"Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop's move into foreign affairs now means the Opposition has had 5 separate defence and foreign affairs spokespeople in its short and unhappy period of less than 16 months away from the government benches," lamented Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan in The Australian of 17/2/09 (Passing parade of novices hurts Liberals). "This is a sign of an Opposition that doesn't take foreign affairs and defence seriously, and that is just about as stupid as it gets."
Of Bishop's predecessor, Helen Coonan, Sheridan was scathing: "Coonan is a nice woman but she was hopeless in foreign affairs. Her office was chaotic. She had little to say and what she did say combined cliche and banality in equal measure. She had almost zero profile in her portfolio." The Opposition, he grumped, "just doesn't seem to get foreign affairs and defence. They are two of the most complex and demanding areas of government... You cannot swot up on foreign affairs in a couple of days. Most people involved in it have spent their lives on it. Sometimes that makes them myopic, but it also means they have a lot of knowledge and a vast range of contacts."
You just know what his verdict on Bishop's going to be. What to do? The answer's obvious, isn't it? Sheridan, with his myopia, knowledge and contacts, is surely the only possible choice for the job. And why, considering Rudd's rise and rise from shadow foreign minister to opposition leader to sitting prime minister, should we not look forward to a similar trajectory for The Australian's foreign editor? What then can we expect Australia to look like under a Sheridan government? Here are just some of the exciting things we can expect to see:-
Australia will be renamed AUSrael.
The Union Jack will be replaced by the Israeli flag.
Planet Janet will be DP and Colin Rubenstein GG.
Paul Sheehan will be AUSraeli ambassador to Israel.
Anti-Zionism/Israelism will be made a hanging offence.
The AUSraeli Defence Forces will be tasked with wiping Iran off the map so Israel can get on with wiping Palestine off the map undisturbed. Conscription? How'd you guess?
The prime minister's journalistic scribblings will be reincarnated as a book called The Judeo-Christian State.
AUSrael will be declared a Judeo-Christian state. All non-Judeo-Christians will be ethnically cleansed.
A Law of Return will be enacted enabling anyone in the world with a Judeo-Christian mother to assume AUSraeli citizenship. Those who haven't got yummy Judeo-Christian mummies... well, tough titties.
Oh, and Fairfax will be run out of town... not to mention country.
Pray Julie Bishop succeeds in her new shadow portfolio.