Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister of Australia - Channel NewsAsia
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd talks at the Sydney Writers Besides the question of who attends these events (true believers? masochists?. speechwriters. I met him only four times in that period, so I don't know him well. Kevin Rudd with his wife, Therese, in Credit:Glen. Kevin Michael Rudd (born 21 September ) is an Australian former politician who was the . In , he met with British intelligence and helped define the position that Labor would take in regards to the invasion of Iraq. There is no .
I kept waiting, and wanting, to hear the other side of the story: But, amazingly, apart from a handful of conversations praising his formidable intelligence, his efforts on the economic crisis and the fact that he left some ministers alone to do their work, there was no other side to the story. Hard-bitten commentators will say that character, or kindness, are irrelevant to politics; what counts is getting the job done. But you can never escape the human factor.
In the first six months ofRudd's personality and government policy collided, to catastrophic effect. People saw it coming. As much as four months before his downfall, Canberra insiders were warning that in the next few months Rudd had to land his health plan, the Henry tax review, a new plan for the carbon pollution reduction scheme after it had been defeated in the Senate, and the federal budget.
Each one was a massive operation. Each one required months of parliamentary and public battle. It was like trying to land four jumbo jets at once on the same runway, and people said it could not be done. Some of these people were in a position to say these things to Rudd but he had stopped listening.
He shut them out. While the clock was ticking and those aircraft were descending, Rudd kept visiting one more hospital, creating one more media opportunity with one more entrapped patient.
As a result, policy was neither properly prepared nor argued. Rudd focused obsessively on the health reforms, which turned out to be unimportant, and too little on the carbon scheme and the mining tax, which mattered immensely. It was in these circumstances, with the polls tumbling and mining companies' anger rising, that Gillard took the decision to mount a leadership challenge.
As I said, I hardly know Gillard.
But from my own impressions and from conversations with people who do know her well and who have worked for her, I believe she is a decent person. She is warm and smart.
She listens to people and treats them with respect. She has shown guts and, under relentless pressure, has run a happy office.
I have no idea of the precise moment at which she decided to challenge Rudd, but I am certain she had been as loyal a deputy as he was likely to get. Through the hard months of early she had long talks with him to keep him on track. In all the whisperings I heard against Rudd until the time I left Canberra in Aprilnone of it involved her. In fact, she protected her leader. As one of her advisers said, they were "joined at the hip".
But she also knew what Rudd was like. In mid, I imagine, she saw him spinning; saw the polls; saw an election approaching; believed that, in this climate, his capacity for chaos was likely to grow rather than diminish. This was not about ambition. Sure she might have wanted to be prime minister one day, but not under these circumstances; not with the consequences that were bound to follow.
But in politics you don't get to pick your moment, it picks you. Hers came and she took it. What she and others failed to do was explain why. This was a task of almost unimaginable difficulty. She had been his deputy; she shared responsibility for the state of the government.
I also imagine she did not want to add to Rudd's pain by stressing his flaws. Nevertheless, the coup was an act of great political violence. It had to be explained in ideas and language that measured up to the act. She had to find the words to tell Australians about the crisis Rudd had created. Then she had to send him to the backbench. There was no chance, in that moment, of reparation or reconciliation. No chance the act could be explained as merely the unfortunate result of a good government losing its way.
In that moment, when the story was not told, the insider-outsider gap of Australian politics became a chasm. This is all easy to say with hindsight. I supported the coup at the time, and misread its meaning and consequences as much as anyone. Australians were not ready for this.
Kevin Rudd - Wikipedia
They did not follow the frenetic tweets on the night of the challenge. They were not on the other end of a phone outside a Vietnamese restaurant in Canberra. But on all of those counts, no one in recorded Australian political history has ever exceeded Kevin Rudd.
There is a parliamentary consensus that Kevin Rudd is bright. No one could reasonably doubt his addiction to hard work, his studious attention to detail and his passion to acquire knowledge. His success at university and in his early years as a junior diplomat attests to that.
As prime minister, those qualities have shone through. Kevin Rudd, PM, knows stuff, speaks a foreign language — and a hard one at that — and works day and night with barely a break to sleep.
Kevin Rudd copies Barack Obama's absentee note for student
He knows he has academic ability, of course. I recall walking through the corridors of Parliament House late one evening about five years ago and encountered a busy- looking Kevin Rudd. On 9 Septemberan Islamist fanatic tried to blow up the Australian embassy in Jakarta.Footage of Kevin Rudd swearing released
I was in Victor Harbor that day when the ambassador rang me directly on my mobile to tell me the terrible news. We could be there before bedtime. I told John Howard of my plans and he said I ought to also take the opposition spokesman for foreign affairs, who happened to be Kevin Rudd; this was, after all, during the election campaign.
Indirectly, I let Rudd know he was invited. I drove to my office to prepare for my departure. There was a message to call Rudd. I explained two things to him. First, the plane was too small to add him and his staffer unless we offloaded the AFP Commissioner or the intelligence officer. Secondly, to travel via Brisbane would add hours to the journey.
Instead, we would pay for a commercial flight for him. This was not met with grace.
Kevin Rudd: direct from New York, a new episode of national scab-picking
In his time as a diplomat, he was a delegate to a conference on eliminating substances capable of damaging the ozone layer, subsequently becoming the Montreal Convention. This had a profound influence on his approach to global environmental reform.
This is, therefore, a problem which requires a global solution. As Prime Minister, Kevin maintained the momentum of the climate change agenda, breaking new ground in policy as well as driving a shift in public perception on climate change. He ratified the Kyoto Protocol informally committing the government, under international treaty law, to reducing greenhouse gases and improving compliance and auditing of carbon emissions. Inhis government legislated for a 20 per cent mandatory renewable energy target.
- Meet the real Kevin Rudd
- Kevin Rudd
- Kevin Rudd copies Barack Obama's absentee note for student
Kevin is a resolute advocate for equality and justice around the world, for all people, in all walks of life. He has fought for equal rights for women, for Indigenous peoples and for marriage equality. Witnessed by millions across the country, the apology was a vital step in healing a rift in Australian society and moving the country towards greater reconciliation. In that speech, he committed future Prime Ministers to delivering annual statements to the parliament outlining progress in meeting the "closing the gap" targets he outlined in his original apology statement.
As Prime Minister, Kevin was challenged on his stance on marriage equality, and he responded passionately that he would be taking steps to legalise same-sex marriage. Recognising the religious debates surrounding gay rights, Kevin reiterated that his stance had come after years of reflection in good Christian conscience - that we should seek to embrace the diversity and uniqueness in all of us.
While in government, Kevin took concrete actions to bring about real change for women and girls.