Thursday, January 29, 2015

Babe 3-The touching story of the Dodo that thought he was a diplomat.......Greg Sheridan is no S.Rajaratnam

The same Greg Sheridan who could not see the Asian Crisis of 97/98 coming? And called Paul Krugman (and others) dodos for spelling out their weaknesses?

And the same Greg Sheridan who time and time again misreads even South East Asia?

Singapore would be insulted by the very thought that any country, even more so Australia ,would consider that some journalist would suffice as its high commissioner to their country.
Greg Sheridan is not S.Rajaratnam, and it is shocking that Tony Abbott, one time journalist cannot see the difference,and the insult this would have caused,not only to Singapore, but also to ASEAN.

Tony Abbott considered appointing The Australian's Greg Sheridan to plum posting

James Massola

January 30, 2015 - 1:44PM 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott considered his close personal friend, The Australiannewspaper's Greg Sheridan, for the plum posting of High Commissioner to Singapore after the 2013 election.

The possibility of the appointment was tightly held within the highest ranks of the Abbott government, though some senior Department of Foreign Affairs officials became aware of it.

Fairfax Media has been told that Mr Abbott and Sheridan discussed the position before the election and that it was formally considered by government after the 2013 poll.

But the newspaper's long-serving foreign editor, who has described Mr Abbott as his "best friend" during university days, turned down the job after discussing it with the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Chris Mitchell.

Mitchell confirmed to Fairfax Media on Friday that the offer had been made and "that's all there is to it. I talked him out of going and that his future is in journalism".

"Obviously Greg and I are personal friends, as are Greg and Tony, so I guess the offer was probably quite attractive but he has a pretty good job at the Oz too."

"I'm relaxed about it all. People get offered jobs by government all the time."

Contacted by Fairfax Media on Friday, Sheridan did not deny the appointment had been in prospect.

"There is nothing for me to say about it mate. I'm not interested in talking to you," he said.

News that the appointment was considered soon after the 2013 election may raise eyebrows in Coalition ranks and comes just days after Mr Abbott's disastrous decision to knight Prince Philip, which has prompted many Coalition MPs to question  the Prime Minister's judgment.

Sheridan and Mr Abbott were allies during their university days, with the pair on the same side during internal battles within the Australian Union of Students.

In 2012, Sheridan wrote that Mr Abbott was "my best friend at that time. We talked over everything. The meaning of life, the purpose of politics, who'd win the rugby league grand final, what girls we planned to ask out, petty squabbles we might have had with our parents".

Despite the pair being close, earlier this week Sheridan joined a chorus of criticism of the Prime Minister's "dismaying" decision to knight Prince Philip.

"It is wrong in principle, strategically mistaken and tactically disastrous," he wrote.

The current high commissioner is Philip Green, who unlike Sheridan is a career diplomat. Mr Green was a former chief of staff to Kevin Rudd during his days as foreign minister. He took up the posting in  November 2012.

Department of Foreign Affairs postings usually last for three years but they can run to as long as five years. Alternatively, postings can be cut short on the whim of the government of the day.

The process for appointing ambassadors and high commissioners involves the foreign minister making a recommendation to the prime minister, but it is up to the prime minister of the day to approve the appointment or make an alternative suggestion.

The Prime Minister's office has been contacted for comment.

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