During his speech to the Australian Parliament in Canberra today, British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the close-knit relationship that still exists between Australia and Britain.
And threw in a few one-liners for good measure.
While Cameron addressed significant issues such as terrorism, the threat of protectionism, press freedoms and political corruption, he broke up the sobering dialogue with a few barbs about Australia’s tug-of-war relationship with Britain, the parodies of politics and a befitting “shirtfronting” crack.
Here we go. Hold onto your sides:
- While discussing Australia’s willingness to help in times of global crisis, Cameron referred to a run-in he had with Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Europe.
“Only last month your Foreign Minister strode across the room towards me at a summit in Italy. I wondered for a moment whether I was heading for what I’m told we now need to call a ‘shirtfronting’.”
- He referred to the ongoing antagonistic rivalry that continues to persist between Australia and Britain.
“There’s our rivalries on and off the playing field, our fondness for teasing each other’s habits and phrases; of course, we Poms are known for our bluntness and we never really get your tendency to beat around the bush and not say what you really mean.”
- He also said that despite all the barbs traded in the modern political arena, the values that underpin our societies are strong.
“I was spotted by an American on the streets of New York recently and he said, ‘Hey Cameron, I watch your television show, Prime Minister’s Questions, I love it.”
But no, really, all jokes aside, Cameron reminded the Australian people that the relationship between the two Commonwealth countries was stronger than ever.
“There is no more dependable ally when the chips are down,” Cameron said.
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