This brief, two-word tweet was not a summation of the recent federal election campaign by a Liberal-National member of parliament from Queensland. It was Anthony Albanese’s reaction to the Prime Minister’s captain’s call not to support Kevin Rudd’s candidacy for the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Bill Shorten echoed these sentiments: “Disappointed to once again see Mr Turnbull put his own interests ahead of our nation’s.” So the Turnbull-Rudd ETS love affair circa 2009 proved to be a one-off fling after all, that’s true, but the erstwhile Leader of the Opposition failed to explain how supporting Rudd for the top UN position would have been in Australia’s interest. Perhaps one can’t do it justice in under 140 characters and in a language other than Mandarin.
Short of Shorten’s full explanation, let us recall what Kevin Rudd’s closest colleagues and collaborators said about his style, capacity and qualifications in the past.
Julia Gillard: “Kevin’s operating style was dysfunctional… Kevin’s fatal flaw was that he couldn’t delegate, he couldn’t manage his time, he couldn’t plan strategically as opposed to plan tactically… Kevin had treated so many people so badly for so long that there was no bond.”
Wayne Swan: “The central problem with Rudd is that he didn’t listen to people, he treated people badly. His tendency was to be unfocused, jumping from issue to issue, handing down dictates to people, not consulting, overreacting, trying to run a 24–hour news cycle… The problem, to be extremely frank, is Kevin is not suited to lead a team, if you want to sum it up. He had neither the temperament nor the interpersonal relations. And it is a pattern of behaviour that has been repeated in his career.”
Senator Chris Evans: “Julia spent the first two years of government running around cleaning up the mess [after Rudd], day after day.”
Greg Combet: “The government had become dysfunctional. Rudd’s approach to governing was the real reason he was replaced… Rudd failed in his management of his colleagues on any assessment.”
Stephen Smith: “It became impossible for Kevin’s colleagues to deal with him effectively. That’s why he was removed.”
Nicola Roxon: “Removing Kevin was an act of political bastardry, for sure, but this act of political bastardry was made possible only because Kevin had been such a bastard himself to too many people already.”
Kristina Keneally: “[Rudd is] a psychopathic narcissist. That’s not just my opinion, that’s the opinion of a whole range of people who are currently sitting in the parliament.”
Mark Latham: “This guy is … a once-in-a-century egomaniac. You’ll never see his like again as long as we live in Australian politics. What the Labor Party does with him, they should have expelled him three years ago [in 2010], quite frankly.”
So there you have it, good people of Australia: it would have been in our nation’s interest to support for the top international job a psychopathic narcissist and egomaniac bastard who can’t manage people, doesn’t listen and treats everyone badly. Because he’s an Australian. Why does Labor hate the United Nations so much?