Scary Bali

Bali – 14 yr old Australian Arrested on Drugs Charge!

This story which has been a big deal in the Australian Media has a number of interesting aspects some of which are well covered and some of which are not.

I am not going to pick on the parents too hard because I know that 14 year olds can have their moments, after all the average 14 year old knows so much they only go to school to help teachers pick up on what they missed out on. None the less, if I was a parent taking a 14 year old to Bali, I would be wanting to make sure that the child was well informed on the ideas of a regime which has adopted serious position on drugs, and has a less than desirable penal system. May be I am old an cynical, but I don’t see Kuta as a family holiday destination.

The Australian Consular Staff, and the foreign Affairs Department appears to be doing al in it’s power to gain the best outcome for the child involved. In fairness to Kevin Rudd, I believe it is a task he is well suited to, and that he does appear to be doing a fairly good job as Foreign Minister.

What I don’t get is why our Prime Minister should weigh in with a phone call to the boy in question, not through official channels, but by ringing the lawyer on a mobile and passing the phone through the bars.  I seems to smack being concerned that the Foreign Minister is getting good press around the story, and one thing that Julia would like is some good press. One wonders if in fact the real concern has more to do with the awkward relationship that appears to exist (understandably) between the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.

The risks actually become quite high at the point, because I changes the nature of the pressure on the Indonesian Government and  Jurisprudence, and they may well feel that this is becoming a political issue, outside of normal consular issues when dealing with foreign nationals. Most of us tend to dig in when it comes to pressure that we don’t see as reasonable or normal. If it in fact back-fired the child would just be another casualty in Julia’s desperate effort to be in the top job – note I did not suggest power as I think that resides in the likes of Oakeshott, Wilkie and Brown. It would be nice to think that the Prime Minister could offer support to the Foreign Minister, however perhaps he does not want to hear those words again, as he quite reasonably might start looking to see where the axe was swinging from.

Foreign Affairs seems to be a job that Kevin Rudd understands and makes a good fist of. He looks very comfortable and at home on the role. From the Prime Ministers stance that leaves him overseas a lot and out of her hair, so perhaps her best move would be to leave him to do his job, and try and do something with her own job, including reigning back some of the power she so gallantly gave away to live in the Lodge.


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