11 October 2011

Calamity Gillard and The Bali Boy

gillard, baliJulia Gillard, when it comes to Australians detained overseas, you seem to have the knack of totally misjudging popular opinion. Considering your precarious popularity rating, for which you have no one to blame but yourself, I would have thought that you, and certainly your advisors, would take more care to gauge what the voters you so desperately need to woo, are thinking.

After previously declaring another Australian - Julian Assange "guilty" and providing him with scant diplomatic assistance, yesterday you personally phoned the 14 year old boy detained in Bali who allegedly bought a small quantity of marijuana. This is in addition to the personal intervention of Foreign Secretary Kevin Rudd, and intense, high level diplomatic assistance.

I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs of what the little prat did, apart from the fact that after years of having Schapelle Corby and the so called Bali Nine, shoved down our throats on an almost monthly basis, no one could legitimately claim ignorance of Indonesia's stance on this issue.

Your call was not seen as a friendly gesture to an Aussie in trouble, it was seen as a cynical PR exercise in your battle to retain leadership of the ALP, and therefore, your position as Prime Minister of a great country that under your guidance, is gradually but surely becoming an international laughing stock.

But you are not alone - Kevin Rudd has also been doing his knight in shining armor routine. An undue amount of money, diplomatic and political resources have been spent on this idiot. Why is it that until now, neither you nor Rudd, have shown much, if any interest in the plight of Indonesian juveniles in detention? Juveniles who unlike "our lad" do not have the benefit of being given mobile phones to access Facebook, or have their parents being allowed to sleep in the same police station.

This lad is not the only Australian teen involved with drugs. Others too need political help, but not having a high, politically convenient profile, or having access to PR advisors, their voices are unheard by you, your predecessors and a tabloid media that is rapidly becoming as seedy as the British media.

Will this lad bring about a change in government thinking towards teens and drugs? Or will he - and others - be put in the political equivalent of a shoe box in a cupboard under the stairs, when he has outlived his PR usefulness?

Wherever you may be - be safe
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