Monday, August 07, 2006

How To Win Friends And Influence People (Part 4 !!!!)

Scren shot of google news showing a list of news items about Australia being frozen out of Iraq wheat marketThe Australian wheat saga continues to instruct, inform, and entertain. As I summarised it in part 3 of this saga:

"I've always liked the Australians, any nation that includes within its idiom the expression that somebody is "as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool" has a certain something going for it. but even by Australian standards this one just keeps on giving. We're now up to three exclamation marks and I confidently expect to hit exclamation mark number four before the month is out. The story so far:

  • Australian officials are trying to get Iraq back as a market for agricultural produce.
  • They're less than popular with the Iraqi Minister for Trade because of Australian embroilment in the oil-for-food and bribery scandals.
  • Iraq has already rejected one shipment of Australian wheat because it was contaminated.
  • Australian troops opened fire on the bodyguards of the Iraqi Minister for Trade, killing one bodyguard, two civilians, and wounding others
  • The Australian government has not only refused to apologise but said that the bodyguards opening fire was perfectly proper."

Part 3 of this saga gives further details and now, sure enough we're up to part four. The new improved enquiry has apparently sunk without a trace and the Australians are now well and truly shut out of the market. The screen shot accompanying this story is eloquent. But there's an interesting difference between the coverage then and the coverage now. If you follow the links in Part 3 you'll see that Australian journalists (rightly) considered the shooting and the Australian government's refusal to make nice would be big issue, in whether Australia would be permitted back into a major market that they'd been servicing for 58 years, this story for example. However if you read the coverage today of the fact that Australia has effectively shut itself out of the Iraqi market you won't see any mention of the episode as a factor. None, zero, zilch. But what the hell I hit my target of 4 exclamation marks and wasn't too far out in my prediction of when I'd hit the said target - so I'm happy. Too bad about those Australian farmers who can't sell their produce but hey they voted for 'em so they can live with the consequences. To paraphrase Rummy "You try to sell your stuff with the government you thought you'd like to have to the government they've really peed off." That's what Freedom™ is all about right? just ask George, his good friend in Canberra - Michael, and a lot of happy American farmers.

What's the strine for "Gotcha suckers?"


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