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Should our PM meet Trump? Discuss (even if the mere question sounds absurd)

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28.07.2019

Australia's greatest speechwriter died last week. Words written by Graham Freudenberg half a century ago, for Labor leader Arthur Calwell, retain their power: "When the drums beat and the trumpets sound, the voice of reason and right can be heard in the land only with difficulty." Calwell was arguing against Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Freudenberg's language was elegant and forceful, but was not, in his opinion, the reason the speech was admired later on. His words lasted because the possibility they raised - that America would be humiliated - came about. Labor had stood against the tide, at a crucial moment in history, and was - as Freudenberg had predicted - eventually vindicated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, right, chats with US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29. Picture: Kazuhiro Nogi/AP

I do not know what Freudenberg thought about Australia's current approach to America, but I can tell you what he thought of Donald Trump. Trump, he said, was "authentic, but I see the deadly side. The authentic Trump is someone who despises democracy, despises his own cabinet, despises practically everything. And is serious about the things he despises."

This week senior officials from Trump's administration will travel to Australia,........

© Canberra Times