If Australia has learnt anything from Abbott’s history, it is that Abbott has learned nothing from Abbot’s history.
DFAT have been working tirelessly behind the scenes with every ounce of their diplomatic persuasion to move Indonesia from it’s seemingly intractable position. They have carefully nuanced their presentation of Australia’s heartfelt desire for mercy. They have acknowledged the political difficulties Indonesia’s president would face if he were to acquiesce to our wishes, and let it be known that we, as Australians, understand the incredible act of political courage it would be for Joko Widodo to grant clemency at this late stage.
The fact that Indonesia delayed the transfer of Chan and Sukamaran was evidence of some slight progress. Glimmers of light were starting to appear in the darkness; and then Abbott steps in, like the street brawler he is, shirt fronting the Indonesians with a mouthful of toxic threatening rhetoric.
The lack of emotional intelligence displayed by Abbott is utterly staggering. One can not help but wonder if he actually wants to see the executions go ahead? Because if he wants to save Chan and Sukamaran he has got know that bullying Indonesia is not helping.
Does Abbott understand anything about human nature at all? If the Indonesians were considering clemency before Abbott started going off like a loose canon, it could only have been cast as an act of supreme generosity of spirit and political bravery; the benevolent act of a fair minded and courageous leader. After Abbott’s little stunt it could just as easily be cast as Indonesia buckling under the fist of the local colonial bullyboy. Honestly does Abbott understand nothing?
Abbott’s meddling in this situation is tragic, embarrassing and may well have cost Chan and Sukamaran their lives. Australia simply can not afford to have Abbott rolling around like a loose canon on the world stage.
Our one hope is that the Indonesians will take Abbott’s lack of domestic popularity into account when accessing his rather inappropriate contribution to the situation. Hopefully the Indonesians are aware that Abbott doesn’t speak for us as a nation. Hopefully they know and understand that we Australians find Abbott’s commentary as offensive and inappropriate as they do. Hopefully Indonesia will understand the profound respect, gratitude, warmth and friendship Australians would hold eternally in our hearts should Indonesia see fit to spare our fellow countrymen.