Saturday 11th February 2017 - 11:50 am

Postscript 1 – Australia in the age of Trump

by Private Briefing Admin

The first encounter between the newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump and his Pacific ally, might seen as a sign of hope.

After all the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had finally stod up for something,  without fear, in that now famous phone call.

Mr Trump had previously agreed to fulfil two agreements that his predecessor, Barack Obama, of happy memory, had made with Australia to accept refugees it has been holding on Manus Island and Nauru.

But Mr Trump was clearly having  second thoughts.

A leaked reported quoted him as questioning why the US should accept more than 1,000 potential “Boston bombers” because Mr Obama had done a “dumb deal.”

Mr  Trump called those media reports inaccurate, but said Mr Turnbull had spoken truthfully about the exchange.

So are relations between the US and Australia back on course?

We would like to think so.

Mr Trump remains an unpredictable figure.

But his constant talk of putting “America first” has more than faint echoes of the “Deutschland Uber Alles” policies which cause so much harm in the Europe of the 1930s.

So how did the present situation arise?

Are there better choices available, even now?

We will be looking at these questions – and other urgent issues – in the weeks and months ahead.

But don’t expect a smooth flow of information.

This postcript to Private Brivate Briefing will be too complex for that.

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Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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