We have principles, but we don't believe in acting on them
Now Abbott is becoming a caricature of himself:
We don't like whaling. We would like the Japanese to stop. On the other hand, we don't want to needlessly antagonise our most important trading partner, a fellow democracy, an ally.
No policy that is overwhelmingly supported by the Australian people will be supported by an Australian government led by Tony Abbott, incase somewhere there is a popularly-elected government somewhere that takes a contrary view. I told you he was gutless but even I'm stunned by this.
Abbott would never have stood up to Indonesia over East Timor. He would never have elped other countries with the tsunami ("I am full of compassion for victims of natural disasters, but ..."). If he got the chance, you could expect him to cancel next summer's Ashes tour - we don't want to stir up anti-English feeling do we? Besides, even if the Australian team did win the Ashes would remain in England, so why bother?
The Trade Minister, Simon Crean, said he was not concerned "one bit" that the dispute would affect trade with Japan, and that factor would not determine Australia's decision to take legal action.
Quite right too. This issue is so well established that a volte-face such as Abbott is proposing would have no credibility, in Tokyo or anywhere else.
Once again the Shadow-Foreign-Minister-in-name-only had a big role in this announcement, not to mention the would-be Trade Minister and Deputy PM in a Coalition government. The tin ear for the popular mood, the gutlessness in promoting Australia's interests abroad and the abject dependance on the ALP to define the otherwise shaky self-image of these so-called conservatives is what gets to me.