It’s pretty rare for Australia to make front page news anywhere else in the world. Occasionally a story about a crocodile or Bob Hawke at the cricket might pop up in the Daily Mail, but otherwise we don’t really exist. But thanks to a little conversation between our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Donald Trump, we’ve been promoted to actual real country status. Sucked in New Zealand.
With details of the ‘robust’ phone call being leaked by someone in the US Administration, it was revealed that Trump chastised Turnbull over an Obama-era refugee swap, calling it “the worst deal ever” and accused the leader of the country that birthed TISM, of trying to send “the next Boston bomber”. He also told Turnbull “this was the worst call by far” and reportedly hung up 35 minutes before scheduled.
Sounds very removed from the official White House version of events where to two “emphasised the enduring strength and closeness of the U.S-Australia relationship”. Just in case that wasn’t insulting enough, in the daily press briefing the following day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred to Turnbull as “Prime Minister Trumbul” while trying to emphasise the “tremendous amount of respect for the people of Australia” within the Administration. HUUUUUUUUGE RESPECT.
The conversation has been kicking around in the media for the past week or so because it’s a really big deal. You know why? Because…it’s really funny. If you don’t find the idea of a billionaire berating someone who is only a lowly multi-millionaire, both who happen to be world leaders, then you deserve to live in the dystopia that Steve Bannon has wet dreams about. Some pundits are saying that it will force Australia to reconsider its relationship with the US. Too bloody right! To be perfectly honest, foreign policy nerds have probably been exploring this possibility anyway, so bring it on! Nĭ hăo China!
All this phone call did is provide a silly snapshot of an orange reality tv star, owning a much weaker subservient. And because it’s our very own leather jacketted Silvertail, it’s particularly satisfying to imagine. Trump had Mr Point Piper Mansion cornered. He knows Turnbull couldn’t have made the refugee deal under his Presidency. So he let him have it. It’s something you’d probably find in a Mexican knock off of ‘the Art of the Deal’. Don’t mess with the baddest hombre, Señor Trumbul.
It’s not all bad for Malcolm, however. In a press release from the White House a few days later, the PM was identified as the President of Australia, a promotion the former leader of the Australian Republican Movement can truly be proud of.
By Oscar Clifford-Smith