Interview with Charles Croucher, Nine Network, Today on Saturday
2nd July 2022
French President Emmanuel Macron waving au revoir to the riff that was caused by the cancellation of the submarine contract in a meeting overnight with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Let's bring in today's talker's liberal senator Jane Hume and nine news presenter Tom Rehn. Jane, we'll begin with you. It seems that the Prime Minister is sweet-talked us back into the good books.
Yes, I think that Anthony Albanese has unruffled those ruffled feathers in France, which is a good thing. You know, Australia's relationship with France is very deep and goes right back to World War One and World War Two. There's 45,000 Australians that lost their lives on French soil defending French soil back in that time, and since then, we've had relations that have gone up and down or you will recall, you know, France dropping nuclear bomb tests in French Polynesia in the 1980s and 1990s. So diplomatic relations have ebbed and flowed, and it's good to see them back on track. The good news is Anthony Albanese did not apologise for that AUKUS agreement. That's a very important strategic agreement for Australia. We should never apologise for making decisions in the national interest, particularly when it comes to national security.
Is this a case of good diplomacy? Or is it the extraordinary amount of money we paid them not to build submarines?
Well, certainly the French were very well compensated for cancelling that contract. But I think that everybody understands that when you make a decision like that, it's in the national interest. This is how diplomatic relations ebb and flow over history.
Tom, does this make it awkward for the former Prime Minister given that his successor seems to be butting up with Emmanuel Macron?
Look, possibly, but I think Jane makes a really good point in that we didn't want to be seen to be grovelling back to the French. I think it was a real test for Anthony Albanese and probably the first international test for him in terms of diplomacy. I think he came through with flying colours. Certainly from an outsider looking in, I mean, Jane's far more schooled to talk about this than I am, but I think it was really important that we didn't appear to be going back hands on knees type stuff. So I think it was a really good effort by Anthony Albanese, maybe slightly awkward for his predecessor, but I guess we move on now.
All right, let's move on. As you said to another big story this morning masks could be making a comeback because the country faces a spike in COVID cases. Jane, do you think Aussies will abide by another mask mandate?
I think Aussies will be very frustrated by mask mandate, but it's most important that we all now go out and get ourselves vaccinated. In fact, the Chief Health Officer in Queensland that was talking about these potential mask mandates also said that the vast majority of people that are entering hospital with COVID are over 65 and a not up to date with their vaccinations. So we can only urge Australians to do the right thing. Get out there, get vaccinated get their third dose, get their fourth dose if they qualify to do so. Because that's the best protection that we have against all strains of COVID-19.
Tom, you're at the scene of Adelaide's latest festival. Surely everyone's moved on?
This is the thing I think, you know, Jane also makes a great point in the sense that people are frustrated I think now we feel like we have taken that next step and ready to go on to you know what comes next in life. I'm here at illuminate Adelaide, which is a festival celebrating light and technology and culture. There's going to be lots of people here celebrating everything great. People don't want to go back to masks. So I think you're gonna find it very difficult to convince people to do it. I still see some people walking down the street wearing them, but they are very much in the minority. If you mandate it, I think you're going to get a fair bit of resistance this time around.
And finally, we have a new warning about a very old problem for parents this morning. More than 80% of Australian Children revealed not to be eating enough vegetables. Tom, what happened to the days of finishing everything on your plate before dessert?
It's hard. I've got three boys, Charles. I've got to say two of them eat brilliantly they'll eat, whatever is put in front of them. But the third one, impossible. We've tried everything. It's gotten to the point Charles where we've gone to the paediatrician and the good news for parents out there struggling or grandparents like me, is that there are you know, vitamins, supplements that you can take in and a lot of the advice has been they will eventually in most cases grow out of it. So it's patience. It's frustrating. Goodness me but you know what, I wasn't a great eater either. Hence, I'm so short and haven't grown that well. That's what I keep trying to tell my eight-year-old son. Don't be like dad!
Jane, you got some great produce in Victoria. What's the veggie intake like at your house?
Well, and used to be fantastic in fact, before I entered politics, I was one of those helicopter mothers that always sort of shoved things into spaghetti sauce and hid things in hamburgers all of that sort of stuff since entering politics and perhaps not quite so obsessive. I'm less helicopter parent now and more a satellite parent, I sort of fly by look down and say Is everything all right down there. See you on the next rotation. Look, my guys are actually good. They're getting a bit older now. And I think once they start getting girlfriends and boyfriends, they start impressing them with their vegetable intake.
Hey, great talking to you both this morning have a wonderful weekend.