Rudd’s secret spiked essay for Foreign Affairs journal
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd wrote an essay for the world’s top foreign policy publication Foreign Affairs but it was rejected by the magazine’s editorial board.
The Punch can today reveal that Mr Rudd penned an essay last summer concerning his idea for an Asia-Pacific Union along with his paper on the global financial crisis. But Foreign Affairs magazine published by the Council on Foreign Relations chose not to run the piece.
Foreign Affairs editor, James F. Hoge Jr., told The Punch that Mr Rudd had intended the piece to coincide with Mr Rudd’s trip to the United States in March of this year but there were “timing problems” between the magazine’s publication and Mr Rudd’s visit.
Mr Hoge said that there was also “overlap” between the essay’s topic and similar articles recently published in Foreign Affairs.
But he described Mr Rudd as a “thoughtful statesman”.
This is the full response from Hoge:
There were timing problems between Foreign Affairs’ bimonthly edition schedule and Prime Minister Rudd’s trip to the United States. But there was no problem with the Prime Minister’s topic or analysis, although there was overlap with recently published articles on the Asia-Pacific region.
Because Foreign Affairs comes out only six times a year, it regrettably cannot publish all the excellent articles that are available to it. Prime Minister Rudd is a thoughtful statesman, and we would hope for better circumstances concerning an essay at a future date.
James F. Hoge, Jr.
Peter G. Peterson Chair
Council on Foreign Relations
The revelation follows criticisms of Mr Rudd over the publication in February of an essay in The Monthly. Some commentators welcomed that essay as a valuable critique of capitalism but others panned it as amateurish and superficial.
Last night a spokesman for the Prime Minister would not comment further on the spiked article only to say that: “editorial decisions regarding the publication of articles are matters for the editors of a publication.”
According to sources familiar with the essay it was considered by some at the magazine to be “overly bureaucratic”.
Mr Rudd originally proposed the idea almost a year ago and calls for a European Union style community of states in the Asia-Pacific that would include Australia, South-East Asian states, China, India and the United States.
Mr Rudd discussed the idea again as recently as last weekend during a diplomatic forum in Singapore and is planning a regional leaders meeting on the topic to be held in Australia later this year.
The idea was not widely embraced by the ASEAN conference and has been criticised by former Labor Prime Minister and Asian policy guru Paul Keating as too difficult.
The revelation is an embarrassment for the Prime Minister who, as a former high level Australian diplomat, has a deep interest in foreign affairs issues but has recently been dogged by a series of controversies concerning foreign policy.
It was recently revealed that Mr Rudd vetoed the appointment of a senior diplomat to work as chief foreign policy advisor in Prime Minister and Cabinet and is now unable to find a replacement. Some have also recently suggested that Mr Rudd has long term ambitions of becoming the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Australia is also still without a permanent United States ambassador to Canberra with President Barack Obama looking over Australia in the latest round of appointments.
So what do you think? Is it embarrassing for Rudd that he can’t get the essay published? Why didn’t he try to get it run somewhere else? Do you think Rudd should be spending time writing essays on the Asia-Pacific Union? Is it not a good thing that our PM has ideas?
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@mooks83 sophisticated response. Think the kids parents saw it differently
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