WITH INCREASINGLY clear indications the honeymoon is now over for Kevin Rudd, the resurrected Prime Minister is attracting a lot of scrutiny and criticism — most of it completely justified. Is he, as The Spectator Australia rhetorically asks, a “complete and utter fraud,” or is he, simply, just a cretin?
The Spectator Australia this week carries an opinion piece on Kevin Rudd that, in my view, is very, very near the mark; it profiles beautifully the entire modus operandi of our Prime Minister, both in abstract terms and through illustration with examples of Rudd’s own behaviour in the years he has been active in public life.
I’m including this for readers tonight (ahead, hopefully, of a little more time to post this weekend) because I just wonder if the central point might be a little less obtuse than even this article makes it.
Granted, the Spectator Australia article is not a sympathetic piece; but that publication — whilst a good read of good quality journalism — is nowhere near as conservative as its influential British namesake and forbear, and could hardly be accused of anti-ALP bias.
It has become fashionable in recent years to talk about former Liberal Prime Minister Sir William McMahon; indeed, The Red And The Blue has been guilty of doing just that.
Bill McMahon isn’t anyone’s idea of a political role model, idol or an example to follow; even whilst in office he was pilloried as Australia’s most ridiculous Prime Minister (among other less flattering epithets) and his government — if summarised in a word — was mediocre.
And it’s become fashionable to talk about him now because until recently, it seemed McMahon’s title as “most ridiculous” was under threat from Julia Gillard, whose administration, politically, was a shocker; it was of course also marked by fundamental dishonesty with, and a complete disconnect from, the majority of mainstream voters it purported to represent.
But McMahon also had a reputation as a liar, a cheat, a fraud and a rogue; it was accepted that he simply couldn’t be trusted, and stories of his wheeling and dealing abound from those of his contemporaries who still survive, and in various archives in the case of those who do not.
And I must say the link in this article to a diary note by Paul Hasluck (one-time Liberal minister, future Governor-General and sworn McMahon enemy) provides an amusing yet deadly accurate parallel between McMahon and the man of the moment, Kevin Rudd.
I hope readers will click through to the Spectator article, and I would be interested in people’s thoughts.
But for all of the excellent logic and soundness of argument presented by the Speccie, I just wonder if the bottom line is simpler even than its contention Rudd is an “utter fraud.”
At the end of the day, is the Prime Minister simply an imbecile?
You have to wonder.