Kevin Rudd, the backbencher from Queensland? No such thing. In his own mind, he’s still Foreign Minister. Prime Minister, too.

Illustration: John Tiedemann

Rudd turned up in the United States last week and addressed the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. It’s a talk that should have been given by his replacement, Bob Carr.

If Australia knows that Rudd is no longer the Prime Minister, or Foreign Minister, the rest of the world does not. Because Rudd is still roaming it, acting as though he is.

Check this opening line from his speech.

“When I mentioned to Henry Kissinger in New York on Monday that I was coming here today, he observed that…”. It doesn’t matter what Kissinger observed. It’s Rudd’s tone that matters. Me and Henry. It was a huge namedrop.

And Rudd was dropping his own name as much as he was dropping Kissinger’s.

Rudd went on.

“It is also a great honour to be welcomed so warmly here during my first visit to this great city of Chicago—including having been received by Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who proffered his objective view that Chicago was without doubt the greatest city on earth.”

Since when are miniscule Australian backbenchers personally welcomed by the Chicago mayor? The mayor might welcome a delegation of Australian backbenchers, but one bloke, with no portfolio?

You have to wonder: has Rudd actually told anyone in the US that he doesn’t have a national, let alone international, role? Have they done their homework?

Or does Kevin tell them: “Mate, it’s all sorted back in Oz, bit of a shitfight, nothing serious, small misunderstanding, I’ll be back in January, no f****n probs.”

A question I put to Rudd’s media person was: “Could you also clarify in what capacity Mr Rudd addressed the Chicago Council?”

The response: “Not something we discussed specifically with them - they were very happy to have him though.”

Rudd has not taken his ball and he has not gone home. Australia now has two Foreign Ministers, and two Prime Ministers.

“I come here not just as a new friend of Chicago,” said Rudd. “I come here as an old friend of America. Australia is one of America’s oldest continuing allies.
We had been in the trenches with each other in every major war over the last 100 years.”

Note his use of the perpendicular pronoun, “I”.

Backbenchers don’t use such language. They would never dare.

A backbencher would say: “As an Australian, I come here as an old friend of America.”

Backbenchers are sent forth to represent the government. Rudd represents the Kingdom of Rudd, a one-man island nation to the west of New Zealand, south of Indonesia, and just east of Rottnest.

The Chicago talk was on China, one of Rudd’s areas of expertise.

Noting growing tensions in the South China Sea, Rudd delivered this killer: “My purpose today is not to attempt to foreshadow any detailed course of diplomatic action.”

He did not say: “My purpose today is not to attempt to foreshadow any detailed course of diplomatic action, because my government doesn’t permit backbenchers to foreshadow diplomatic actions involving countries as important as China. That would be the job of the Foreign Minister or the Prime Minister.”

But I forget. He holds both of those titles.

“Nonetheless,” Rudd went on, “I am sufficiently concerned about unfolding events in the South China Sea to flag the fact the time has come for all parties to take a deep breath, step back a little, thereby enabling all of us to take stock.”

Once again, note the language, the use of the personal pronoun. Note that he, Rudd, the backbencher, has issued a worldwide alert.

Rudd continued: “In the last week I have been in the United States in discussions with the UN Secretary General, Vice-President Biden, Henry Kissinger and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. China has been the constant theme for us all.”

By using the word “us” in such company, Rudd elevates himself close to the pinnacle of world power, and world wisdom.

On Thursday, Rudd was in Canada, charming them with his knowledge of French (“Merci beaucoup tout le monde”), discussing Australian policy direction and talking about what he called “my” challenges with globalisation.

Why, anyway, has Rudd been meeting all these people, particularly the UN Secretary General? Who does he represent, beside himself? And does Bob Carr know about it?

He must. Maybe Carr just shrugs and thinks, “Oh well, that’s Kevin.”

Or maybe the fix is in. Come January, or whenever Coup II arrives, Rudd will permit Carr to remain as Foreign Minister.

But watch out, Bob. The world belongs to Kevin. It always will.

Most commented


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    • stephen says:

      10:07am | 28/07/12

      I saw him at Folio’s Books in Brisbane 6 weeks ago meeting and talking to his fans.
      He wandered around the shop and was very happy, and something, I thought, was afoot.

      He has done a lot of damage to this country, and Julia’s replacement should be either Greg Combet of Bob Carr.

      Kevin should be sacked.

    • Gregg says:

      10:37am | 28/07/12

      Well sacked from what actually and as for replacements, you have to be kidding!

    • Carol says:

      10:48am | 28/07/12

      I fail to see how you can claim Kevin “has done a lot of damage to this country”! Perhaps you could explain?
      As foreign ministers go, I’d suggest he was one of the better ones and I’d agree that is the best role for him.

    • Mayday says:

      11:28am | 28/07/12

      Bob “let me put my foot in my mouth eloquently” Carr LOL!!!

      Greg “please bring your children down to the waterfront dispute” Combet, you can’t be serious?

    • Brian B says:

      11:41am | 28/07/12

      I thought he had been sacked Stephen.

      Shit Prime Minister but not bad as Foreign Minister.

    • AGHAST says:

      11:44am | 28/07/12

      Sacked from the PARTY Gregg and denied a power base.As for damage to his country Carol.As a result of his behaviour putting his revenge motivated tactics ahead of the national interest during the last federal election campagn we have the present situation of stalled government . We can look forward to Tony Abbott as PM.Abbott who will be our very own George W Bush like disaster stumbling from one gaff to the inevitable next manipulated by the big end of town and his own Santamaria fantasies together with his own faceless behind the scene men like Cardinal Pell.Abbott is a dangerous zealot tamely biding his time.Thankyou Kevin.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      11:56am | 28/07/12

      He is a dangerous egomaniac and he should never be PM again.

      The boatpeopeople problem was created by him and not PM Gillard. She has to mop the mess.

      The carbon tax is due to his claim that it is the greatest moral challenge of our time. We do need such heroics. The global warming is real but the center of the action is to help the naughty boys in global warming China and India to reduce their CO2 emission

    • nihonin says:

      01:26pm | 28/07/12

      AGHAST:  ‘We can look forward to Tony Abbott as PM.Abbott who will be our very own George W Bush like disaster stumbling from one gaff to the inevitable next’.

      Oh such melodrama, you should write for Neighbours or Home and Away.  As for gaffs, Labor since 2007 have been writing and rewriting how its done.

      Dr B S: ‘The boatpeopeople problem was created by him and not PM Gillard. She has to mop the mess.’

      i believe it was Julia Gillard’s policy Mr Sacrificial Lamb enacted whilst he was PM.

    • Joan says:

      03:23pm | 28/07/12

      Old codger Carr woken from slumberville by Gillard, given top Foreign Affairs job - yet another debacle for Australia another blunder by Gillard.  On SBS news Friday Carr seen blathering away,  totally incomprehensible, so much so that he was cut off by SBS.  If Australians can’t understand what he is blathering about what hope does rest of the world have? Perhaps we need subtitles or he could just spit out that piece of gum or plum he has in his mouth as he speaks and learn to speak in 2012 English. .  As for Combet - another joker foisted as a pathetic possibilty by some desperates. Little wonder Rudd looks the best and sounds the best compared to others drawn from bottom of ALP suggestion box of losers.

    • stephen says:

      04:33pm | 28/07/12

      I didn’t mean to demean Rudd so much ; looking into the shop as a window watcher, he seemed a decent chap, but in business as a CEO is where his mettle is, and I think in politics he seems not to have an instinct for.

      The ‘moral’ issue of our time was a gaffe : it is simply one of Science.
      A moral issue is as to whether she should, say, divorce our wife ...

      ‘Stephen ?’
      ‘Yes dear’.
      ‘Shut up’
      ‘Yes Dear’ ...
      as I was saying, the ‘moral’ bit allows an unresolved argument to foster because in morals, nothing is clean cut.
      It was a blunder by Rudd to mention it.
      The Science is conclusive, so that’s that.

      It was under Rudd’s watch, too, that the Pacific Solution was reversed.

      He should go into business ; the potholes in Brissy need filling ... but not like the one in Ann street where the top of what was once a hole, now look like a chocolate crackle.

      (The Bris. City Council must get its workforce from the HSU.)

    • MP says:

      06:32pm | 28/07/12

      Stephen, Maybe Rudd was very happy because it was a sunny day.  Or maybe he likes books, or people, or maybe he’s on a 6-month grand-dad high.

      What exactly do you imagine could have been ‘afoot’.  Maybe it’s your PERCEPTION, rather than REALITY.

      Yes, Rudd should be sacked.  Looking very happy should be outlawed. Let’s become North Korea.

    • stephen says:

      10:02pm | 28/07/12

      OK Mr.Rudd, you should be sacked from the Labor Party because you have not reconciled your ego with the needs of those who will never be in a position of influence.

      You have been PM and you have exceeded your authority by depleting our surplus with poor programs, which were supposed to offset a GFC disaster ... of course, we were immune from such a thing because of our mining income, but suffice to say, you are a one man band : good in authority, but bad in democracy, and in Labor, well, that just has to be fatal.

    • Gregg says:

      08:39am | 29/07/12

      You can never demean Krudd enough.
      ” ‘Stephen ?’
      ‘Yes dear’.
      ‘Shut up’
      ‘Yes Dear’ ... “

      You’re blathering on like Carr
      And you reckon Kruddy could be a CEO!
      And what type of company would you have him attempting to run?

    • Old Cobber says:

      06:28pm | 29/07/12

      @Stephen—-Get a life,son.  Ruddy’s doing what he wants to do because anybody with1/2 a brain takes no notice of the rest of them. Get the podcast of A.Jones and Smith 20/7/12 which exposes the disgraceful and culpable rorts of Thompson,Gillard,Wilson,Williamson and his family and other scumbags siphoning millions $, fromAWU,HSU saved from prosecution by thug solidarity!!Then Williamson’s daughter resignes from Gillard’s staff for personal reasons—What a joke this lot are—That’s why the people have turned off and will massacre them at the Election.  How sad for the ‘true believers’ .

    • York says:

      10:20am | 28/07/12

      Kevin deserves his old job back. If not, perhaps Tony would consider him for US ambassador or maybe foreign minister? Maybe he could serve as foreign minister under Tony before the next election?

      Kevin strides the world like a significant international figure because that’s what he is. His twice assassination by the faceless men is irrelevant. They can stab at Caesar all they like but he’ll still be Caesar.

    • marley says:

      10:36am | 28/07/12

      In my opinion, we have a problem with boat arrivals today because Rudd thought he’d get some good sound bytes about removing TPVs and ending the Pacific Solution, without thinking through the consequences.  Further, his fixation with China meant he failed to nurture what had been a cooperative relationship with Indonesia on boat arrivals. 

      These are not the marks of a man who should be a Foreign Minister, or who should have any significant role in policy-making.

    • MP says:

      05:50pm | 28/07/12

      Dr BS Goh, there is no easy solution to stop people smuggling and you should stop pretending that there is.

      Rudd removed TPVs and stopped the navy from letting boats sink.  Yes, it caused more desperate people to attempt a dangerous trip but there is no perfect solution.. Howard’s solution, which was the one ‘supported’ by Anders Behring Breivik of Norway, did stop boats, but it was not perfect either.

    • Keith Hammersmith says:

      07:00pm | 28/07/12

      they can stab at Caesar…  he isnt Caesar,  he is a back bencher, I would love to know who on earth is paying for all these trips of his??  is there any reason he is traveling the world meeting these people on the tab of the tax payer?

    • marley says:

      07:57am | 29/07/12

      @Dr. B. S. Goh - actually, it’s not simple at all.  If the Americans ship a Cuban to Cuba, the Cubans have to accept them.  If we try to ship an Afghan to Indonesia, the Indonesians do not have to accept him.  And which countries in our region are signatories to the UN Convention and would be willling to entertain asylum seekers on their territory?  There are plenty of signatory countries around the US, including most of the Caribbean nations.  Around Australia, not so many.

    • A Dose of Reality says:

      10:48am | 29/07/12

      “marley says: 07:57am | 29/07/12
      @Dr. B. S. Goh - actually, it’s not simple at all.  If the Americans ship a Cuban to Cuba, the Cubans have to accept them.  If we try to ship an Afghan to Indonesia, the Indonesians do not have to accept him.  And which countries in our region are signatories to the UN Convention and would be willling to entertain asylum seekers on their territory?  There are plenty of signatory countries around the US, including most of the Caribbean nations.  Around Australia, not so many.”

      Exactly - and there lies the reality that the simple sound byte “stop the boats” purposefully ignores.  And proof such a catch cry can only be uttered with conviction by a racist.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      11:44am | 29/07/12

      @ A Dose of Reality, The anti-boatpeople sentiment is not a racist matter. But it is and should be without apology a nationalistic sentiment to protect Australia. Protection of our border is a fundamental right as a nation. India has a 2400km of high wire fence with Bangladesh and border guards have orders to shoot to kill and a few hundreds are killed each year.

      If you read the Hon Bowen recent statement he says that the majority of erx-refugees in his constituency are against the boatpeople as they are seen to have hijacked the Australian refugee program and stolen the places of many genuine refugees. At the rate the boats are arriving there will be NO places for other genuine refugees this calendar year to enter Australia.

      I was a Community leader and I personally helped many refugees from Cambodia and Vietnam. They were boatpeople to the nearest countries in Asia and stayed there as refugees. Then they were accepted into Australia from these refugee camps.

      Now what we see are boatpeople crossing many countries SAFELY, get on boats then come to Australia. This is simply not right and unfair to the 43,000,000 refugees in the World, please read A Vanstone comment on this.

    • York says:

      12:48pm | 29/07/12

      Kevin is our immediate past and potentially future Prime Minister so he is seen as an important figure. When Kevin speaks other nations listen carefully. He is seen as our representative overseas.

      Kevin is also a charismatic and voluable foreign affairs expert which adds to his credibility on the international stage. Kevin punches above his weight. When he represents us, Australia punches above its weight.

      Kevin was instrumental in galvanising international action on Libya for example. But for Kevin pushing the no fly zone the uprising may have been crushed in its earliest stages. This in turn would have made the Syrian uprising less likely to succeed.

    • Warwick says:

      01:33pm | 29/07/12

      Hey, MP,
      you are being both stupid and malevolent to link John Howard with the Norweigan nutcase

    • nihonin says:

      10:30am | 28/07/12

      Ah Rudd/Gillard/? Labor, the party that just keeps giving, right in the kisser!

    • Against the Man says:

      07:57pm | 28/07/12

      Rudd/Gillard/Labor a chaotic and messed up party, with a great legacy of shame to haunt them and the party for decades. Has nothing to do with TA smile

    • TracyH says:

      10:40am | 28/07/12


    • Gregg says:

      10:44am | 28/07/12

      Fair shake of the sauce bottle there Yorky.
      Like, the Poms might have given us Mr. Bean and Chariots of Fire which was fine and even entertaingly funny but as for the gift of Julia we’ll never thank them even if it is sometimes entertaining and Kevolemon being a significant international figure!, in his head and yours maybe.

    • Brad Coward says:

      10:45am | 28/07/12

      Well….if all of this is happening in his mind, he’ll never be subjected to the scrutiny of the press.

      Actually, I don’t believe that he ever has been.

    • JoniM says:

      10:51am | 28/07/12

      If this ALP government had any nuts at all, it would immediately disendorse this clown who just continues to run his own show to the embarrassment of the government and all Australians. But instead, it is more than likely these incompetents will elevate him again to leader, in the vain hope of saving the party from complete annihilation at the next poll. The ALP created this monster to win the 2007 election and ever since the party has been gradually destroyed by this robotic imbecile.  He has risen up against the party machine despite all attempts to silence him, short of going to a bi-election. And what are terminal mistake not going all the way,  has been for Labor !

    • Richard says:

      10:55am | 28/07/12

      Kevin Rudd is a foreign policy virtuoso, and genius such has his does not rely on formal or official titles and qualifications, it bubbles up spontaneously from a place of deep understanding and immersion in the relevant issues, and cannot be contained or withheld by jealous inferiors who protest “hey! That’s my job!”.

      The benefits Australia has derived from Kevin Rudd’s foreign affairs virtuosity will continue to flow on for years after he’s gone, and by god we should all be thanking him, and backing him to get revenge on the filthy petty little back-stabbing ants who cut him down out of sheer jealousy for being the tallest poppy on the world stage.

    • LJ Dots says:

      01:18pm | 28/07/12

      Uh oh, when Kim Jong-Un hears about this tallest poppy, he’s not going to be happy.

    • MP says:

      05:16pm | 28/07/12

      Well said Richard.  Can I vote for you?

      Anyone can say whatever they like about Kev, but the man CAN hold an audience.

    • pa_kelvin says:

      01:37pm | 29/07/12

      Ummm ohh ahhh…Thanks Kevie????????

    • Craig says:

      10:55am | 28/07/12

      Is the pre-emptive character assassination of Rudd already beginning?

      At least Gillard is using the more sensible tactic of briefing up journalists rather than getting her senior ministers to do it.

      With a combination of two PMs and two Foreign Ministers the Labor party will have one good person in each position.

    • JoniM says:

      10:58am | 28/07/12

      “Kevin deserves his old job back. “

      Yeah ! That old share cropper job !
      Although, even there he couldn’t get on with the farmer trying to help him !

    • Kim says:

      10:58am | 28/07/12

      It’s a pity all of our backbenchers aren’t as good.

    • Trude Paladin says:

      11:00am | 28/07/12

      Ah he is just marvelous! Such a class act! I do wish Labor would realise just how incredible he is and how much support he has here at home as well as with foreign nationals. I do love Kevin Rudd!!

    • Gordon says:

      11:08am | 28/07/12

      I know about “fake it ‘till you make it”, but this is “fake it after you’ve lost it”. This is like those guys who get fired but put on their suit each day to go sit in the park.  Good luck is all i can say.

    • Muggles says:

      11:20am | 28/07/12

      Question: did taxpayers pay for this trip to the US?

      If so, why?  And how much did it cost us?

    • Mickey T says:

      12:50pm | 28/07/12

      Muggles - Of course the taxpayer is paying, to be fair, Rudd IS a member of the government, he is NOT a member of the opposition.

      Talking of opposition, what is Tony Abbott and Julie Bishops excuse for their ten day overseas trip?

      ...and who is paying for their junket, sorry, trip? The taxpayers? If so, why?

      I look forward to your response Muggles.

    • vox says:

      01:08pm | 28/07/12

      Did taxpayers pay for Abbott’s trip to Indonesia where, as TimB keeps telling us, “He couldn’t achieve anything because he is not in Government”. At least Rudd is a member of the Government. Do any of you Loopies,(blind followers of the Leader Of Opposition Parties, i.e., “LOOPS”), even read the tripe you write. No? Don’t blame you!.

    • Gregg says:

      03:25pm | 28/07/12

      Just so you know and it might even entice you to consider running for parliament, all parliamentarians have a few perks of parliamentary package and one is being entitled to a bit of travelling, all at taxpayers expense.
      They are supposed to write up their trips and report to parliament on the benefits, not that there really are any.

    • Gerard says:

      04:27pm | 28/07/12

      @Mickey T

      Why are you expecting Muggles to answer that question? Surely it should be Abbott and Bishop standing up on national TV and explaining why they think taxpayers should be funding their holidays- as should Rudd.

    • Muggles says:

      05:40pm | 28/07/12

      MickT, can you please move on from being an apologist?  Thanks.

      Kevin Rudd is not the executive of the government. He is a backbencher, and not responsible for any policy positions.

      He’s not even in the Shadow Cabinet.

      So why “of course” should we be paying for his puffery overseas?

    • Mickey T says:

      09:07am | 29/07/12

      @ Muggles - You didn’t answer the question.

      What were Abbott and Bishop doing overseas on a taxpayer funded trip?

      You talk about Rudd not being part of the shadow cabinet…really? That could be due to the fact that he is a Labor politician.

      Rudd is part of the government, executive or not, it doesn’t matter, Abbott and Bishop are in opposition, so I will ask you again, why were we paying for their trip and what were they actually doing??

    • Northern Steve says:

      12:22pm | 29/07/12

      Sorry Mickey T, Muggles is right there.
      Rudd has no role in the government of the day.  People in the shadow cabinet do have a role in running the counry (an oversight role if nothing else), and are potentially national leaders.  Exposure to foriegn governments and decision makers makes a lot more sense for Abbott and Bishop than for Rudd (assuming that he is unlikely to regain the leadership)

    • Mickey T says:

      04:00pm | 29/07/12

      “Exposure to foriegn governments and decision makers”

      Do tell Northern Steve…who did Abbott and Bishop have meetings with in the USA (or anywhere else for that matter)...apart from members of the tea party and Fox news journalists, tell me why it was so important and why it was needed for our country?

      It was a junket and you and Muggles know it was.

    • Leigh says:

      11:26am | 28/07/12

      It just goes to show how little anyone outside Australia knows about our politics, our lightweight politicians, or anything at all about Australia for that matter.

      The person who is supposed to be Prime Minister clearly has as little control over Rudd as she does over everything else. What a joke this country has become.

    • Onlooker says:

      11:27am | 28/07/12

      Kevin is PM in my eyes, and the sooner he is back the better. Gillard gets the same treatment in my house that Abbott does..they come on the tv… I turn them off. As for Carr , he is new at the job, none of us are perfect at what we do when we start a new job. Haven’t you people got anything else to do except Rudd bash? You must have boring lives.

    • JoniM says:

      11:59am | 28/07/12

      If we wanted a dictator running our country we would prefer one with the nous and stability to take his people with him, and not simply one with totally egoistic ideals!
      The man needs some serious help !
      He truly believes he is the messiah !
      And it seems he has developed a small ‘“cohort” of true believers !

    • Trude Paladin says:

      12:48pm | 28/07/12

      Kevin Rudd is Prime Minister in my eyes also and he always will be. As for the those calling for him to be sacked from the party, fix your own party rather than calling what should happen with Labor. The person who should be stood down is Julia Gillard, 70% of the country disapprove of her as PM and those figures have barely changed in 12 months.

      I have more respect for Kevin Rudd than I have ever had for any politician.

    • Mickey T says:

      04:09pm | 28/07/12

      Onlooker and Trude Paladin…If Kevin Rudd is PM in your eyes then I suggest both of you give them a good rinse and wipe, your vision is blurred.

      Like it or not, Julia Gillard is our democratically elected Prime Minister. Kevin Rudd will never again be our PM…get over it and get your eyes seen to while you’re at it.

    • Gerard says:

      04:37pm | 28/07/12

      “As for Carr , he is new at the job, none of us are perfect at what we do when we start a new job.”

      Are you serious? Carr was gifted a Senate seat, unelected, on the basis of his alleged experience in matters of diplomacy which was supposed to make him an ideal foreign minister. If he can’t handle the position, he should never have accepted it and should resign immediately.

    • nihonin says:

      08:13pm | 28/07/12

      Kevin Rudd was never PM, he was the scapegoat Labor was always going to sacrifice, he was too blinded by his own self importance to ever see it.  he stupidly believed every word Julia Gillard and Wayne swan fed him.  When the time came to be rid of fool, the party leaders used the polls as the reason to dump him.  If it was really the polls he was dumped for, Julia Gillard would be facing the same song, she isn’t.  Rudd was never going to lead Labor to any other election other than the 2007 election.

    • vox says:

      11:40am | 29/07/12

      JoniM. Whilst I absolutely agree with your description of Abbott, (I can’t stand him either), I think you are being a little harsh calling him a “dictator”. A dictator makes decisions, independent of any outside contribution. Abbott, with the ghost of Santamaria in one ear, and George Pell in the other could hardly be accused of “making decisions”.
      His priestly ambitions, which remained unfulfilled because of his inability, and unwillingness to obey the rules, disclose a wish to be “instructed”, a viaduct for his god, so to speak. No, he is no dictator, you were a bit unfair there. As you said that he thought himself the Messiah, rather than just a message-carrier, you owe him an apology.
      And don’t fall into the trap of thinking that he has only a “small cohort” of followers, Joni. Never underestimate your enemy, and as you are apparently a woman, he is your enemy. He has thousands of followers, followers who line up with him and his disgusting colleagues to eat the flesh and drink the blood of an illegitimate child dead these last 2,000 years, (or apparently so to him and his).
      And yes, Joni, he does need some serious help.
      An added point which you may care to ponder. Throughout history men who have problems accepting women as their equals have simply gone out and bought them for a short time. This is what Abbott has been advised to do with his maternity leave proposal. And like a lot of those same men through history he has no abilty to pay. Nor intent.
      You go get ‘em girl. And welcome to my Xmas list.

    • Think about it says:

      12:55pm | 29/07/12

      @Nihonin - Agreed. Rudd got the unelectable ALP elected. They owe him a huge debt of gratitude not repeated stabbing in the back.

      In the last 15 years the only time Labor have looked seriously electable is when led by Kevin Rudd.

    • ChrisW says:

      11:43am | 28/07/12

      Kevin Rudd was a poor Prime Minister because he could not delegate or get people to work with him (rather than for him). He was a poor Foreign Minister because he exaggerated our influence on the world stage - and showed off his “language skills”.
      Bob Carr is not well regarded by many in the places where it matters.
      It speaks volumes for Labor that this was the best they could do when representing Australia abroad.
      Australia needs to think its’ foreign policy and how it handles itself both at home and abroad with respect to international affairs.  I am all too frequently embarrassed by the policy failures and crass behaviour of some of our senior politicians and diplomats.

    • TimB says:

      11:49am | 28/07/12

      “I come here not just as a new friend of Chicago,” said Rudd. “I come here as an old friend of America. Australia is one of America’s oldest continuing allies.?We had been in the trenches with each other in every major war over the last 100 years”

      As noted by Tim Blair yesterday:

      ‘Kevin Rudd, Labor leader, discusses Iraq in 2006:

      “We opposed this war. We were right to oppose this war. “‘

      Rudd is nothing more than an egomaniacal two-faced fake. He always was. The whole down-with-the kids, Twitterbook populist personality is ridiculously contrived and sickening.

      But the worst part is, the millions of Australian voters who did, and indeed continue to fall for the act. I note that on the Open Thread, Simon from Lakemba is lamenting ‘all that hard work Labor did is being pissed up the wall by incompetent wankers’. Sorry Simon. No sympathy here. You guys voted for these wankers, despite the warnings.

    • Mickey T says:

      01:05pm | 28/07/12

      “You guys voted for these wankers, despite the warnings”

      You should stop referring to Barry O’Farrell, Ted Baillieu and Campbell Newman in such a derogatory manner TimB.

    • AdamC says:

      01:31pm | 28/07/12

      I am no fan of Kevin Rudd, either. What I do not understand is how Labor MPs have not been able to identify and unite behind a third candidate. It is mystifying.

    • London Calling says:

      07:32am | 29/07/12

      ‘As noted by Tim Blair yesterday’.

      Echo chambers and ‘I want to be loved by you’, writing style are not for me, however, I am glad that you ‘noted’ Tim Blair and I bet he is glad too.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      12:17pm | 28/07/12

      Terrible what happened to Rudd, not once but twice.

      And at the bloody hands were his own people too.

      Perhaps the justice out of all this will be Gillard losing the next election and everyone knowing they could have done so much better with Rudd back in charge.

      Welcome to The new dirty dark world of Gillard Labor.

    • Bazza says:

      12:19pm | 28/07/12

      In the US, past Presidents are revered by almost everyone. They are generally not ridiculed, including by the media. It’s about holding “the position” in high esteem. They see Rudd in the light of a past Prime Minister, nothing else. We are not so reverential here in Aus.

    • Warwick says:

      01:43pm | 29/07/12

      what a relevant, what a pertinent remark.

    • Against the Man says:

      12:21pm | 28/07/12

      The intellectually challenged from the Right having a field day here today. Thats why I vote Labor and always will.

    • Against the sponge says:

      03:21pm | 28/07/12

      Labors two main constituencies are welfare recipients and public servants, I dare say they are far more likely to be “intelluctually challenged” than LNP voters who tend to be people that actually contribute something to the economy rather than leech off it.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      04:38pm | 28/07/12

      Who would vote for a Labor Government that hates the entrepreneur, crushes business endeavourer with tax and gives the money away to lay abouts so they can sit around watching TV?

    • Against the Man says:

      04:40pm | 28/07/12

      Against the sponge please dont make a fool of yourself by backing up my statement with concrete evidence.

    • Alfie says:

      09:51pm | 28/07/12

      It is not hard to have a ‘field day’ at Labor’s expense, they are just one bloody big joke.

    • Against the Man says:

      06:55pm | 29/07/12

      Fake Against the Man, you must be really scared and desperate to keep using my name. ALP cowards pure and simple wink

    • jack thomas says:

      01:16pm | 28/07/12

      BOB CARR you mean the retired pensioner now acting as Austalia’s answer to the problems of the world ???  come..come..
      I believe he was an advisor to HSU Union no.. it can’t be the same man ..

    • Joan says:

      03:41pm | 28/07/12

      Yep the standard set by Labor since 2007 so low in Australian politics especially since overnight knifing of Rudd by Gillard that some think that an old unelected retiree blogger such as Bob Carr is good enough for top job Foreign Affairs and now from what you write he looks like he comes with a past.  Clear diction and knowledge of 21st century spoken English not his strong point either -  USA pollies seem to have a problem of making sense as we do.

    • Mickey T says:

      04:46pm | 28/07/12


      With the greatest respect Joan, I’ve tried extremely hard to comprehend some of your contributions to The Punch and I must say…I’m struggling. I’m not sure that your comments are doing any favours for the Coalition.

      Written English is not your strong point…is it Joan?

    • Ben says:

      03:19pm | 28/07/12

      @AGHAST says: 11:44am | 28/07/12
      >> We can look forward to Tony Abbott as PM.Abbott who will be our very own George W Bush like disaster stumbling from one gaff to the inevitable next

      Stumbling from one hook to another?

    • Mikey says:

      07:22pm | 28/07/12

      Aghast, George Bush will look good compared to Tony Abbott.  The Abbott we see now is far removed from the reality of what he actually is because his minders are carefully controlling everything he does and says so the electorate will think he is a reasonable man.  We will only see the real Tony Abbott and the ruling clique’s far right agenda if the Liberals win the next election.

    • Ben says:

      09:18am | 29/07/12

      >>We will only see the real Tony Abbott and the ruling clique’s far right agenda if the Liberals win the next election.

      Oooh, Mikey, that does sound very, very frightening. Who told you this, some bloke in a pub?

    • Mickey T says:

      09:19am | 29/07/12

      “his minders are carefully controlling everything he does and says so the electorate will think he is a reasonable man”

      Abbott should sack his minders then, the latest poll I saw showed that 68% disapprove of Abbott, a majority of Australian’s loathe and despise him, just as they do Gillard.

    • Ben says:

      11:09am | 29/07/12

      From Mickey T:

      >>Abbott should sack his minders then, the latest poll I saw showed that 68% disapprove of Abbott, a majority of Australian’s loathe and despise him, just as they do Gillard.

      I seem to recall similar polls about John Howard in 1995. That would explain why he lasted only 11 years as Prime Minister.

    • Mickey T says:

      04:07pm | 29/07/12

      @ Ben.

      Stop kidding yourself…Tony Abbott is no John Howard and any comparisons between the two is laughable, not only laughable but a total insult to John Howard.

    • Ben says:

      04:54pm | 29/07/12

      @Mickey T

      Stop kidding myself about Tony Abbott?  Hmm. I recall that many people told Abbott he was kidding himself when he was a candidate for Opposition Leader. Then when he was elected people told him he was kidding himself for thinking he could remain in the post for more than a few months. Now we have an Opposition led by Abbott on the cusp of government, and doesn’t it just grate you and every other Labor Party supporter?

    • boneman says:

      03:20pm | 28/07/12

      His first major gig was many years ago as “the Milky Bar Kid”

    • mikem says:

      03:54pm | 28/07/12

      Kevin Rudd was removed as leader because of his delusions of grandeur and paid the price for behaving like an emperor rather than an elected PM.  Rudd’s ego pales into insignificance though when compared to Tony Abbott’s and one can only imagine how much more unbearable Abbott will be if he becomes PM.  Heaven help us.

    • TC says:

      04:51pm | 28/07/12

      Kevin’s ego knows no bounds. He has serious personality issues, a quite frightening lust for power and a control freak. He achieved nothing as PM. He ws loathed not just by his causcus colleagues but by senior members of the public service. He is a total fake and when he puts on that fake smile of his and name-drops I want to vomit. Why have so many Australians not woken up to this fact?

    • MP says:

      06:19pm | 28/07/12

      because maybe it’s not true TC

    • Paul Mason says:

      05:25pm | 28/07/12

      Prime Minister for Australia be it Gillard ,Rudd,Carr or Combet,does it matter?
      Tony Abbott will be our next PM and will be given a mandate to wipe out all of Labor’s stupid and dangerous clangers.
      Tony ,“Come on Down”.

    • vox says:

      12:01pm | 29/07/12

      Tony, “Come on down!”  What, lower?

    • Paul Mason says:

      05:35pm | 28/07/12

      It is only right Abbott go O/S at taxpayers expense to meet Foreign Leaders as they no doubt wish to meet our shortly to be Australian Prime Minister.
      With our current bunch of juveniles in charge, you don’t know who’s running the show from one week to the next.

    • jane says:

      08:12pm | 28/07/12

      And the only ones who were impressed were the loonies in the Tea Party. He’s put the Indonesians offside and the Chinese think he’s a complete w@nker.

      Even the Tories in the UK won’t have a bar of him.

      He was a dismal failure in the Rodent governmen t and he’ll be an even worse failure if he and his bunch of Rodent Rejects get their incompetent paws on the levers.

    • Mickey T says:

      09:29am | 29/07/12

      @ Jane - I find it strange that very little has been written about his latest gaffes and failed diplomacy in our local media…I’m not sure if it’s due to Ltd.News or not?

    • MP says:

      05:36pm | 28/07/12

      The World Belongs to Kevin Rudd.  Thanks Mr Toohey for reminding me how wonderful our former PM was.  Did anyone walk out of that room?  This man could make a lucrative career just on world-wide speaking tours.  He knows his stuff, and he once had everyone in Australia in the palm of his hand, listening to his every word.  Why would he choose to stay in a party of union heavies who hate his guts?  He should be on the world stage helping to bring the world together.

    • Sinbad says:

      08:53pm | 28/07/12

      My Tibetan friend swores he is the re-incarnation of Mao Tse Tong. That is why he can speak Chinese so well.

      Mao was also a control freak and launched his Cultural Revolution against his closest colleagues when he thought he was losing control of the political system.

      Bless his soul. President Clinton was paid $1m to give his first lecture as ex-president. M Potter of Harvard gets $100,000 to give a lecture. Wonder what K Rudd gets for his lectures

    • Alfie says:

      09:56pm | 28/07/12

      Nip, he is a tossed. Even his Labor mates know that.

    • Bruce says:

      09:39am | 29/07/12

      Gillard was never going to make it in a misogynistic country…her greatest failure was not being born with a penis!

    • jo says:

      04:21am | 29/07/12

      At least America has some respect for a man that once was PM of Australia, you say he is just a person on the backbench,  and fail to leave out the fact he was our PM,  this article is all about nit picking a man who is doing a great job, representing our country, something i don’t think Mr Bob Carr is doing,  Kevin Rudd is respected on the world stage, People that enjoy putting Kevin Rudd down, are saying more about themselves, than they are saying about him.  Even thou he had the media and the caucus against him, he brushed himself off and got on with it, for this I have great respect for him. anyway we have a lot more pollies that are nasties, yet no one dares to nit pick them.

    • Gregg says:

      08:56am | 29/07/12

      Krudd is very likely a complete irrelevance on the world stage, quite possibly spoken of as a complete moronic joke, his demeanour, his traits and his views the last thing Australians need out there being representative of Australia.

    • Geronimo says:

      06:10am | 29/07/12

      Undoubtedly, The Wacky Wabbott is ferociously belting the pulpit pleading with his God not to relocate the mind of KO12 before Armageddon No 2.

    • Against the Man says:

      08:16am | 29/07/12

      We are lucky we have Labor in power no matter who is the leader. The Coalition under Abbott would be a disaster. God forbid.

    • nihonin says:

      09:58am | 29/07/12

      Nick off imposter, regular Punchers know you aren’t AtM.  I might not like party hacks, but what you’re doing is low, but it’s what we’ve come to expect from Labor, on all fronts by the looks of it now.

    • Holly says:

      09:07am | 29/07/12

      No doubt Rupert the kingmaker will be rubbing his hands with glee. He cares not who is leading Labor he has already proclaimed his wishes for Australia in his tweets.  I see from some articles in News Limited you are already setting Rudd up to shoot him down in flames again.  Why Carr, Fitzgibbon et al are too thick to realise this I cannot comprehend.

    • Bily B says:

      10:12am | 29/07/12

      Mickey T - Sarcasm is one of your strong points.  We can certainly see that.  Touche!

    • youdy beaudy says:

      10:20am | 29/07/12

      I don’t think it is very unusual for this to happen. After all many past Presidents of USA and western countries go on the gambit around the world speaking on different subjects. Howard does it and past American Presidents do it as well.

      He is probably supported by the people who employ him to speak, things such as plane fares etc, and there would be quite a large fee he charges for his services. Tony Abbott did a gambit around the world speaking in particular to the British Parliament where he spoke up the Australian Economy as if he were PM. Then when he came home he continued to put down the Government that has saved the Economy. So where is he coming from. Not elected but posing as PM himself. It goes on and on.

      Blokes like Rudd and others are paid as they ramble around on their speakfests. Apart from that the Australian Public need to look very closely at what they do with their vote at the next election. If Abbott does get in next year he will probably do what Can Do Cambell is doing in Queensland, sacking everyone and not even putting any money into the new scheme for Disability people. So, in my opinion Abbott will do the same as Howard and Newman, sell up the farm because that’s the only way they can run it. No new ideas, no policies. Do we want that.?

      Anyway K Rudd is his own man and he can do what he wants. If he wants the PM ship back then he will have to run in the Caucus and see how many votes he can get to get back. He will probably not be voted back in. He didn’t poll well last time. He obviously has significant talents and is known overseas and the people there like to hear his opinion. I don’t wish him bad luck with anything he does, he has a point of view and maybe people overseas think that his point of view is important for them to hear even tho he holds no reigns of power as he did before.

    • Jo says:

      12:25pm | 29/07/12

      YOUDY BEAUDY I enjoyed reading your post,  and found your thoughts interesting, and quite friendly. quite a change from the usual posters.

    • splash says:

      01:54am | 30/07/12

      Didnt poll well last time,
      30% backed him, even a tearfull Albanese did, remember that.
                      No one can predict for next time.
      That 30% level seems to be an unpopular figure for gillard as well.
      Dont be surprised if caucus saddles up that midnight cowboy again, knocking on her door.

    • jo says:

      10:37am | 29/07/12

      GREGG are you for real,  Kevin Rudd has has a lot of influence on the world stage, and is respected by many.  you may not like his demeanour, his traits, and his world view.  but at least be honest, and don’t let your dislike of Kevin Rudd, cloud your views.  Your views to me sound like a person that is just passing by, and decides to throw his two cents in, without even thinking much at what he is saying.

    • Gerry W says:

      12:21pm | 29/07/12

      jo….yes I agree 100% at least he apologized to our indigenous people and a lot more the others did not do for 100’s of years.
      At least we knew where we stood with Kevin Rudd.

    • john of solomon says:

      12:24pm | 29/07/12

      Mickey T I think you have overstepped the mark criticising Joan’s contributions, I certainly have no difficulty understanding her latest effort.Perhaps you need to brush up on your English skills.

    • Tongue in cheek says:

      02:03pm | 29/07/12

      I don’t think “Joan” is a single entity. Stylistically enormously variable - incomprehensible sometimes when writing in note form whilst other times she writes in perfect English.
      At one stage I thought she was a piece of software presenting repetitive phrases in random order.  But not so - I think she’s the product of the duty writer of the day who sometimes forgets his alter ego as is the case today.
      Either way she is good value on this site.
      If I’m wrong, Joan, then I apologise.

    • Mickey T says:

      04:23pm | 29/07/12

      john of solomon,

      My English stinks, but I don’t normally make it a habit of going around having a go at other people’s English, in this case, Joan was having a go at others and more than once.

      Anyway, can you do me a favour please, and explain the following:-

      “Yep the standard set by Labor since 2007 so low in Australian politics especially since overnight knifing of Rudd by Gillard that some think that an old unelected retiree blogger such as Bob Carr is good enough for top job Foreign Affairs and now from what you write he looks like he comes with a past.  Clear diction and knowledge of 21st century spoken English not his strong point either -  USA pollies seem to have a problem of making sense as we do”

      Also, see her first post at the top of the page if you’re not sure where I’m coming from, and if you think I overstepped the mark, then I can only assume that you must be new to The Punch? Toughen up John.

    • vox says:

      12:35pm | 29/07/12

      When Abbott went to Indonesia to drum up that despicable regime’s support for his war against the democratically elected Government of Australia, did he think that his callumny would go unnoticed?
      Does anyone, even the TimBs and nihonins of Abbott’s ultra right-wing world, believe for one minute that Abbott never offered that wretchedly corrupt and brutal Government a quid pro quo?
      Abbott sees himself as the Putin of the South. Not politically aligned but full of admiration for the bullying, grounded in a particular ideology, and ignorant and uncaring for the majority of the people. Lift some weights, belt a few stooges in the mouth, (Idi Amin did all that shit), ride a bike, (as if that qualified him for anything), pretend to fight a bushfire, (what bushfire, when?), and generally go on like a London ‘Bovver Boy’. Tough? NO!  Weak? Yes!
      Look at the curled mouth, the overhanging forehead, and the shifty eyes. A priest to his jockstrap, and a perfect candidate for the manipulations of the evil George Pell. 
      He will never, in my opinion, be Prime Minister of this proud land. All he has ever led is a Party which, even in opposition, has to be propped up by a cowardly, afraid, also-no-policy bunch of turncoats. Or are Abbott’s plans for the cities, which the Nats cravenly support, also what is best for rural Australia?
      Oh, incidentally, I hope he never suggested that Indonesia refuse to cooperate with our Government in finding a workable solution to the refugee problem. Nah, he would always put Australia first, wouldn’t he. Wouldn’t he?

    • Aussie Louis says:

      02:05pm | 29/07/12

      Small hicks like yourself which likes to represent the small minded and uninformed majority may not appreciate a good and intelligent Aussie man but the world outside Aussie Land are made up of wiser and smarter denizens who admires and listens to an intellect when they see one!

      No doubt one may not find such a one ( i.e. an intellect )in the Australian media circus but surely we Aussies did get to our place in the world despite this.

      You may know it but we do have a few good men!

    • Greatest Egomaniac of our time says:

      04:38pm | 29/07/12


    • Andreas Jacobs says:

      06:40pm | 29/07/12

      Interesting article.  Academic, however.  Whichever way you slice it Labour is f*cked come the next election.

    • Against the Man says:

      07:05pm | 29/07/12

      HaHaHa the fake Against the Man’s plan has failed. A desperate ALP coward smile

    • vox says:

      10:52pm | 29/07/12

      Silly me. I thought the real ATM was the fake. In fact I’m sure the real ATM is a fake. He pretends to be be original but he only comes across as a parrot. A galah. Please try to get something new into print, rather than the boring, everyday, repetitious, juvenile crap that we all see as Abbott-bile.
      I heard the Libs election song on the radio. (I think it was played,or maybe sung, by Alan Jones the toilet dweller.)
      “Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, Abbott”, said the monkey to the chimp.
      “Abbott, Abbott, Abbott, in monkey talk means won’t you vote for me?”
      And the big baboon said “No day soon”, and burst the LNP balloon,
      So everybody left and voted for the ALP!


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