THERE IS NO DOUBT that given the option, Kevin Rudd would race off to the UN as its Secretary-General in a flash; his time as Prime Minister of Australia — the carefully crafted public representation of it, that is — may as well have explicitly been a rehearsal for precisely that. But the cretinous ex-PM is more a national embarrassment than hometown hero: having offended key international figures before, he could be relied upon to do so again.
Former NSW Premier and (briefly) Senator and Foreign minister Bob Carr has been in the press of late and of course, and for all the wrong reasons; thanks to Carr having spent his 18 months as an unelected Senator and minister mostly compiling anecdotes and personal grievances to fill his diary-style tome released during the week we’re all fortunate to know that he resented being forced to slum it in business class on long-haul flights, and have been privileged to be honorary distant witnesses to his tantrum that airline pyjamas weren’t supplied in first class, and that he was compelled to sit in “tailored suits” for the duration of such flights.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the taxpayer will be enraged that so little value was derived from what could have been, in other circumstances, the sort of economy regime the plebs have to content themselves with!
I’m only partly joking, because there is a neat segue from this sort of thing to the kind of tantrum Kevin Rudd became legendary for: some of which, coincidentally, I’m sure, occurred during his own stint as Foreign minister between his two bites of the Prime Ministerial apple.
I wanted to briefly address this today because once again, the rumours and suggestions about Rudd as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations have resurfaced in tandem with the publication of Bob’s book.
The unbridled fantasy that Rudd — an imbecile and a cretin, whose ability to hoodwink Australian voters was laid bare for the myth it is last September — would best fit the podium at the United Nations, holding court and lecturing representatives of the most powerful governments on Earth, has always been laughable.
There are no “national interest” grounds to justify the Commonwealth sponsoring his bid; Rudd might like to boast of being a “career diplomat,” but between 1988 and 1996 he worked in Queensland for Wayne Goss (aged 30 to 38) and from 1998 onwards he was a member of federal Parliament.
It must have been some career as “Boy Wonder” prior to throwing his lot in with Goss to justify the Secretary-General’s chair at the United Nations.
In fact, there are examples of Rudd’s “diplomacy” strewn across his career, for all to see; whether reducing flight attendants to tears because he didn’t like a meal, or wild rages unleashed upon unsuspecting ministerial staff and/or colleagues, or getting thrown out of a New York strip club for inappropriate conduct — the mind boggles — or this little gem from around the time he was also caught out in Copenhagen referring to the Chinese as “rat fuckers,” a clear picture of the calibre of Rudd’s inherent and particular skills as a diplomat has never been far from public view.
As readers will note from the article I have linked to today, the permanent members of the Security Council retain a veto over prospective candidates for the Secretary-Generalship, which means the Chinese (if of a mind to reciprocate the sentiments expressed of them) could torpedo Rudd’s chances before his campaign even gets going.
Alternatively, the Chinese delegation to the UN may have a sense of humour: how very gratifying for them to set Rudd loose in an attempt to round up votes? He could lecture and belittle and abuse people about everything Australia shouldn’t stick its nose into that he went ahead and did anyway during his various tenures in government. Give him enough rope and let him hang himself; it doesn’t take a genius to be able to conceive of the outcome.
Either way, Carr — for what little it’s worth — enthuses that Rudd has his support: “He would be a very strong, credible candidate,” Mr Carr said, as quoted in The Australian. “It would be the most natural thing in the world for him to stand.
“I think the forcefulness Kevin showed sometimes in selling a case might be considered by some in the UN as an advantage.”
Which might be so, provided those recognising the advantage are aligned against whatever head Rudd seeks to kick at any given time, or onside against the latest unfortunate to have pissed him off and getting yelled at, which — in a forum like the United Nations — wouldn’t be a great number of people, I wouldn’t have thought.
Incumbent Ban Ki-moon remains in the role for a further two years, so it’s inevitable this subject will come up again, and unless there is some fresh angle to it (like the salacious revelations of Bob Carr’s book, which provided him with the chance to pump up Rudd’s tyres) I will probably ignore it the next time it does.
Arguments about national prestige be buggered: this country needs the national embarrassment that is Kevin Rudd parading around on the world stage again like it needs the proverbial hole in the head, and even most of his old mates over at the Labor Party will admit as much. Many aren’t even worried about being caught on the record when it comes to Rudd’s faults, and this we’ve seen before as well.
It’s just as well — as stated in the article by a spokesperson for Rudd — that as the role rotates geographically, Rudd isn’t under consideration as he isn’t from eastern Europe.
And that, my friends, invites the inevitable conclusion that knowing the creature as we have come to do, he will spend every minute of those two years plotting and scheming to come up with a way to circumvent this apparent bar to his candidacy.
If headlines about Kevin and Therese relocating to the Czech Republic materialise in the next year or two, it wouldn’t surprise a soul.