Thursday, March 2, 2017

Our Other Recent Visitor


"If the Coalition wins on September 7, Abbott, with Julie Bishop as his foreign minister, will ensure Australia more deeply and effectively engages with our region. 'More Jakarta, less Geneva' is the catchcry." (Abbott has pedigree to restore Australia's reputation in region, The Australian, 30/8/13)

OK, so how's 'More Jakarta, less Geneva' going?

We've just had heaps and heaps of Tel Aviv in The Australian, contingent on PM Netanyahu's disgracing us with his presence: fulsome reportage, glowing opinion pieces, editorial encomiums, all of which managed to refer to him correctly as Benjamin Netanyahu or Mr Netanyahu. Stay with me here, the point is coming.

Coincidentally, the Israeli PM's visit overlapped with that of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, the leader of the world's largest Muslim nation, and one of our closest neighbours. Despite this, Widodo's visit received only a fraction of the coverage accorded to that of Netanyahu by The Australian.

As I suggested in my 1/9/13 post Heaps More Tel Aviv... An Occasional Jakarta:

"Just between you, me and the wall, I know that 'More Jakarta, less Geneva' is a catchy little slogan but wouldn't 'Heaps more Tel Aviv, only marginally less Washington, an occasional Jakarta, and maybe the odd Geneva', though admittedly more cumbersome, better encapsulate our coming foreign policy?"

Not only has the Abbott/Trumble government's 'More Jakarta, less Geneva' (for what it's worth) not been reflected in The Australian, but the latter's only editorial on the visit was titled: Joko visit shows potential (28/2/17).

And throughout the text (x3) Widodo was referred to, not as President/Mr Widodo, but as Mr Joko.

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