This must be a job for SuperKevin…
Today’s news that an Iranian actor faces a year’s jail and 90 lashes for starring in a South Australia-funded film is an affront to justice, artistic license and about 100 other things. It is, however, very good news for a certain K Rudd.
The man who was Prime Minister until he walked backwards into a very long scimitar has had a good week. Not since he confronted a jaded John Howard and his despised WorkChoices at the 2007 election has Rudd been presented with such a string of scenarios tailor-made for his popularity.
If politics is normally the equivalent of facing missiles hurled at 100 miles an hour, this week has been T-Ball for Rudd. First, he out-manouevred Gillard with the Kuta Kid, owning the news cycle and making Gillard’s phone call to the boy’s cell look like a desperate grab for attention. Now he’s got the chance to go into bat for Iranian actor Marzieh Vafamehr.
It’s what the people want too. Just look at the very first comment from reader Brook Kelly on the AdelaideNow website, which broke the story.
“Hopefully the family accept help and Mr Rudd is able to offer help. How tragic that Iran is not able to accept western culture like we Australians openly accept multicultural religions and the like here. Imagine jailing a woman here for wearing a burqa….”
And that’s just the first of countless comments in the same vein on AdelaideNow and other sites across Australia. People want justice in this case. And they want Kevin Rudd to be the man hurtling across the skies to deliver it.
Whether Mr Rudd has any sway at all with the Ahmadinejad regime is a moot point. Actually, it’s quite an amusing point when you think about it. A pandering, bespectacled bureaucrat from a close relative of the Great Satan is hardly going to cause Tehran to buckle.
Indeed, the very thought of the high-level lobbying lends itself to great mirth.
Rudd: Fair shake of the hummus bottle, Mahmoud. Let’s be happy little tahinis and let the woman go, eh sport?
What isn’t funny at all is the plight of actor Marzieh Vafamehr. While there is a valid argument that she flagrantly flaunted Iranian custom, and indeed Iranian law, in appearing with a shaven head and at a Tehran rave party in her Australian-funded film, there is no way any fair-minded Australian would condemn her to the ghastly punishment that awaits.
This is an issue both left and right appear to agree on for a change. With Australians united, the stage is set for Foreign Minister Rudd to don his Kevin ’07 cape and fly in and fix things.. Oh but wait, we all know how the smooth talk turned to dithering the last time the majority of us got behind him…
Rudd will be hoping he gets something even vaguely approaching a positive hearing from the Iranians. That’ll give him yet more immunity to the fading Kryptonite that is Julia Gillard.
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