15 November, 2014. 13:18
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | [email protected]
THE LEADERS OF the G20 have assembled in Brisbane today for the first round of discussions over the issues affecting the global community.
Prime minister Tony Abbott has insisted they all call each other by their first name as they gathered for a lunch today provided by celebrity BBQ chef Ben O’Donoghue.
As one of few media representatives present, the Betoota Advocate was able to ask the age old question delivered to world leaders by the Australian press – “what do you think of the place?”
Despite cultural differences and barriers of language and custom, the leaders of the world told the Advocate what they thought.
Most of the leaders had their heart in the right place, but it seemed to many that their compliments were lost in translation.
10. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.
“This is by far the best outpost of all the backwater English colonies – at least they don’t speak French.”
9. Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan.
“I still feel immense guilt for the Japanese people because of the devastation we brought upon Brisbane during WWII. The scars of the conflict are still visible today.”
8. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.
“This place is wacky, like, really bizarre. It’s kind of cool. South Africans will always have a soft spot for Brisbane after Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen allowed the Springboks to tour during apartheid.”
7. Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy.
“The coffee is really bad. They don’t understand it but the people are nice.”
6. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
“I feel very safe in Brisbane – safer than Indian students in Melbourne. I would’ve brought a much larger security detail if this meeting were in Victoria.”
5. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey.
“This place is cute.”
4. Abdullah, King of Saudi Arabia.
“I’m staying on the Golden [sic] Coast – a place that Allah, the merciful and peaceful, has clearly forsaken. Brisbane is beautiful, though.”
3. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.
“If the Gold Coast is the Miami of Australia, then Brisbane is the New Jersey Shoreline.”
2. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
“I’d never been to Brisbane before and HRH Queen Elizabeth II told me “not to get my hopes up”. I wish I came out for the Lions tour.”
1. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation.
“It’s isolation has given Brisbane a regional charm, much like Vladivostok or Pripyat.”