Barry Soper: Aussies want us to be no better than them

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with John Key. Photo / Getty
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with John Key. Photo / Getty

We all know what's behind the Aussie's deportation of Kiwi crims - essentially they want us to be no better than them. They want to turn us into the penal colony that their forebears foisted on them a couple of hundred years ago.

They've always had a chip on their shoulder and they want us to know what it feels like.

Seriously though don't expect that's going to change when John Key heads off later in the week to see his fervent admirer Malcolm Turnbull who told Barack last November in Manila he's a role model with Obama beaming, he's a wonderful guy who's become a good friend, and not just because the pair play golf together.

Despite the bromance Turnbull's facing an election this year and he knows going soft on Kiwis isn't going to win it for him.

At least our Prime Ministers do get on better than they did the last time there was a Malcolm in office. The lanky Malcolm Fraser never saw eye to eye with the squat Rob Muldoon, literally and figuratively. The pair set in train what was to become a frosty period in Prime Ministerial relationships.

Boozy Bob Hawke always viewed Big Dave Lange as something akin to a Methodist lay preacher. There was a bit more warmth between Hawke and Geoffrey Palmer, mainly because the Kiwi leader allowed him to win at golf

Even though they were both left footers Jim Bolger had an uneasy relationship with the slippery Paul Keating. It was only when John Howard moved into The Lodge that relations began to warm. Howard was almost moved to tears when Jenny Shipley found Bolger's soft spot between his shoulder blades.

Even though they were chalk and cheese, and from the opposite ends of the political spectrum, Howard and Helen Clark sealed what has become a ray of political sunshine on either side of the ditch, despite the brief thunderstorm created by the stand offish Kevin Rudd.

And because Rudd knew how to lose friends and discourage people he could find it tough to get support for the United Nations top job if Eastern Europe, whose turn it is, can't find a consensus candidate which is entirely possible with Vladimir Putin in the decision making mix.

It's a topic that could come up in the Sydney talks this week and Key's made it clear his predecessor Helen Clark's his firm choice.

He says he'll lobby every leader he knows if she puts her hand up which she'll most certainly do if there's a vacancy.

Now that'll certainly be a test for our Trans Tasman relations!

Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB's political editor

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