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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 04:15 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 04:15 | SYDNEY

Do PMs dream of Spanish sheep?

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26 June 2009 10:51

Creating tendentious linkages between distantly related countries seems to be the done thing lately. Fergus saw it in relation to some recent visits by African dignitaries; there isn't that much to say about Australian relations with Africa, so the hard-working public servants drafting the press releases had to really stretch to find some sense of solidarity.

The PM's speechwriters tried to pull off a similar trick yesterday, and again, you can feel the desperation. As Allan has said, the Prime Minister's use of Spanish to open his welcome speech to Spain's King and Queen was a triumph. But later, to illustrate the deep historical linkages between our countries, Rudd explained that the ubiquitous Merino sheep was actually a Spanish import, which led to this rather inelegant formulation:

Just as merino sheep once served as a link between Australia and Spain, it is now our common values and our commitment to making a global contribution that serve as the platform for a strengthened relationship between our two countries.

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