On the Trump English call:
PM praised for ‘civil’ discussion with Trump
Prime Minister Bill English has been praised for getting through a 15-minute phone call without upsetting United States President Donald Trump.
That is apparently where we set the bar these days. I think that Gordon Campbell had (as usual) the best summary:
So this is the Alice in Wonderland world in which we now live. One where PM Bill English wins praise for not provoking the Orange Queen into one of his “Off with their heads!” Twitter tirades. It’s nice that English had a pleasant phone conversation yesterday with US President Donald Trump, who reportedly knows a lot about New Zealand – he’s heard of Bob Charles, because he likes golf. Maybe Peter Thiel also put in a good word for us. (“Very few regulations. Not many refugees. Good guys, Mr President.”)
Reportedly, English told Trump he disagreed with the Muslim travel ban. What’s interesting about this is that English has never explained to the New Zealand public – let alone to Trump – just why he disagrees with it. Is it because the ban is Islamophobic? Or discriminatory on racial lines? Is it because the travel ban contravenes the values to which we subscribe, at home and in UN conventions that we’ve signed? Is it because the ban could undermine Iraqi support for the military effort in which our troops are currently engaged within that country? Who knows? English isn’t saying. …
English refuses to elaborate on specifics of the call, see One NEWS: Kiwis ‘ought to know what you said’ to Trump on immigration ban – Hilary Barry presses cagey Bill English, but according to English ‘I’m not there to scold him’.
I think it’s safe to say that gone are the days when NZ was not afraid to stand up and speak its mind to the USA.
The White House readout of Trump's call with English has been changed – replacing "alliance" with "partnership." No alliance here. Move on. pic.twitter.com/X6nbZ84rOv
— Claire Trevett (@CTrevettNZH) February 6, 2017