Julie Bishop

Headline of the Week

From the Courier Mail in Queensland.

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The story itself is hilarious:

FORMER foreign minister Bob Carr was last night labeled ?arrogant? and ?foolish? for risking diplomatic ties after leaked extracts of his new diaries revealed him complaining about taxpayer-funded first and business class travel and questioning whether top US leaders had plastic surgery.? Read more »

Tony Abbot walks the talk

Tony Abbott has been telling Australians that times are tough and they need to tighten their belts.

He also practices what he preaches.

Undeterred by the threat of deep-vein thrombosis, Prime Minister Tony Abbott cheerfully took to economy class last month to fly overseas for a short family holiday.

It was a commendable look for the leader of a government preparing to take the razor to the budget this year. And while Abbott’s office didn’t try to publicise his frugal travel arrangements, they did not go unnoticed.

A fellow traveller on the flight out of Sydney on December 20 covertly took a photograph of the Prime Minister looking relaxed in a blue polo shirt as he strode down the aisle to the back of the economy flight, and helpfully posted it to social media sites. Abbott’s office later confirmed that he paid for the flights for himself and his family to visit his eldest daughter, Louise, for Christmas in Switzerland. It’s understood he was not interested in an upgrade.

In recent months, living within one’s means – and deliberately not making a fuss about it – has been de rigueur for MPs from the new government, which is showing it’s serious about spending cuts.

Read more »

Amnesty International caught lying again over Fiji

Amensty International has duped Radio New Zealand into manufacturing news that simply is not occuring in Fiji.

It is outrageous and published without a shred of evidence.

Amnesty International is urging New Zealand’s foreign minister, Murray McCullly, to put human rights on the agenda during his diplomatic visit to Fiji.

Mr McCully and Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, will arrive in Fiji on Friday as part of the Pacific Islands Forum’s Ministerial Contact Group.

During the two-day visit, the delegation will meet a range of groups and Fiji government representatives to produce a report updating Forum leaders on election developments.

Amnesty’s Fiji campaigner, Michael Hayworth, says the ministers should take the opportunity to raise critical issues such as Fiji’s restrictions on freedom of expression.

“In the lead-up to elections, we are seeing a crackdown on free speech, we are seeing people not able to protest, and we are of course seeing people not being able to join trade unions or non-government organisations. Fiji really needs to take a U-turn on these human rights abuses and the Australian and New Zealand governments need to play a role in that by raising their issues with their counterparts.”

Perhaps Mr Hayworth should be called to provide evidence of a crackdown on free speech in Fiji or stand accused of lying. ? Read more »

Abbott’s government taking the long handle to ratbag green taliban

I’m liking how Abbott’s government are dealing to the green taliban ratbags…like the ones just released from jail in Russia.

It seems that Greenpeace’s PR machinations aren’t washing with the Libs and they are set to bill one of the ratbags for the cost of his representation.

A threat to impose a fee for consular support after Australian activist Colin Russell was detained in Russia has opened the prospect of broader charges for government support of thousands of Australians who find themselves in trouble overseas.

On Friday foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop said the activities of the Australian government on behalf of Mr Russell had cost tens of thousands of dollars, and she would look very closely at recovering the costs.

“Of course cost recovery can be an important part of providing consular support,” she said.

In News Ltd papers on Saturday Ms Bishop was reported to have outlined a review of fees for cost recovery of consular activities for Australians in trouble overseas, and the circumstances in which those fees could be levied.

Suffer in ya jocks Kevin

Kevin Rudd has found out what happens when you go from hero to zero…you become Nigel No Mates.

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Nigel No Mates strolls the streets of New York

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd cut a lonely figure on the streets of New York on Friday ? while just a few blocks away his old rival Julie Bishop stood confidently, addressing world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

A forlorn-looking Mr Rudd, who only a month ago enjoyed the privileges of an enormous entourage, was spotted strolling alone in Manhattan ? no security personnel, no chief of staff and no friends.

It was in stark contrast to Australia’s freshly minted Foreign Minister who spent Friday meeting the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and also the United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Later she delivered Australia’s national statement at the general debate of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, in which she said she was “delighted” to take part, and that “the new Australian government will put economic diplomacy at the centre of our foreign policy”.

Abbott sets a good example

Tony Abbott, like Julie Bishop, also sets a good example.

Let’s hope they have started as they mean to go on.

A room at the Australian Federal Police College in Barton, Canberra. Tony Abbott can expect to live in something like this while the Lodge is being renovated. Source: Supplied

A room at the Australian Federal Police College in Barton, Canberra. Tony Abbott can expect to live in something like this while the Lodge is being renovated. Source: Supplied

TONY Abbott has decided to bunk with Australian Federal Police recruits in a $120-a-night flat while renovations are conducted at the possum-infested prime ministerial residence The Lodge.

The modest and unusual digs, in a red brick AFP building close to Parliament, will feature a kitchenette and around-the-clock security from his AFP security officers and their junior colleagues.? Read more »

Bishop shows how to be a good minister

Julie Bishop has shown up the troughing civil servants almost immediately and now marked herself as a prudent guardian of the public purse.

Incoming foreign minister Julie Bishop has already clashed with her department over luxury hotel accommodation on an upcoming trip to New York.

The minister-elect told Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucrats to slash the cost of the trip after they planned to book $1850-a-night rooms at a swish Manhattan hotel for an entourage of dozens.

Ms Bishop also instructed DFAT not to book her on first-class flights when she travels overseas in her new brief.? Read more »

Now that’s what you do when you win

Julie Bishop has wasted no time in wielding the axe and getting rid of Labor troughers. She certainly shows John Key how it should be done.

Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks has been sacked from his position as Australia’s consul-general in New York ? before he officially started in his new role ?? in a decision described as ”petty and vindictive” by Labor.

Fairfax Media understands that one of incoming foreign minister Julie Bishop’s first decisions in her new position was to sack Mr Bracks on Monday.

Mr Bracks concluded previous employment in preparation to take up his position, which was to start this month.

Backing Down from a Sledge

If you are going to sledge make sure it doesn’t undermine your own leader’s sledging:

LABOR MP Steve Gibbons has caused a stir by calling Tony Abbott a ”gutless douchebag” and Julie Bishop a ”narcissistic bimbo” on Twitter.

It is Mr Gibbons’ use of the word ”bimbo” that will cause the biggest headaches for Labor given Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s aggressive campaign against the Opposition Leader’s alleged misogyny.

Mr Gibbons later offered a qualified apology on Twitter, saying, ”Apologies to those offended by the use of the word Bimbo [sic]. I’ll replace that word with ‘Fool’ [sic].” He also deleted the offending tweets.

Mr Gibbons has a history of provocative statements. He called Kevin Rudd a ”psychopath with a giant ego”, during the former prime minister’s leadership challenge earlier this year.

Opposition spokesperson for the status of women, Senator Michaelia Cash said Ms Gillard should ask Mr Gibbons to stand down from his position as deputy chair of the standing committee on regional Australia and forfeit all the benefits associated with the role.

But asked whether all politicians who make misogynistic remarks should be required to resign, Ms Cash demurred.

”It is the Prime Minister herself who has set what she says is the standard for accountability in relation to this type of inappropriate behaviour,” Ms Cash said.

A reverse wedgie on the press gallery

Awesome quote about Gillard’s fleet footed appointment of Bob Carr:

What Carr did not know when he proffered his advice was that he would become the centrepiece of a plan to address the talent question and the need for mentors. What he could not have imagined was that the plan would come together as exquisitely as it did yesterday – but only after it had been written off as a complete debacle, along with Gillard’s reborn prime ministership.

“A reverse wedgie on the press gallery,” was how one senior reporter described it at yesterday’s media conference. And it was.

Here was a relaxed, urbane, affable and utterly engaged Carr pledging his ”unbounded admiration” for a Prime Minister who had been castigated by many in the room for botching an opportunity to secure him. ”And I suspect that the more I see of her, the more I will be impressed by her steadfastness under pressure,” he added.

Gillard’s failure to secure Carr had been painted as evidence of the lack of authority that had haunted her while Rudd was stalking. Yet, here was Carr, offering testimony to that authority. ”When the distinctive voice of Prime Minister Gillard rouses you from your slumber and says, ‘Will you be foreign minister of Australia?’ I couldn’t have found it in me to say ‘no’.”

Her obsfucation while she was working on her reshuffle had been interpreted as an inability to stand up to demanding colleagues and think strategically. Yet here was Gillard, unfazed by the media hysteria, making the right call after three days of thought and discussion, and getting her way.

”This was all her,” is how Sam Dastyari, the party official who made the first approach to Carr, expressed it yesterday. ”She showed guts. She showed determination.”

Most telling of all, her unqualified repudiation of the Wednesday splash in?The Australian?headed ”Mutiny kills PM’s Bob Carr plan” was depicted by Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop, and many others besides, as evidence of Gillard having only a passing acquaintance with the truth. ”She is still silly and slippery, slimy and shifty,” Bishop told reporters on Thursday.

”This whole sorry farce about Bob Carr being offered the Senate spot and the foreign minister’s job shows that she has difficulty with the truth and, when she is under pressure, she manufactures a story. It shows that she lacks authority in her caucus and it shows an incredible lack of political judgment.”

Now Gillard is vindicated and Bishop looks silly.