Flat White

Keating, Turnbull and Rudd: the new Three Stooges

24 September 2021

1:18 PM

24 September 2021

1:18 PM

Three questions in today’s quiz:

Who couldn’t care less about party or national loyalties once the prime ministerial pension kicks in? 

Who feels not the least need, having ‘retired‘ from politics, to stand aside and let the new elected national leader have a go without throwing grenades from the sidelines?

Who thinks nothing of putting deeply held enmities and personal disgruntlement ahead of all other considerations in the conduct of national affairs?

Winning answer. The Three Stooges: Rudd, Keating and Turnbull.  The lead performer, by a country mile, is Australia’s 26th Prime Minister, the Ruddster.  Knowing slapstick as he does so well Ruddy is a belly laugh a second.  But poor old Paul and money-bags Mal also keep their hotlines to ABC Ultimo well and truly open keeping us well amused.

Like praying mantis they lie in wait for any opportunity that may arise to (metaphorically) devour their former parliamentary colleagues, especially the prime minister of the day.  But be assured of this.  When it comes to the unfunny practices of professional political hitmen, the Ruddster has no equal.


In the last month, each of the Stooges has felt obligated to hurl anti-Australian, anti-sovereign, anti-democratic verbiage into the firmament with the undisguised aim of reminding us of their cerebral brilliance while simultaneously highlighting the cretinous stupidity of those currently in office — at the voters’ will.

In so doing Kevin, Paul and Malcolm have provided considerable jollity and distraction from an otherwise long winter of discontent.  Larry, Moe and Curly have much to learn from the now weekly antics of these three.  Not afraid of a little regimentation — especially old Paul given his fascination with clocks — these guys are probably on a roster to keep the ‘disruption volume’ on high.

The Ruddster has entered the fray again this week — not via his preferred channels in the Australian media — but on this occasion selecting that distinguished French journal Le Monde, to eviscerate the three-way security partnership with Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, AUKUS. 

Using some of his best Nambour Hight French, Rudd described the AUKUS pack as a ‘rolling amateur hour’ revealing, he said, Australia’s ineptitude in global defence and political diplomacy.  Pausing briefly to consider the Ruddster’s remarks it occurred to me: who better to recognise amateurism than the Ruddster himself.  So familiar is he with this macro-descriptor of his administration that it’s fitting he should run with the usefully French-derived ‘amateur’.

In an entirely unchallenged ABC Radio National interview this week the Ruddster was accorded extensive air time to advise the nation that Morrison had gone for the ‘wow factor’ on AUKUS but instead had delivered the ‘oops factor’!  Nasty stuff.

Oozing with sanctimony and without a shred of self-reflection the Ruddster weighed in wildly waving machetes in both hands hoping to damage anything, everything and everyone in his path.  

As has occurred so frequently on matters such as Australia’s vaccine supplies, climate change policies, the Australia-China relationship, the NATO exit from Afghanistan and so on, the ever-reliable, always available, pompous, self aggrandising Rudd is ready with his observations, commentary and advice.  With all the ‘programmatic specificity’ he was able to muster, the Ruddster turned his miserable hostility on Morrison, the Australian national security community and our nation’s defence capacity.  This was ‘opportunism’ of the most grotesque kind, aided and abetted by the national broadcaster always thrilled to take the ‘Rudster’s’ call.

Don’t be fooled by Rudd’s claims of being a global figure of substance and respect. Kev would dearly love to be seen in the same light as Henry Kissinger,  Madeleine Albright or Colin Powell. Think more Rex Tillerson and you’re on the right track.  

Having failed as a Prime Minister (twice) the Ruddster is now a full-time professional in the political demolition trade.  He spends much of each waking hour (and likely some time while sleeping) plotting the overthrow of the legions of unworthies who have come behind him. In Rudd’s befuddled, cognitively twisted sense of the world, no one comes close to his genius, his erudition, his completeness.

So committed to their own post-political, ego-busting enterprise are Rudd, Keating and Turnbull they have no qualms in trashing the democratic fabric of the nation that gave them their exalted positions.    

Well, let’s extract some assumptions from this quagmire of detestation.  One: public policy wisdom is apparently bestowed after leaders leave office.  Two: failure to achieve ‘in office’ most commonly leads to abhorrence of all those who follow you. Three: the former PM club is split firmly into two camps. Those who are satisfied they did their best and who remain under the radar after leaving office and those who are so filled with hatred, loathing, regret and bile that they feel obliged to wreck all that follows in their wake. Four: getting even is all that matters. Forget Australia’s global standing and security interests, forget voter wishes, forget the democratic tenets that installed each of them in The Lodge. There are of course, many more we could identify.  

Larry, Moe and Curly did a range of terrific stunts and gags during their long reign of almost 50 years, but none of their work come close to the idiocies of the Rudd, Keating and Turnbull triumvirate.  At least The Three Stooges really were funny.

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