It’s Actually a Good Idea … Russian government spokesmen were slightly perplexed when Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbot announced that he intended to ‘shirt-front’ Russia’s president Putin on occasion of an upcoming G 20 meeting in Brisbane. Abbott is a former amateur boxer, who actually once knocked out his treasurer, but he may not be aware that Putin has a black belt in Judo:
‘Prime Minister Tony Abbott intends to have a one-on-one meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a summit of the world’s 20 biggest economies in Brisbane next month to demand Russian cooperation with a Dutch-led investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysia airliner in Ukraine by Russian-backed separatists with the loss of 298 lives in July.
Abbott told reporters on Monday he was ‘going to shirtfront Mr. Putin,’ using an Australian Rules Football term for a head-on shoulder charge to an opponent’s chest aimed at knocking the opponent backward to the ground.
Abbott is an athletic 56-year-old former amateur boxer who famously punched his Treasurer Joe Hockey unconscious when they were both Sydney University students decades ago. Putin is a 62-year-old former KGB officer and judo black belt.
Alexander Odoevski, third secretary of the Russian Embassy in Canberra, described Abbott’s threat as unhelpful.
‘We consider the recent statements tough talk; we consider it immature,’ Odoevski told Australian Associated Press.
‘Hopefully there’s no fight. Well, definitely we admire the Australian prime minister. He’s very fit, but the Russian president, he’s a professional judo wrestler,’ Odoevski told Ten Network television.
We will refrain from commenting too extensively on the accusation that Putin is somehow ‘hindering the investigation into the shooting down of MH 17′, or the assumption that pro-Russian actually did the deed, which remains an unproved allegation. So far the progress of the investigation suggests that the investigators themselves have no great interest in making too many waves about it (as noted previously, reportage in the mainstream press has practically disappeared, and what little has been revealed so far is at best apt to feed suspicions).
Anyway, immature or not, the idea is actually not a bad one in principle. Instead of sending people off to die in wars, or impoverishing citizens with economic sanctions, let our various ‘dear leaders’ fight their differences out among themselves.
It would be a lot less costly in terms of both blood and treasure, and would be a great boon to bookmakers and gamblers as well. Naturally, it would also add greatly to the entertainment value of politicians, which as we always point out is a politician’s by far most important characteristic.
Tony Abbott (right) in his boxing days in the 1980s.
(Photo source: sbs.com.au, author unknown)
This post was published at Acting-Man on October 16, 2014.