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Julie Bishop’s SNAFU moments

On February 2, Insiders began their commentary for 2014. As usual, they included a right wing voice for “balance”. This time it was Niki Savva from the Murdoch propaganda sheet, the Australian. Whilst she may be preferable to the vile Piers Ackerman, Ms Savva adds very little to critical analysis of our political scene as she regurgitates the Murdoch script – Labor bad, Tony good.

At the end of the show the guests are invited to make a final comment. Niki chose to sing the praises of Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop saying

“Apart from a few verbal snafus, I think Julie Bishop is doing a pretty good job. After a few turbulent years, finally Foreign Affairs have got someone who is polite, professional, hard-working and can make decisions, so they are very happy.”

So let’s have a look at a few of those “Situation Normal: All F*cked Up” moments.

Before the election, Ms Bishop and others infuriated Indonesia by insisting that we did not need their permission to drag asylum seekers back to their shores. The situation has deteriorated ever since with our Navy infringing on Indonesian territorial waters, and our refusal to apologise for spying on the Indonesian President, his wife, and several members of his cabinet.

We have also had to apologise to Malaysia for comments Tony Abbott made in June 2011 at a press conference with Scott Morrison suggesting asylum seekers would face human rights abuses if sent to Malaysia.

“Imagine taking boat people from Australia to Malaysia where they will be exposed almost inevitably to the prospect of caning and other very harsh treatment”

At his first major international conference as Prime Minister, Mr Abbott offered “an act of contrition” to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, apologising for the way Malaysia got caught up in “what was a very intense and at times somewhat rancorous debate in Australia.”

“He knows we play our politics pretty hard in our country and I think he understood.”

“I made it very clear to the prime minister that our opposition was never to Malaysia, it was to the former government,” he said.

And then we have Papua New Guinea.

“PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has launched a scathing attack on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, accusing him of spreading ”nonsense” and ”completely untrue” claims over foreign aid linked to the asylum seeker deal.

”I don’t particularly appreciate being misrepresented by others for their own political interests,” he said.

”I am disappointed with some of the debates put forward by some of the leaders in the opposition in Australia, in particular statements that I am alleged to have made to them which are completely untrue.”

We have also upset them by refusing to issue visas on arrival for PNG citizens coming to Australia, a move they have reciprocated.

“Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has expressed disappointment over Australia’s stand on the no visa on arrival for Papua New Guineans traveling to Australia.

He said the government cannot tell Australia what to do but would reciprocate and stand by its decision to terminate visa on arrival for Australia visitors to PNG.”

Not content with alienating our nearest neighbours, Ms Bishop, in her haste to ingratiate herself with her American counterpart, has infuriated China by siding with Japan in the escalating conflict over ownership of a few islands in the East China Sea.

And let’s not stop there. In a move that even America condemned, Ms Bishop has defended the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, even though they have been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. Palestine is justifiably upset at this sudden turnaround.

“AUSTRALIA has recalibrated its position on Israel and Palestine to ensure only “balanced” UN resolutions receive its support, says Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

Australia this month abstained from two UN General Assembly resolutions; one condemning the expansion of Jewish settlements and another calling for the Geneva Convention to apply in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The resolution to end “all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories” was supported by 158 nations. Australia was one of only eight nations to abstain.

Australia was one of only five countries to abstain from calling for Israel to “comply scrupulously” with the 1949 Geneva Convention. The resolution was supported by 160 nations.

Ms Bishop said the shift “reflected the government’s concern that Middle East resolutions should be balanced”.

We have also alienated the global community by reversing action on climate change and reneging on our commitments to renewable energy and our promised contribution to the Green Energy fund.

So aside from pissing off Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, China, Palestine and the world, minor snafus according to Ms Savva, I guess you could say “Julie Bishop is doing a pretty good job.” At what I’m not sure. It appears Armani suits, pearl drop earrings and politeness are all it takes to make DFAT “very happy”.

PS: Thank you to Fed Up for reminding me about Timor-Leste on whom we also spied and then raided their lawyer just before they took us to court for bugging trade negotiations. I also neglected to mention our active support for human rights abuses both there and in Sri Lanka.


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  1. Fed up

    One forgot little Timor.

  2. Matters not.

    There’s lots of parallels between Gillard J and Bishop J but the latter’s personal circumstances are rarely mentioned. And while that is as it should be, the different standards employed in the MSM are breathtaking.

  3. David Linehan

    Kaye, of course your comment, ” As usual, they included a right wing voice for “balance”. was tongue in cheek, The only balance about that panel was the legs of the coffee table.

  4. helenmarg

    wonderful article Kaye as usual you stated it as it is. What an awful Dill Julie Bishop is ,as bad as the other Bishop ruining QT.It would make you cry to think of this lot running [ ruining] our country.

  5. mars08

    Foreign aid cuts of $656 million in the FY2013-14 (with more to come) are a sure-fire populist vote winner. Not so popular with our neighbours though….

  6. Graeme Rust

    this so called woman is as mad as her master abbortt.

  7. Trevor Vivian

    Julie Bishop the right honourable member for professional apologists and Western Australian embarrassment.
    In her previous life as a low life legal gun for hire she did and said anything that would further her clients position even to the point of creating, propagating and maintaining fictions and wholly false arguments under law to bring her sense of Justus to her client cases.
    Good training for being a part of a liberal government that initiated, propagated and continues to maintain lies as truth.
    What a beitch! But that’s what it takes to inhabit the political shitstem that is Liberal party politics.

  8. Stephen Tardrew

    We unlike you Labor dregs respect women as doyens of power and servility not like that lying bitch whats her name Red head thingy. Asbestos is good for you after all. Don’t tell anybody but I really gave it to the Indo’s didn’t I. Bloody GPS and radar broken again. God this is fun. Stares blankly into the headlights of ignorance. Being a God of diplomacy is a cinch when you realize I am infallible. Ask Georgy the Smelly Pelly. Fake apologies and disingenuous drivel slide from my tongue in ever increasing swirls of ignorance disappearing up my sphincter in a puff of vacuous intent. Golly I’m gorgeous.

  9. Dissenter

    BISHOPBOATGATE scandal is going to be BIG MESS to clean up.
    The Indonesians are just biding their time I think while the number of orange boats RISE and rise.

    I will never forget being invited to a high ranking Indonesian MPs home some years after Timor because he wanted to discuss and understand why Timor meant so much to Australians.
    He was still fuming, livid. It was not just honour to him it was an invasion into Indonesian government business and I am certain he is still talking about it.
    This will set Indonesian Australian relations back at least 10 years.
    It is emblematic of the SINGLE pervasive FEATURE of the ABBOTT government. Unbridled ARROGANCE which is partner to smug narcissism.

  10. Shae Tasnim

    Reblogged this on Sheila Allsorts.

  11. olddavey

    I reckon N. Savva thinks snafu stands for “so nice, a frilly undergarment”.

  12. clusterpod

    Anyone that accepted money to defend an Asbestos company has zero moral capital.

    What a nasty piece of work.

  13. Rob

    Who remembers the “scorched earth” in East Timor by the Indonesia’s past dictatorship and the handshake that was the old Timor Gap Treaty or the Alexander Downer’s division towards East Timor, regarded as generous but reaping off East Timor. (Poorest nation on our border while billions go into our coffers.)
    Now the new findings of Australia’s “secret coppers” in those disputes, what we need is a Hill-hoist honestly airing of every government’s dirty laundry for all to see. Chocka full of all the bull and fighting.

  14. Russ

    And don’t forget that she was so gung-ho about how she and Marty (Ageing Filipino Porn Star) Matelanagawa were all agreed that the boats had to be stopped. So accurate was her recollection that Marty released his own notes of the discussion to make it clear he had said Australia must not violate Indonesian sovereignty.
    Either she wasn’t there or she lied for consumption at home.

  15. Fed up

    Latest. Releasing Corby is an attempt by Indonesia to mend fences with Abbott. Why would this be? More likely in spite of the trouble with Abbott. Yes, there is an election coming up in that country. Time to clear the books. Maybe, if it was not for Abbott, she would have been out months ago, as it was expected at the time.

  16. abbienoiraude

    Each time I see Savva she shocks me. The most horrific LIb-speak was that last diatribe on “Insiders” last Sunday, with the LNP propaganda she spoke re J Bishop. I was so angered by her smug, arrogance that I yelled at the telly.

    There was once, upon a time, an amazing shadow Foreign Affairs Minister, who became Minister. Someone who was intelligent, educated in the Asian sensibilities and could speak one of the languages. When he spoke he was heard by our neighbours (and by me)and yet since a take-over he has been wiped from Australian historic Foreign Affairs positives.

    Having a son as a teacher in Asia I take note of how ‘things should be done’ with our neighbours.
    Julie Bishop is the perfect example of how it should NOT be carried out and Savva is the perfect example of who not to believe EVER about our political position, especially Foreign Affairs.

  17. Mike 1

    Hang on a Sec, Is the Abbott mire about to tell the Truth ? I can’t believe it. Abbott is himself and nothing else. Abbott is Nothing so far and never will be.

  18. Mike 1

    Honest and transparent Govt. OK tony when ? I know you don’t have to persuade the Numb Nuts that hang onto your stupid every word. When are You going to persuade the thinking people of Australia ?

  19. silkworm

    When you call Gillard “that red head thingy,” you are not respecting women, Tardrew, you tawdry hypocrite.

  20. lawrencewinder

    Savva was minor apparatchik on the parochial Melbourne “Hun” and an elevation to the Nationial sphere has made no difference to the tripe she emits.
    Which is probably a good thing as the audience for the Australian seems to disappearing faster than “illegal” refugees.

  21. lawrencewinder

    … and Bishop? The French have a neat little, away-from-the-body hand swipe whilst saying, Pffft.
    Says it all really!

  22. Hobo Sapiens

    Actually, putting aside the reference to the SNAFUs, what Savva (whose self-satisfied smugness is breathtaking for such a lightweight) said about Bishop’s personal attributes is quite true – Bishop is all of those things and for DFAT compares very favourably as a Minister who they can work with, compared to Rudd, who was none of those things. Smith couldn’t make a decision either – he was known as the Minister for Procrastination.
    If you’re going to talk about intellect and strategic thinking, then that is a different matter, but if you restrict the comparison to their interpersonal skills, Bishop wins hands down. She is not a nasty, vindictive megalomaniac – which for the bureaucrats who have to work with her, has been welcome.

  23. Fed up

    “There’s lots of parallels between Gillard J and Bishop J”

    The personal life and experiences of both are similar. In Giullard;s case, she has been condemned for doing the same as Bishop.

    Both have no children. Both lawyers. Both have lived in sin, with more than one partner. Both have had partners, that have suspicious characters.

    Even Christian names are similar.

  24. Fed up

    Maybe Steven Smith made no decisions as FM. Cannot recall that time. One cannot say, the same of Smith, when it comes to ADF. He stood up to them in dealing with sexuasl abuse and bullying within the forces.. Condemned by many then, that one should not criticize the good men, well mostly men of our defense forces., Due to Smith’s persistent, the bully boys were uncovered, action taken.

    Why would there not be one or two of similar beliefs among the 500 navy, plus customs in our northern waters. We have the incidents of comments on Facebook, that suggest there are.

    There is a difference that one cannot ignore, between Julia and Julie.

    One has talent, the other has not.

  25. Fed up

    I know what I think of women, that side with men in sexist language and treatment of their opposition. I know what I think of a woman that makes fists like cat claws, aimed at the PM om a daily basis. I know what I think of the women, who stood beside Abbott on the back of the truck, with those disgraceful posters, condemning a PM who happen to be a woman.

  26. Fed up

    Paul, we cannot forget them. They are in government and we must keep our focus on them.

  27. Fed up

    When it comes to Bishop, both of them, one does not have to resort to insults. Just keep repeating what they do and say.

  28. Paul Raymond Scahill

    Bishop (both of them) should be forgotten completely, as should Abbott and the rest of them. End of story.

  29. Rod Bakes

    Julie Bishop /The Wicked Witch From The West !!!

  30. bjkelly1958

    If the staff of DFAT love J Bishop it is because she doesn’t really deal with them, nor they with her. She may be polite over a cup of tea, but surely the Department personnel don’t want to associated with the train wreck that is their Minister.

  31. nettythe1st

    And adding to the international embarrassment is Abbott’s performance at Davos!

  32. Dan Rowden

    Oh, I don’t know. I though as performances go his was pretty outstanding. I mean, he went as a clown, right?

  33. Stephen Tardrew

    Itsa Joke Silkworm. I have been called various name by experts yet tis like water off a ducks back. Seriously we are all the but of someones jokes. The metaphor was meant to be Bishops voice. Though I didn’t agree with things Gillard did I do respect her drive and talent as a successful woman. Try not to read to much into a joke.

  34. silkworm

    Sorry, Stephen. It’s hard to tell the difference between jokes and the real thing, since there are people who really believe the things that you jokingly write about. That’s the scary thing.

  35. Kerri

    With Julie Bishop, what you see is what you get!!
    Yes! She really is as stupid as she looks and acts.

  36. Rod Bakes

    WEdnesday QT ,Bishop was having a death stare airy for a few moments , then she got the cold shivers before retuning to some form of normality !!

  37. hannahquinn

    Reblogged this on The Kettle Press and commented:
    Perhaps, by minor snafus, Ms Savva really means ‘they’re not even Australian’ as the Defence Minister, David Johnson, said of the refugee who claimed abuse at the hands of naval personnel.

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