"Not helpful": my favourite diplomatic phrase makes a comeback

Remember my post on the Indonesian cartoon depicting the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister as “copulating dingoes”? And the Australian cartoonist who, in true hip-hop “beef”-style, came up with a response? A nice moment in the whole spat was when Indonesia described the Australian drawing as “not helpful”. What a wonderful phrase (and thanks to Matt in the comments for pointing that out). Now this beautiful bit of diplomatic-speak rears its tactful head again, with regard to Iran:

The speech – carried live on state TV – was punctuated by chants of “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, and “Death to counter-revolutionaries”. […] A Foreign Office spokesman said the speech was “not particularly helpful”.

That’ll teach them.


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