1/Diplomacy and Indonesia. Less than 15 years ago the PM of Indonesia would not take phone calls from our PM. The issue? Turning back boats. We are playing with enormous stakes here. SBY is probably the first Indonesian leader who would have not already slammed the phone down. Arguments that are complete rubbish that are now being dragged out and spoken like they mean shit:

  • Indonesia receives a bunch of aid money from us! (Dog whistle - We pay those monkeys for their damn country they better do what we say) Sorry racist fucksticks our aid isn't that significant (the US is 171 million our 646.8 million. The Indonesia GDP is 900 BILLION) and is likely to be seriously cut under TA. At a broader level this is exactly the sort of bad neighbour attitude that will see our little Jason calling our nearest neighbours backwards.
  • We have a more mature relationship than just border relations! (Dog Whistle - Hurr we smarter than dem silly browns) Rubbish. The Indonesians have a very stoic and mature attitude to us. Indonesia is also an amazingly diverse and complex political landscape. Don't for one second think that the rabid bleatings of Barnaby Joyce aren't being heard and distributed by the more radical elements in Indonesia.
  • We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come! (Dog Whistle - I have a bigger penis than you) Rubbish. There are two sides to every border. This is fanciful and dangerous nonsense. The Indonesians are also concerned about their sovereignty. The right press are already trying to step back from the buy the boats comments.

2/We are fucking neighbours. This is a non issue. Worse it is a completely confected issue that ignores salient facts implicitly. We are starting down a road that is virtually guaranteed to end in a diplomatic incident (assuming there hasn't already been one) over nothing.

Conversely the media blackout may actually be a really good thing. Even if it plays into TA's immediate game. Having the blaring of boat arrival numbers like it was the ASX stock ticker may take some of the heat out of the issue. Small mercies?