Piers Akerman speaks about Bill Shorten officially announcing his citizenship status
Introduction – Bill Shorten, Leader of he Opposition is Australian
Ross: That is Piers Akerman who is on the line right now.
Piers, many thanks for your time.
Interview with Piers Akerman, Columnist and Commentator
Piers Akerman: Well, thank you, Ross. Look, that was a terrific summation. You raised a number of excellent points. I think that Bill Shorten, as we all know, is a smarty-pant. He has tried to play the gallery and the Australian public. Really, it’s by concealing the fact that he’s known for 11 years. That’s how long it is since his renunciation of British citizenship was confirmed. He’s had that proof and he got another letter from the British government six years ago. I guess he must have made some sort of application. He wanted confirmation that that renunciation was, in fact, legal and he got it.
Ross Greenwood: He tried to play politics, which is pure and simple?
Piers Akerman: Absolutely. It was very interesting in parliament today. With the extraordinary situation we’re witnessing literally exploding in North Korea at this moment, he was still playing politics about dual citizenship.
Ross Greenwood: In other words, what people should see through here is the fact he was trying to protect his own members of parliament, who clearly have issues with their citizenship. Yet he was quite prepared to have the government of the day swing on the vine, knowing that many of its members themselves had opened themselves up to investigations by the High Court while, quite clearly, there were similar accusations that could have been leveled against the Labor Party. It was simply that the Labor Party said, “Well, unless you really specifically ask, don’t provide any proof whatsoever.”
Piers Akerman: Absolutely. You raised another name who I think there should be a huge question mark over, and that’s Penny Wong. Because we know for a fact that she was born in Malaysia. Her father is Malaysian. I’m not quite sure whether the Malaysian government ever acknowledges a citizen who renounces citizenship. She’s told us that she has Australian citizenship, but where’s the proof? It’s a bit like Islam. The movements don’t recognize people who say that they’ve renounced Islam because they give them as apostate. In fact, go up and chop their heads off.
The Malaysian government has a very firm view of people who wish to renounce citizenship. I think that there’s a lot of fire to be directed at Penny Wong. As you so aptly said, the whole issue is totally eclipsed by Kim Jong-un’s nuclear explosion, which was absolutely massive. Just as I was talking to you, cast a glance out the window and I see there is a full moon. I just don’t know what the effect on lunatics like Kim Jong-un this lunar phenomenon will have.
Ross Greenwood: The real issue is, if it is testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and they claim that these could potentially reach into the Northern Territory, but it’s suggested that really the place that they would be looking more towards would be Guam, a United States territory. The real issue about this is it does heighten and escalate across the tensions between Korea, China, and also with the United States because China is in the middle of all this.
Piers Akerman: Absolutely. I thought it was very interesting. We view North Korea very much as a satellite state of the Chinese. Make no mistake. China doesn’t have the control over North Korea that Russia had over East Germany. The Russian foot was very heavily on the East German’s neck just as it was on many of the old Eastern block countries until the Berlin Wall came down. It was all over for the comms.
The Chinese have a very uneasy relationship with the North Koreans and always has. This has to be played out. We can put a lot of pressure on the Chinese, but I think the Chinese through backchannels are telling both the Australians and the Japanese and, of course, more importantly, the Americans, that they can apply a lot of sanctions and so forth. What do you do if they cut the water off to North Korea or power and this absolute maniac, this attention-seeking lunatic, directs a missile straight down to Beijing?
Ross Greenwood: This is the real problem because then it would be on the young and old. Quite clearly, that country is armed and has defenses and it would not be an easy particular place to go and raid if that were the intention of any of those allies. Piers Akerman, the commentator and also columnist, not only for news.com.au but also all of its newspapers as well.
Piers, as always, we appreciate your time.
Piers Akerman: Thank you.