So the G20 big show is over for another year. Sure, there were some important (boring) landmark trade and investment deals hammered out in Brisbane over the weekend, but it was the photo-ops, diplomatic gossip and realpolitik bickering that caught the headlines. It all made for an absorbing chapter in the epic saga of international relations.
The Russians are coming!
It all kicked off the day before the summit, with the revelation that a vast Russian armada was bearing down on Australia from the normally tranquil waters off Bougainville.
Were the boats filled from bow to stern with Russian soldiers on holiday, coming to protect Australia’s oppressed Russian speaking minority? Or were they just under orders to give Tony Abbott a good ole-fashioned boatfronting for daring to get a bit cranky with the nefarious Vlad?
The fact that the flotilla comprised of a measly four vessels, one of which was a tugboat in case the other three broke down, was irrelevant. Someone call Scott Morrison!
Putin gets greetfronted by Canadian hard man
Before Tony Abbott could lay a hand on the Russian president, Canadian strong-man Stephen Harper laid his own diplomatic smack down on Vladimir Putin.
An ever cordial Vlad went to shake the hand of the Canadian prime minister at the G20 leaders retreat.
“I guess I’ll shake your hand but I have only one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper reportedly told Putin.
Yeah; take that, Vlad! Vlad was reportedly unamused, but it was difficult to tell.
Abbott gets speechfronted by Obama
As much as Tony Abbott tried to keep climate change off the G20 agenda, Barack Obama made sure it was on everyone’s lips.
In a speech given at Queensland University, the US president lauded the relationship between the two great friends of Australia and the United States, and then swiftly backhanded the Aussie PM’s stance on carbon emissions.
“No nation is immune and every nation has a responsibility to do its part,” Obama told the adoring crowd.
“You will recall at the beginning I said the US and Australia has a lot in common. Well one of the things we have in common is we produce a lot of carbon … which means we’ve got to step up,” he said, to rapturous applause from all the leftist, commie, druggie, hippy students.
Tony opens global talks with big whinge
As chair of the G20 summit, Tony Abbott was tasked with opening formalities with a statesmanlike welcoming speech. He managed to squeeze in a bit of a moan about his home-life woes, though.
“It doesn’t matter what spending program you look at, it doesn’t matter how wasteful that spending program might appear, there are always some people in the community who vote, who love that program very much,” he told the assembled leaders of the other 19 most powerful nations on Earth.
“For a long time, most Australians who went to see a doctor have been seen at no charge and we would like to see a $7 co-payment for people who are going to see the doctor,” he told them.
“In most countries this is not unusual … but it is proving to be massively difficult to get this particular reform through the Parliament,” he said before bemoaning the opposition his proposed deregulation of uni fees is encountering. Poor Tony.
Angela Merkel could be seen muttering “Vot der eff?” and skipped off to the pub while Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten, disguised as a waiter, could be heard shouting “boo!” from the sidelines. Well, not quite. But Shorten did later describe Abbott’s speech as “weird and graceless”.
On the plus side, perhaps mad Vlad gained some insight into why Tony is so uptight and developed a little more sympathy for his fellow macho-man?
G20fest: Merkel mayhem on pub crawl
Well, she did make it to the pub after all. German chancellor Angela Merkel delighted Bris Vegas ragers when she cruised Caxton Street, dropping into a bar for beers and selfies.
G20, schmee-20; she knew where the real action was at. Prost!
How many bickering macho-men can a koala bear?
Aww. See, Vlad did connect with Tony’s inner feelings and can be a big softy after all.
Nothing like a couple of drowsy, fluffy, eucalyptus chewing marsupials to diffuse international tensions and prevent World War III, hey? Get one for that Canadian bloke, stat!
Ahh, there we go. Aww. And they found one that looks just like him.