Three years old. Where to now?

Well, well well. Guess whose birthday it is?

It’s ours! We’re three years old Thursday. We’re three years, 980 articles, 123,00 comments, 955,000 visits, 1,650 subscribers and 950 commenters old. We are also troll free, which is a rare achievement across the blogosphere. It certainly has helped to make this a better place.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been undecided about what to do once we reached the milestone of welcoming our one millionth visitor. It has been a good reason to keep the place open and to keep me motivated. Yep, I thought of closing down CW because I just can’t find the time to devote myself like I want to. But then I realised that was very selfish of me: this place isn’t about me – it’s about all of us. How could I break up the family? I just couldn’t. It’s been too much fun and so rewarding over the last three years. Others have put in just as much effort as I have and it would be unfair to pull the rug from under their feet.

So we continue on. Into muddy waters, too, it seems.

Here, there and everywhere we are ridiculed for supporting the party that the polls tell us will be wiped out in September. We are asked: “Why do you bother?” Our opponents preempt that we will be sobbing until Christmas. They expect that the election will shut us up.

No, it won’t. It will make us noisier. Much, much more noisier as we hold the expected incoming Government to account. Every one of their incompetencies, lies and stuff-ups will give our cause some extra fuel.

If Tony Abbott has few admirers now, he will have even less after September. We can remind our protagonists: “You got what you asked for”.

Our numbers can only grow once people realise that Tony Abbott is a dangerous Prime Minister, should he make it to The Lodge.

Anyway, thank you to everybody who has made CW a success; the authors, admin, and of course the people who comment here.

And as an afterthought, if we closed down what would our critics do with themselves? Gosh, they’d have nothing to talk about!

Candles

Julie Bishop’s New Vocation?

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Julie Bishop’s glare, it is said,
Could knock any man dead.
We know that this power
Was used to devour
Two Liberal leaders.
So, do avid news readers
Believe it’s her eyes
Or her super trim thighs
Which convinced Indonesians
There could be good reasons
To help her win votes
By taking back boats?

She says she wasn’t misled.
Yes, there were things unsaid
But their meaning was clear,
As we’ll all see next year.
Perhaps Julie’s born to be
A latter day Mata Hari.
She could put on a burqa,
Be an undercover worker.
Even without a disguise
She can still mesmerize.
She just has to stare.
Not turn back boats? They wouldn’t dare!

NOTES:

This article in the Guardian by Lenore Taylor says it all, particularly this contradiction of Julie Bishop’s latest denials of her Indonesian gaffe.

Paraphrased plainly, we think Bishop said that notwithstanding what Indonesian officials may say in public, on the basis of private discussions with Indonesian officials she was convinced that the Coalition could work in co-operation with Indonesia to achieve the Coalition’s policy aim.

There’s an even stronger and more detailed confirmation of the above paraphrase of our aspirant Foreign Minister’s statement in today’s Guardian (06/06/13) by Lenore Taylor in her story on our current Foreign Minister, Bob Carr’s response to Julie Bishop’s confidence in a Coalition governments ability to work with the Indonesian government to turn back boatx

“In the interview published on Monday, Bishop was asked whether Indonesia would take boats back. She replied: “I am confident we would be able to achieve what we did in the past. The fact is they are Indonesian boats with Indonesian crew and I am sure we can work co-operatively with them and … one thing you understand about diplomacy and others do as well is the professional diplomats are paid to present particular views but what goes on behind the scenes can be quite different. What people say privately can be different to what they say publicly, that’s why I am devoting my time to quiet consistent diplomatic messaging and relationships.”

And her conviction seems sincerely held. If indeed she has succeeded in persuading the Indonesians to cooperate with an incoming LNP government on this she will have had more success than Tony Abbott whose boat plan is not only unpopular with the Indonesian government. Not much seems to have changed in the eighteen months since he had to……….

defend his party’s renewed policy of turning back all asylum boats at sea as the approach was attacked by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Indonesian authorities and a former (Australian) naval chief as dangerous and breaching international law.

So, is Bob Carr right to be highly critical of Julie Bishop’s comments to Guardian Australia about her confidence that Indonesia would co-operate with the Coalition’s border protection policy? Could Bishop’s saying that diplomats often said different things in private than they did in public – despite the country’s stated opposition to turning back boats cause a diplomatic incident? Or does Julie Bishop have hitherto unappreciated skills in the area of under cover negotiation? Has she missed her vocation in that Canberra location?