WHO would have thought it - Boris Johnson has finally made good on a promise.

In June the Prime Minister asked the most pressing question to come out of the Brexit situation so far. "How long can the British people," he began. Be deprived of certainty around our relationship with Europe?

Be deprived of effective leadership?

"Be deprived of the opportunity to have Arnott's Tim Tams at a reasonable price?" Ah right. Tim Tams.

The Prime Minister has obviously partaken of a Tim Tim slam and found, quite reasonably, his life altered beyond existence. This, surely, can be the only reason for the employment of Tony Abbott as a trade envoy.

Tim Tams - Tim Tims for all and at bargain basement prices.

I, for one, am delighted at this turn of events.

And we have every reason to be cheerful as the former Aussie PM takes up his new role expanding the UK's access to small, hard cake products.

The former Liberal leader will eat anything in pursuit of good relations. In 2015 on a visit to a Tasmanian onion farm he, sensing the farmer's delight in his array of alliums, battered straight in to an onion as though it were an apple. Certainly, he made an impression.

"There weren't even any tears," said the manager of the business. That's what you want from a representative of your country - a man who can maintain dry-eyed composure even under intense pressure from volatile natural chemicals.

That, and an ability to think outside the box. After four years of remaining tight lipped on the onion decision - thankfully, given what the smell would have been like - Mr Abbott elected to explain the thought process behind his actions. We all eat raw onion, he said, "Salads are full of raw onion. And I thought the least I can do with someone who was as proud of his product as [the farmer] was, was to take a chomp and it was beautiful.”

It is, certainly, a leap from a touch of chopped onion in a salad to crunching an onion entire but this kind of agile thinking is what we need.

Agile thinking and discreet diplomatic relations. Mr Abbott, in the wake of Australian deaths at the downing of flight MH17, sent a firm but dignified message to Vladimir Putin, not that the Russian President isn't a leader who can't take a firm telling and move on from it.

"I am going to shirtfront Mr Putin," the Australian leader said, before becoming slightly bewildered by his own boldness and adding."You bet you are. You bet I am." Someone was going to, and that's all that mattered.

There was an interesting piece by one of Mr Abbott's supporters, his former international advisor, who took a run down the list of reasons why the conservative Catholic, who once trained to be a priest, has faced extensive criticism. Mark Higgie claims Mr Abbott can't possibly be homophobic because he has a trans woman as a friend. Even if we skirt round the fact that being trans and being gay are entirely different things, it's a flimsy pardon.

Mr Higgie adds that it wasn't sexist for Abbott to say one of his female candidates has "sex appeal" because the woman laughed at the compliment. That clears that up. Women never laugh at men's jokes because the man's position of power makes it unfeasible to challenge them, do they?

He might have said that "abortion is the easy way out" for women but that quote was truncated to highlight those six small words. In the longer quote he also calls abortion a "convenient exit from awkward situations." So, again, not sexist - just wildly lacking in empathy.

But listen, you don't need your trade envoy to be some right on woke dude. You just need him to be good at his job. And Abbott's government did manage significant trade deals with three of Asia’s most significant economies: Japan, China and South Korea.

True, he didn't have too great a hand in negotiating the deals but he was instrumental in getting them over the line. Let's skirt round the fact his term in office saw, mere months in, middle Australia taking to the streets to demonstrate against a raft of punishing right wing policies - such as the forced incarceration of asylum seekers. Amazing the UK government views him as someone who'll fit right in.

He lasted two years in office before his own party deposed him and as an opposition leader he made a great case for the Labor government.

Boris Johnson, defending his choice, said, "Tony Abbott... was elected by the people of the great liberal democratic nation of Australia. There you go, I think that speaks for itself,” as though shysters and rogues never end up in high office despite, rather than because of, their qualifications for the role.

Chauvinistic and rhetorically unrestrained. What on earth might Abbott and Johnson see in one another? As I say, it’s got to be the biscuits.

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