Wry & Dry

Napoleon Turnbull piles on the frequent flyer points

Napoleon Bonaparte loved to travel.  From 1795, when he saved the French government from collapse by firing upon the Parisian mobs with cannons and was rewarded with the command of the Army of Italy, until the denouement of his career at Waterloo 20 years later, Napoleon trekked all over Europe. From Spain to Russia to Egypt he travelled, either meeting with, or ousting, heads of government.  There was a small amount of collateral damage, it seems, done by his army.  But Wry & Dry will not trifle with trifles.

And if the last couple of weeks are any indication, so too does Napoleon Turnbull love to travel.  No sooner does he save the Australian government from collapse by firing upon the wooden Liberal mobs and oust a head of government, than he is on Air Force One (or whatever the RAAF call our government's PM's ageing plane).  And piling on the frequent flyer points as he hit Jakarta, Berlin, Antalya and Manila with charisma and diplomacy.

Here's the trap, as W&D sees it.  Look at Australia's Prime Ministers: the London loving Menzies; the classical-seeking Whitlam; the I-wanna-be President-of-the-world Rudd; the Congress-awed Gillard; the take-me-to-where-my-wife-can-wear-a-hold-the-front-page-dress McMahon; etc.  All puffed out their massive and not so massive chests in the company of world leaders and world media.  

So, too, Napoleon Turnbull.  And, by all reports, he managed the 'world stage' with ease, blending his economic and business experience with his classical education and interests.  

But the world stage doesn't vote.  We-the-taxpayers do. And whilst there are plenty of global issues to be solved, let's not pretend that Australia is the pivot to the solutions.  The main game for Turnbull is here.

Bonaparte's legacy was on the French stage: the Napoleonic Code.  His ego led him to disasters on the world stage.         

Turnbull will do well to remember the footlights of home.