By Andrew Bolt ~
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is slow to adjust to Donald Trump’s win. But he should learn three things from this video of Trump’s presser with British PM Theresa May.
First, Trump can charm even the usually viciously hostile media. And here is a clue from Trump: “I’m not as brash as you might think… I’m a people person and I think you are too Theresa.”
Second, Trump listens and will defer to his experts – in this case to his new Defence Secretary, General “Mad Dog” Mattis, who opposes Trump on the use of torture.
Third, he’s made a win-win deal with May on NATO, making her seem a moderating influence but getting her support for reform.
May has played her cards beautifully, defying the shock-horror at home from the media class to go to Washington and deal with the monster Trump.
She put any differences to one side, at least publicly, while still holding to her arguments, particularly on the danger of going soft on Russia. She has praised Trump, who in return has given May privileged access and backed her on Brexit.
May has instead preferred to grab this opportunity to form a common (conservative) front to help both sides in some of the defining geo-political and cultural challenges of our times:
[May set] out her vision for a new “special relationship” between post-Brexit Britain and Donald Trump’s US, she said both countries had a mission to resist the “eclipse of the west” by China, India and Russia.
In a foreign policy speech to congressional Republicans in Philadelphia, she said the decline of the west was not inevitable but the US and UK had to “lead together, again”.
In a pointed reference to China, Mrs May said she hoped rising powers would embrace democracy and liberty but said that, if they did not, the west would have to stand up for its values.
“We — our two countries together — have a joint responsibility to lead,” she said. “Because when others step up as we step back, it is bad for America, for Britain and the world.”
That jibes perfectly with Trump’s own message, to the great advantage of Britain.
Why has Turnbull not tried something similar?
Instead, we get this – as described by Terry McCrann:
Yet there’s previous little indication that any of this has penetrated either the political or bureaucratic mindsets. That is what was so depressingly captured by Malcolm Turnbull’s embarrassingly inept response to Trump’s icing of the TPP trade deal.
It wasn’t just that the Prime Minister was clinging to a dead duck like a teenager to his or her shabby teddy bear — a duck that was not only dead, but buried and cremated — making the ludicrous suggestion that we could just substitute China for the US.
But the way it thunderingly announced the total political, policy and indeed advisory unpreparedness for Trump’s actual arrival in the White House…
Again, what a competent, or merely awake, PM should be doing himself and demanding from his policy advisers is to identify and isolate what of the post-Trump ascendancy we can take as likely; and so provides a reasonably solid basis for adjusting our policy response; and what is in the “too hard” or merely unpredictable basket…
Yet we had a PM, at best totally unprepared for an inevitability, but really in total denial of reality. Apparently we have a treasurer who is only slightly better.
Overnight, as we reported yesterday, Scott Morrison would be beating the drum in London for his company tax cut plan in the wake of the Trump ascendancy and Trump’s promise to cut the US company tax rate. Sorry Scott, your plan is so November 8. As our graphic showed, Trump wants to slash the US rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent, the same rate of the country closest to our economy, Canada. Britain, already at 20 per cent, is aiming for 17 per cent by 2020. You want to go to 25 per cent, by 2026-27. Far too little, far too late.
Here’s an idea: Malcolm Turnbull should deliver a major speech on how Trump can be good for Australia.
Let the media choke. Its rage will only advertise Turnbull’s conservative credentials (such as they are) and his agility in seizing any opportunity to advance our national interests.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.