Have other Australians (and anyone else interested) picked up this story from Crikey?
It seems our beloved Foreign Minister, Alexander ("bummer") Downer - (don't send, don't send, don't send him overseas) has been bullying the leader of fledgeling nation, East Timor, over lucrative treaties.
I guess we think we can shove 'em and rob 'em, eh - after saving their arses - 25 years too late, yes, but still...
And here was I thinking the US was acting like a bully!
1. AUSTRALIA vs EAST TIMOR - THE BULLYING CONTINUES
Is the Australian Government using familiar bullying tactics to quell
opposition by East Timor to those lucrative gas and oil fields?
If the manic reaction to Crikey's exclusive publication yesterday of the
transcript from the infamous November 27 meeting between Alexander
Downer and East Timor prime minister Mari Alkatiri is an indication, the
answer is: YES.
No sooner had we published our expose of Downer's private outburst
against Alkatiri than the sh*t hit the fan.
The BBC called within an hour and then Dr Alkatiri's office rang asking
us to urgently remove the confidential account of his meeting with
Downer from the site.
"The publication of a document purporting to describe a confidential
state-to-state meeting is helpful neither to the East Timorese people
nor the Australian people," wrote Alkateri advisor Jonathan Morrow in a
follow-up email to Crikey.
While this was happening, a jumpy Howard Government was throwing two
opposition MPs out of Parliament, and Alkatiri's office was sending
conflicting messages about the conduct of Downer and Howard during the
tense resource negotiations.
Greens Senator Bob Brown was ejected from the chamber for accusing
Australia of bullying our fledgling neighbor East Timor. Read the
sensitive document we published yesterday and you may also come to the
conclusion about Downer's patronising attitude:
Interestingly, Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon attempted to have it tabled in
Parliament yesterday but was unsuccessful.
Jonathan Morrow, meantime, was quoted on ABC TV news last night
criticising Downer's behaviour: "These pressure tactics will be seen to
be unhelpful and unnecessary. They were never needed."
The text of the November 27 ministerial meeting makes plain Downer's
boorish behaviour. Alkatiri tries to calm Downer, pleading: "Don't get
upset, please speak calmly on this issue".
Downer then berates Alkatiri for not accepting Australia's "generous"
offer: "I think your Western advisers give you very poor advice that
public opinion supports East Timor in Australia," Downer told Alkatiri.
" We are very tough. We will not care if you give information to the
media. Let me give you a tutorial in politics - not a chance."
Downer's patronising and colonialist demeanor is part of a pattern of
behaviour by Australian interests during as episode sure to damage our
image internationally. US Oil company sources have confirmed to us that
their Australian counterparts went ruthlessly trying to exploit the new
and inexperienced East Timor administration by renegotiating the
lucrative Greater Sunrise field deal."
Well done folks - maybe we can shove some South Pacific nations around as dessert? Oh - we already do that...