The Foot In The Mouth

I hate to say it. But, the Prime Minister of Australia suffers from foot-in-mouth disease.

His latest crazy utterance concerns the referendum debate for independence in Scotland. Yes. Scotland. Why he would bother to buy into that is a complete mystery to me.

But he did. And in doing so managed to mightily offend a very large number of Scottish people.

Scotland is deciding if it wants to be free of the UK and go its own way as an independent country in much the same way that the United States did with Great Britain. In Scotland’s case they won’t have to fight a war. Simply vote yes or no on the issue in about a month’s time.

At the moment the latest polls in Scotland are suggesting that a majority of Scots people are in favor of independence. But there is still a lot of water to pass under the bridge before the referendum and anything could happen.

To put this in context, the Australian Prime Minister happened to be in London for talks with the British Prime Minister David Cameron who was no doubt bemoaning to his antipodean counterpart that Scottish independence was not a good idea as far as the Poms were concerned.

Cue Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to announce at a London Press Conference that an independent Scotland would not be in the best interests of the international community. Say whaaa?

Abbott then went on to assert that “ the people who would like to see the break-up of the United Kingdom are not the friends of justice, not the friends of freedom, and that the countries that would cheer at the prospect of the break-up with the United Kingdom are not the countries whose company one would like to keep.” Say whaaa?

Of course it was enough to get the Scots including their First Minister positively choking on their haggis.

Mr Abbott’s remarks were called “bewildering and ludicrous”.

The Scottish Government weighed in saying “Many Australians, including the great number with close Scottish connections, will look on in bafflement at these remarks – Australia is a country that has gained its independence from Westminster and has never looked back.

“Scotland’s referendum is a model of democracy, which has been cited as such internationally, including by the US secretary of state. An independent Scotland will be a beacon for fairness, justice and cooperation in the international community – and a great friend of Australia.”

The Scottish Government went on to rightly point out that Australia and the United States had prospered as independent countries able to make their own decisions and with populations never contemplating any prospect of that being reversed.

Enough said. So what is the moral here?

I think a sound piece of advice to follow whether you be Prime Minister or average Joe. If you have nothing to say then say nothing.