Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Defining shirtfronting

I must admit that I did not know what shirtfronting meant when Mr Abbott used it in the context of Mr Putin. I am obliged to the ABC for this definition:

For the Shirtfront (Australian Rules) noun, "A fierce tackle, usually delivered by the shoulder to the chest of an opponent." verb, "The act of delivering such a tackle." - Oxford Australian Dictionary.

The ABC story linked above has some video clips of the now banned shirtfronting in practice. The Russian local diplomatic response can be found here. Mr Abbott has not repeated the term, referring instead to possible robust discussions. PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie takes a dim view of the whole thing, praising Mr Putin’s “great values”.

There is an air of unreality about the Australian discussion. This includes Opposition leader Shorten who wishes that the Government could have done more to prevent Mr Putin attending the Brisbane G20 summit. Yes, Australia’s political leaders need to reflect local concerns, but that also needs to be tempered with a degree of reality.


Evan said...

"An air of unreality" as in: you couldn't make this stuff up!

Jim Belshaw said...

I suspect quite right, Evan.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the originality of shirt fronting came from British Parliament where members from one side challenged members from the other side whilst outside parliament to a debate once back in parliament by politely coming shirtfront to shirtfront without violence

Austin said...

I think Mr Abbott is a national embarrassment. I cant think of any other Prime Minister ever threatening a leader of another country with physical force (except for the gulf wars). This is stuff better left in the pub, except aren't we supposed to be discouraging this type of behaviour. And let's not forget we are supposed to trust this fool and his colleagues with shifting the balance of personal freedoms. This guy is in line with George Dubbya when it comes to stupid quotes. Can we rely on Mr Abbott? You bet you are!

Anonymous said...

Jim How did this man (Abbott) ever become a Rhodes Scholar. Have they changed the entry requirements?

Jim Belshaw said...

Accepting that rules change all the time, anon, I doubt that the rules changed in any particular way. It's just that the criteria used to select RS and those used to judge prime ministerial behaviour are not the same.

Austin,it's rhetorical language - accept the pub analogy - targeting a local audience. That doesn't make Mr Abbott a fool, just (in my opinion) unwise. That un-wisdom also makes me uncomfortable about the personal freedom arguments. I don't trust the Government or, for that matter, the opposition to strike the right balance.

Jim Belshaw said...

Anon, your comment got caught in the spam trap! How interesting. So it went from there to AFL and back. Somehow, I doubt that Mr Abbott had the more genteel definition in mind!

Jenny Yuan said...

Hello Jim. I quite like Mr Abbott hes manly and not afraid to stan up to the Russian Premier Putin. I wish more Australian leaders around the world could be like him. I think hes doing what s best for the country with his limit on resources. I'd like to see if those critisizng could do half as good a job. I'm sorry english is my second language I like you blog.

J Yuan

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Jenny, welcome and thanks. Good to have an alternative view. Don't worry about your English. It's understandable.

Anonymous said...

We all know that Mr Putin (Ex K.G.B) sent sophisticated
Weapons and experts to the so called rebel forces to
Shoot Down any planes flying over the Ukraine.Mr Abbot
Only said what many other people were thinking that
Russian soldiers not Ukranians were sent to the border
as Mr Putin attempted to take over other countries
In the Baltic CIrcle.Sounds a return to the Communist
Regime to me.Sorry Mr Putin sending your war ships
Off the coast of Australia does'nt frighten anyone
We have more friends than you do.