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Australia’s Penultimate Bunglers.

Rev. Father A Maximiadis.

In former times, the family idiots were sent off to the church, evidently, nowadays, they are sent off to a career in politics.

Rev. Father A Maximiadis. 

Australia’s Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Abbot and his Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Julie Bishop, through their tackless and naïve communication with Indonesia’s President JoKo Widodo and Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, have proven themselves as the indubitable international hobbledehoys. Their point of disagreement, with Widodo and Marsudi, concerns the ongoing saga of the two Australian drug traffickers, Messrs Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, awaiting execution in Indonesia. Both Abbot and Bishop are an embarrassment at home and, perhaps a laughingstock abroad, amongst the heads of state, across Southeastern Asia, and from Moscow to Pretoria and Ottawa to Buenos Aires.

Abbot and Bishop’s recent bilateral diplomatic quarrels, with Widodo and Marsudi, were naïve, tackless and lacked diplomatic diplomacy. Abbot’s attempt to bribe Widodo to change Indonesia’s laws asserting: “Let’s not forget that a few years ago when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami Australia sent $1 billion worth of assistance, we sent a contingent of our armed forces to help in Indonesia with humanitarian relief”. That was one billion dollars with hooks. And his transparent empty threats: “We will be letting Indonesia know in absolutely unambiguous terms that we feel grievously let down,” and “I would say to the Indonesia people and the government, we in Australia are always there to help you and we hope that you might reciprocate in this way at this time”. Is this a case of, ‘beware of Australian politicians bearing gifts,’ or ‘facio ut facias’ (I do so that you may do). Perhaps Abbot perceives himself as the ‘foremost figure’ amongst the Asian-Pacific leaders, while others in the region, might view him as the ‘bully-boy’.

Julie Bishop, put forward a plan to Marsudi, for a ‘prisoner exchange deal,’ or an offer to ‘cover costs of the two Australian drug traffickers continuing life imprisonment; if a stay of execution were granted. Marsudi rejected a ‘prisoner exchange’ arrangement: “Let me reiterate that there is no legal basis within the Indonesian law that would allow for such exchange to take place,” in a letter dated 8 March. These suggestions were tackless and ludicrous as well as being a further example of Australian politicians riding roughshod over other heads of state in the region. Surely Bishop, a graduate in laws, ought to have understood that Indonesian laws are not negotiable.

These are clear examples of Abbot and Bishops’ eroding Australia-Indonesia relations, through their irresponsible, reckless diplomacy, and disrespect for Indonesia’s laws and sovereignty; particularly regarding capital punishment. In other South East Asian countries who execute drug traffickers viz., Vietnam with approximately 673 awaiting execution, and Singapore where, from between 2004 and 2010, thirty-eight were hanged; 12 of whom were foreigners. In Malaysia, there are hundreds of drug traffickers, still on death row, although very few have been hanged recently. Where are Abbot and Bishop’s protests for these people waiting for the tap on their shoulder, or perhaps they consider their lives of a less value than Australians?

Twenty-nine years ago Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke described Malaysia’s hanging of drug traffickers Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers as “barbaric,” subsequently effecting a ten-year chill in Australian-Malaysian relations. Several years ago, Pauline Hanson, a fishmonger – from Ipswich, Queensland – turned politician, who delivered her controversial maiden speech (10 September 1996) to the House, caused a controversy because of its criticisms and, unmitigated attacks against Aboriginals, and xenophobic criticisms against multiculturalism and immigration; subsequently unleashing media turmoil in Australia and across Southeastern Asia. How an ignorant xenophobic fishmonger can leap across a fish and chip counter into politics is anyone’s guess.

Tony Abbot’s pre-election ‘promises,’ (cris de cœur to the low-income families, the homeless, sick, struggling students, disabled, and the aged) solely to win centre of power, subsequently became ‘broken promises’ soon after winning office. For example, the disabled, sick and elderly et al., were to be taxed or benefits withdrawn. The increase in the price of pharmaceuticals and, the introduction of co-payments for GP visits. He is the penultimate, unscrupulous deceiver.

These convicted criminals, drug smugglers, are not on Nusakambangan island, for having suddenly found God, [Only after receiving the death sentence] and metamorphosing into a “priest,” artist, role models; and campaigners for penal reforms. They are there for the crimes they were found guilty by the Indonesian judiciary. Their lust for wealth caused the deaths of untold young Australians. [During my active years I had the harrowing experiences of burying victims who died from drugs supplied by the likes of the Chans and Sukumarans] Abbot, Bishop, and the Bleeding-hearts, conduct vigils on the steps of Parliament House, and across Australia, begging mercy, forgiveness and humanity for these traffickers of misery and death; whilst the memory of their victims lie forgotten in their graves. Only those without empathy misplace their sympathies for perpetrators rather than their unfortunate victims. The 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad (محضير بن محمد), in response to: ‘no one has the right to take another’s life,’ replied “You should tell that to the drug traffickers”.