for another half a page. So, we finally had our chance to lead the discussion on the world’s most important issues and instead it was squandered by our PM who would rather win petty domestic political points rather than say or do anything useful on an international level. Watching Abbott deliver the opening address was like watching a really pathetic bus crash. He spent the first few minutes rambling vaguely about some economic nonsense and then used his closing remarks to brag about how he stopped refugees from entering the country. Truly inspirational stuff Tony. Even Bill Shorten managed to look interesting for a couple of minutes, referring to the speech as ‘weird and graceless’.
Climate change isn’t real, pay no attention to the flames.
It was strangely appropriate that while Abbott was bragging about how he doesn’t consider climate change a real problem, the Brisbane weather was a good 10 degrees above average and the Blue Mountains were literally in flames. And even if Abbott was determined to avoid one of the legitimate global issues facing the world today, the other world leaders were going to have the conversation without him. China and the US revealed a new carbon trading agreement and India announced that it would be stopping the importation of coal within the next 2-3 years.
B-but, isn’t coal the future of humanity?
The problem with international summits like this lie in the fact that politicians like Tone would prefer to use the event to gain points on the domestic political scene. What should have been an open forum for discussion of world issues like climate change, global poverty and the Ebola crisis (y’know, actual problems facing the world today) descended into just another opportunity for Abbott to repeat his favourite slogans and get photos with the President of the United States.
So to round up this year’s G20 - we missed the chance to look good in front of the rest of the world and take the lead on global issues, Abbott mistook China for Tasmania (twice!) and nobody even got shirtfronted. Oh well, at least the weather was nice.