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The Phone Call – Turnbull Is Assured Or So I’m Led To Believe By Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless!

From “The Sydney Morning Herald:

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has received Donald Trump’s personal assurance that a deal for the US to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island will go ahead, despite the US President’s harsh immigration policies sending shockwaves around the world…

Mr Turnbull’s office declined to comment on the 25-minute phone call with Mr Trump. Fairfax Media has been told the President confirmed his administration would honour last year’s agreement, though it remains unclear how many of the roughly 2000 asylum-seekers held on Nauru and Manus Island will be resettled in the US.
Under the Obama deal, final details, including the number to be resettled, were not expected to be nailed down until the second half of this year, after US officials scrutinised applications and carried out security checks.”

Ok, now I really hope I’m wrong, but it does strike me that this is one of those ones where you say something’s happening and if we all go, “That’s good,” and forget about it then there’s really no problem. However, being a cynical sort of chap, I do have to wonder about three things in the SMH report.

1. Why, if the deal is going ahead, did Mr Turnbull’s office decline to comment?
2. “Fairfax media has been told that the President confirmed his administration would honour last year’s agreement…” BY WHOM? Turnbull’s office is declining to comment about the phone call, Trump’s press release merely said that they were happy that Australia is happy to do whatever the US wants in return for having its tummy-tickled while the President says, “Who’s a good boy then!”, so who was this anonymous person who told Fairfax about the agreement? Was it the same person who led the ABC and The Australian to “understand” that the deal was going ahead?
3. How on earth does it take the USA nearly a year to check out people who’ve had Australia checking them out for the past four years? Do they have to check everything again? And then check the people doing the checking?

Of course, if someone connected to the government was briefing journalists “off the record”, then why is it off the record? And if it’s on the record, why not say a spokesman for Mr Turnbull or the Minister for Information and Newspeak told us the Mr Trump said such and such. Surely, journalists would ask why they’re being briefed off the record, why this isn’t official statement! Surely, they wouldn’t just report someone saying, “Look, I can’t tell you this officially but Mr Trump said that he was totally ok with the deal, but we just have to say nothing for now, but you can report that it’s on. Trust me, I’m saying this on behalf of the people who are declining to comment. Yes, the deal is going ahead and the US will take some of the people on Manus and Nauru. No, we don’t know how many. No, we don’t know when. But it’s definite. No problem. Rock solid guarantee. Trump said he’ll take any that fit the criteria. What criteria is that? Not sure, it was a quick phone call and Malcolm only had time to ask how he was doing and to make a couple of jokes and to say that he was hoping that the TPP wasn’t dead yet, but if it is, well, that’s ok, because the USA has no truer friend than Australia even if, Mr President, I had to spend the first five minutes on of the call waiting while you found it on a map. We still love you, even if you love another more. Well, the criteria might be that they’re not Muslims. Or from Syria or Iran. Or any one of a number of other countries. And, of course, they can’t be law-breakers. No, being an “illegal immigrant” doesn’t count. Why not? Um, look, I’m just speaking of the record here so I don’t have any actual information, but you can just write that it’s going ahead, ok, and we can all get back to worrying about Jobs and Growth… Sorry, don’t mention growth. Jobs and innovation.”

For the sake of those on Manus and Nauru, I really hope I’m wrong. I really hope we see something official in the next few days, but given this government’s lack of follow-through with even the things they’ve announced, I have to wonder when Turnbull’s office is declining to comment. But hey, Mr Turnbull is probably preparing a press release as I write this and there’ll be a big announcement and a timetable for when the people on Nauru will be re-settled. And even a timetable for the ones on Manus who were found to be being held “illegally”. Yeah, all ok now. We can go back to sleep.

P.S. I’ve started tagging a lot of my posts “climate change” in order to waste the time of paid climate change deniers who’ll read the whole thing and then wonder why there’s nothing they can be commenting on. Alternatively, they may comment anyway, which’ll just prove that they’re not really interested in “discussing the science”. My apologies if you read it because you feel that you desperately needed to be informed about the topic and haven’t realised that you’ve probably read enough things that should prompt you to actually start doing something to counter the misinformation out there!


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  1. Terry2

    Theresa May had the right idea when dealing with a wishy-washy President Trump who is likely to contradict himself on a daily basis.

    She said, publicly and in his presence :

    “We’ve reaffirmed our unshakeable commitment to this alliance, Mr President I think you confirmed that you’re 100 per cent behind NATO,”

    Turnbull should similarly come out publicly and confirm to the world that Trump had agreed to follow through on the Obama commitment to resettle those refugees on Nauru and Manus.

  2. Vikingduk

    What’s wrong the climate, all good here, sun out, onshore wind, surf’s crap, bluebottles in abundance, neighbor’s cutting his flowering native trees that all those birds were really enjoying, need a a good offshore wind, wind to swing to NW, get these messy little suckers barrelling. Probably Muslims or the Labor Party’s fault.they promising bigger swell, jeez can’t even get that right. Bloody conspiracy, must be all this pretruth, post truth, no truth, alternate facts alternate universe thingy. Well if the surf don’t come good, I will absolutely outraged.

  3. helvityni

    I expected Turnbull on the telly , beaming and hand-waving, telling us what HE had achieved; have I missed something…?

    Anyhow why would Trump take the Muslim refugees from Nauru and Manus, if he’s banning them from other countries….

    Me, no understand, please explain… (not you Pauline, but Turnbull)

  4. Matters Not

    Word has it Trump will only accept refugees from Manus and Nauru if they are baptised Presbyterians at birth and have the original documents to prove same. The ability to walk on water will not count.

    I am also aware that both Manus and Nauru aren’t expecting significant reductions to refugee numbers.

  5. Pilot

    More Turnbullshit, that’s all it is. DJT probably said, “I’ll resettle the Australian refugees on Nauru and Manus.” Nothing has changed. I cannot see the village idiot taking the refugees to the US for resettling. Does he actually know where Australia is? Personally, I believe he is thinking of Austria and has no idea where or what we are.

    Imagine, we as thinking Australians are expected to believe idle words (read idol) from a backboneless secretive informant, a backbone deficient, lying PM and an extreme sociopath and pathological liar now parading as POTUS?

    Jesus wept…… He would’ve had hysterics with this mob. What a joke, we’re being played as fools.

    The sooner this atrocious lot are gone, the better.

  6. Matters Not

    believe he is thinking of Austria

    Perhaps that explains why he asked Mal to do some yodelling to establish his bona fides? Mal sang ‘climb every mountain’ as well.

  7. brickbob

    ‘Turnbull is a known liar and if he did have an agreement from the ”GOO” The Great Orange One”’ then he would be screaming it from the roof tops,so i for one have always thought Turnbull a filthy liar and i believe he’s trying to sell the Harbour Bridge to every Australian on this one
    I hope i am proven wrong and the poor buggers stuck in those concentration camps can finally have a home to go to.”””””

  8. king1394

    Pilot is right: Trump thinks he’s being asked to resettle Australian refugees!

  9. helvityni

    LOL, MN, I blame Greg Norman, he gave Trump the wrong number…

  10. jimhaz

    Lets not forget that he has not actually “banned” muslims, he has a temporary ban so as to put in place “extreme” vetting systems.

    Perhaps has been advised that anyone going to the US would be vetted to the equivalent of what he wants (whatever that is) – but that makes you wonder why don’t we just take them.

    Perhaps it is just an excuse to give the US something for nothing.

  11. Vikingduk

    Perhaps the conversation could include the question of this will they won’t they take the refugees, asking why were they even asked, why don’t we accept our responsibilities, why do we accept the revoltingly cruel treatment given to these people.

    Ask as well how this society has come to be, that we can be fed a diet of hate and lies, that media and the rich encourage and enable the spread of more and more vile shit. Is this really who we are, our values, that we accept we are morally bankrupt and can’t tell shit from custard.

    How has this reality come to be. Those that still have love in their hearts unfortunately don’t have as loud a voice as the hate mongers. Why?

  12. bobrafto

    Just sitting in front of the computer waiting for the mopped floor to dry so I can get out of the house for no other reason than to have a fag i.e a rollie ciggie when it struck me, the Donald will have a heart attack by the end of the year brought on probably in an attempt at a pussy grab which could spell the end of his reign.

    I made the pussy grab up but unfortunately I did have a vision of Trump slumping over his desk.

  13. Terry2


    The PNG Supreme Court determined that those held on Manus Island were held illegally according to the provisions of the PNG Constitution. So, Peter Dutton – as he did with Nauru – arranged for the gates of the detention centres to be opened between dawn and dusk, giving the impression that these people are not actually being held and can come and go as they wish (at their peril).

    The PNG Supreme Court do not accept this and have called on Australia to close the detention camp and resettle the detainees but so far Dutton has declined to do anything beyond the people swap for those awaiting US resettlement on Costa Rica.

    Yesterday I heard Greg Sheridan from News Corp saying that these people had been given several resettlement opportunities but have declined to take them : he mentioned, going back to where they came from, going to Cambodia or staying in PNG (or Nauru).

    Unfortunately we are dealing with an intransigent and deceptive government and Immigration Minister and the dominant media group who peddle this twaddle.

  14. havanaliedown

    It might fall through when Trump finds out Turnbull is a politically inept clown, who responded to news of Trump’s victory with a shocked air of “this is an unforseen crisis that we will somehow survive”. He must have been getting his news from CNN!

  15. jimhaz

    [the Donald will have a heart attack by the end of the year brought on probably in an attempt at a pussy grab which could spell the end of his reign]

    It’s a pity Theresa May is not a hot young blond. Lets sack Hockey and Bishop and train up some devious hot spies that look like Ivanka to replace them 🙂

    As a gift to the new president, I suggest all countries give him a supply of the novelty hands one sees at sporting events, or some gold P’s.

  16. Kyran

    It seems odd to note that chump is being roundly (and rightly) criticised for his idiotic edicts, yet he is doing little more than announcing the American version of our policy.
    Your article, and the three linked articles, serve as reminders that, for nigh on five years, we have incarcerated people without charge in order to punish those who provided their mode of transport. The horrors they are fleeing, their religion, their skin colour, all are merely incidental to any discussion. Our obligations under the numerous Human Rights charters we are signatory to are merely incidental to any discussion. As Terry2 has pointed out, we have generously afforded them the right to refoulement or the right to live in lands in which they will never be welcome. Even if the phone call was anything other than a piss and wind session between two piss and wind merchants, all that will be achieved is that we will allow America to be another alternative venue in which they will never be welcome.
    Mr Rafto’s and Ms M’s articles go back to November, 2015. Both advanced good intelligent argument to bring them here. Since then, we have been made aware of billions being wasted without oversight in order to reinforce the illusion that our borders are safe. Since then we have heard of our governments complicity in ‘people smuggling’, when they paid the people smugglers for the ‘return trip’. Since then, more of these poor souls have died, for want of nothing more than the care we are obliged to provide them.
    As Vikingduk noted “How has this reality come to be. Those that still have love in their hearts unfortunately don’t have as loud a voice as the hate mongers. Why?”
    Enough of these piss and wind merchants and their meaningless posturing. Enough, please. FFS BRING THEM HERE.
    Thank you Mr Brisbane and commenters. Take care

  17. 1petermcc

    I thought the agreement (if such exists and persists) resulted from Donald not attending his morning briefings. If it doesn’t make the HuffPoo he doesn’t know the details. Of course it could be Donald channelling our very own Tony “Captain Chaos” Abbott.

    How scary is that?

  18. jimhaz

    I’m sure Australia would wish for a wall to be built if we had the equivalent situation that they have with Mexico. If say sea levels had risen over the last 150 years to allow Indonesians land access to Australia.

    It would literally be a man made “Great Barrier Wall”

    You’d find moderates or lowish empathy people like me would support it. What I do not support is excessive measures that turn people already resident against a country by being too punitive or thoughtless. It is possible I’d apply sanctions based actions against middle eastern countries – particularly Saudi Arabia – gone would be all the money invested in horse racing and super boats and other top end luxuries they buy from the west. Nor would I allow into Australia any family where the wife wears a Burqa – as it is a clear sign of fundamentalism.

  19. bobrafto

    I read this on fb this morning and goes something like this:
    I try and keep myself informed on world events but it clashes with my senses of staying sane.

    I had this thought when May met Trump and wondered if May thought if Donald would go for a grab.

    However, Trump doesn’t need to do any of that as he already has May and Turnbull by the short and curlies.

  20. Freethinker

    Not something to be proud of it, quote from the head news:

    Scott Morrison has declined to criticise Donald Trump’s contentious travel ban, saying it is up to the United States to determine its border control arrangements, and noting the rest of the world is now “catching up” with Australia’s harsh deterrence policies.
    End of quote

    How low this mob can get?

  21. Steven Forsyth

    May I ask a question?….. Has Trump ever tried to do business here?
    If so. did we reject him?
    If we did, we know why he obviously doesn’t give two hoots about us.

  22. Dyve

    We’ve just had Morrison on with Hadley saying he empathises with Trump. Says it’s good to see ‘the world’ catching up with Australia’s border protection policies. And Bishop saying Australia will continue to work with the US to keep our borders secure. These declarations are obviously part of the quid pro quo for the nebulous Trump promise to take ‘some’ of our Nauru/Manus refugees. Geez, it makes yer proud to be an Aussie, eh cobbers?

  23. Vikingduk

    Dyve, proud as, and what a shit, missing Hadley & scum, two psychopath bullies going hard, the hate must have been tangible. I know we are supposedly taking some of theirs, but is this it? The only payment the yanks want?

    Meanwhile, all this vicious shit is condoned and encouraged by corrupt media, and we allow this shit to happen in our names. Proud to be strayan, effing oath, more cruelty, more lies, more hate is what we need, we need to wallow a bit more in this alternate facts universe, which, I have on good authority, is just to the north of Uranus, where many a wayward traveller has come to a sticky end, really bottoming out, finding even bullshit can have a sting in the tail.

    Enough of this verbal diarrhoea, see if I can find someone else to give the shits to.

  24. Kyran

    “Hmm! The prosecution rests, Your Honour!”
    My bad, Mr Brisbane. I should have referenced Mr Keogh’s article. Whilst the prosecution is resting, through pardon, the persecution is only just beginning.
    The ACL headquarters was firebombed last year and, within hours, the proprietor of the numb-nut’s was declaring it as such. Within hours, the Police were calling out his crap. They not only managed to establish facts, but they released them pretty quickly.
    An Islamic centre here in Melbourne was ‘damaged by fire’ on three separate occasions last year. VicPol have just announced the ‘Arson Squad’ will now investigate.
    Off the back of the news coming out of Canada, the dog’s are not only off the leash, they are rabid.
    Thanks again, Mr Brisbane. Take care

  25. Kyran

    “Turnbull has won favourable headlines in the wake of having Trump reconfirm the deal.”
    Thanks for the link, Mr Brisbane. I’m pretty sure I’m about to be sick, again.
    My bucket runneth over. Take care

  26. Peter F

    To quote our PM . . .”Peace in our time”

  27. bobrafto

    It’s all a matter of trust

  28. Peter F

    No Australian will be affected. Except, perhaps the schoolboy in Melbourne who has had his application for travel to the USA with a school group rejected at the American Embassy: Turnbull’s response? ” that is an individual case. ”

    I heard this on ‘The world today’ ABC RN at lunchtime.

  29. Arthur Baker

    Turnbull is scared shitless. If he criticises Trump’s policies, he knows Trump is so volatile and self-obsessed he might entirely cancel the Nauru/Manus refugee deal, and the right wing of his own party might just chuck a leadership challenge and reinstate Abbott. If he doesn’t criticise Trump’s policies, he knows he’ll be hit with mighty criticism from Labor, Greens, some cross-benchers, and a swag of ordinary Aussies. There’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian Prime Minister with enough guts to tackle problems. Unfortunately he’s a gutless piece of crap, so he won’t tackle anything, let alone the problems in his own party.

  30. helvityni

    A shrinking PM, that’s our Mal.

  31. havanaliedown

    Mal’s “zenith” was during his tenure as Opposition Leader in 2009, and rightly lost the job due to being unelectable, compounded with his woeful performance against Rudd. Anybody expecting anything beyond his political capabilities displayed at that time is dwelling in the delightful garden of unreasonable expectations.

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