Ruddwatch: Time For Kevin To Hit The Road — And Not Come Back

MORE CRETINOUS TWADDLE from the megalomaniac’s megalomaniac — a failed former Prime Minister with the delusion he should rule the world — has erupted once again, this time in a laughable attempt to send the actual Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on a guilt trip for refusing to back his unjustifiable aspiration to a perverse bureaucratic Nirvana. It’s time for Kevin Rudd to hit the road — and not come back. Ever.

At the end of another stifling, stultifying week, I’m probably dignifying Kevin Rudd with more attention than he deserves in commenting yet again on his dismally misguided aspiration to rule the world through the bureaucratic behemoth of the United Nations, but here we are.

Regular readers will have ascertained that heavy demands on my time continue at present, and as ever, those obligations central to earning an income must always take precedence over this column; even so, I’m not going anywhere, and in the fullness of time will restore our conversations to the frequency everyone is accustomed to.

There’s a little clear air coming over the weekend, and I will post again, but for now my remarks will be blunt: whenever the temptation exists to think Kevin Rudd has got the message that he should shut up and go away, just like a bad penny he comes back.

I’m not going to bother linking to any of the plethora of articles this column has published over the years dealing with the imbecilic Rudd’s foibles and misdemeanours or, more pertinently, the half-baked idea he harbours that the world is simply crying out for his “leadership;” the tired old story of Rudd is too well known as it is, and on the latter score, only a world even less sane than Rudd himself is rumoured to be would regard him as a suitable candidate to lead anything.

Yet like a blowfly with a bit of dog poo in prospect, Rudd has this week returned to his latest favourite theme — the alleged grievous slight inflicted on him by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the “crime” of deigning Rudd to be temperamentally unsuited to the position of Secretary-General of the UN — and in an irony lost on few except the lamentable Rudd, his continued outbursts on the subject merely prove that Turnbull’s judgement (in this case at least) was chillingly correct.

Turnbull was not shanghaied into the decision by the “far right” of the Liberal Party; most thinking people can see at forty paces distant how utterly unsuited Rudd is to the UN post, and the scope for him to prove an unmitigated disaster (and an unmitigated embarrassment) in it were he ever successful in securing it. Why would the Australian government sign on to supporting that?

It doesn’t matter that current Foreign minister Julie Bishop lavished praise on Rudd as an “eminently qualified candidate” for the post; everyone makes mistakes.

It doesn’t matter that Turnbull once privately promised support to Rudd, only to later change his mind; after all, the longer one looks at Rudd the less attractive he becomes — a reality exactly mirrored by his relationship with the Australian public between 2007 and 2010, and replayed with record speed between June and September 2013.

It doesn’t matter that the ALP torpedoed former Liberal Party figures for diplomatic postings after 2007; whilst tit-for-tat arguments over such things can certainly be entertaining, the issue of whether to help Rudd strut the world stage preening (and making a fool of) himself is a different issue altogether.

And it isn’t a mitigating factor that his own parliamentary colleagues have variously called him juvenile, vindictive, or a bastard with contempt for the Australian public.

Or, accurately, all kinds of much nastier things.

No, Kevin has spent a great deal of time doing this to himself.

Even before he first won the ALP leadership in late 2006, it was an open secret that Rudd viewed a possible Prime Ministership as a mere stepping stone to his ultimate objective of running the United Nations; and before even that, anyone with a direct eye on the goings-on in Queensland and Rudd’s part in them (as I had, prior to my move south) knew the guy was nothing if not utterly consumed with his own importance.

Once upon a time, Rudd enjoyed the fellowship of a small ALP cabal in Brisbane that feted him and fanned his ego with fulsome public declarations of his competence and brilliance; they’re nowhere to be seen or heard today.

The damage was done, however — if, that is, Rudd needed any encouragement in this vein at all — and it would be a brave soul who attempted to rebut the contention that his entire public life has been spent making it very clear to anyone who listened that nobody was smarter or more important than Kevin Michael Rudd.

Never mind the complete balls-up he made of public service restructuring in Queensland during the tenure of the Goss government; never mind the sheer toxicity it created, to the extent that the huge swing against Labor that seemingly materialised out of thin air at the 1995 state election was overwhelmingly driven by public servants fed up with six years of Rudd’s master-slave regime, and driven by some of the (usually) most loyal Labor diehards to boot.

And never mind the love-hate relationship he has had with the press in all those years; when it suited them, the media built Rudd into a messiah. I had a conversation with a very senior Liberal MP prior to the 2007 election, demanding to know why the party hadn’t made better use of the abundance of material that was available from Rudd’s time under Goss. The media had decided Rudd should beat John Howard, and weren’t interested. The subtext was that it signalled to Rudd that he could get away with whatever he liked.

Those days are gone.

Anyone who has paid even scant attention to Rudd’s shenanigans in recent years knows that for all his bluster, diplomacy is not an attribute that could be regarded as his forte; anyone who hasn’t will quickly get up to speed browsing past articles that can be accessed through the “Kevin Rudd” tag in the cloud to the right of this article.

And it will surprise nobody to realise that we are now at the end destination of the story of Kevin Rudd and his public career, for the UN job was the one he coveted more than any, and for almost exclusively self-inflicted reasons will never have.

From here, any more blather on the subject from Rudd can and should be regarded as sour grapes: an attempt to send Turnbull on a guilt trip for no more substantial reason that in refusing to nominate and support Rudd for the UN post, Turnbull actually discharged the obligations of his office properly.

Certainly, I have just about had enough of Kevin Rudd, and I daresay so have many millions of Australians.

Even so, it isn’t hard to comprehend how Julia Gillard — no favourite of this column — might have been frustrated and even enraged by the puerile behaviour he now thinks will “shame” Turnbull into backing down and giving him exactly what he wants.

Unlike Gillard, however, no subterranean scheme to knife Turnbull is available to Rudd, and even if it were, his residential arrangements in New York would severely compromise his ability to execute it.

It’s time for Kevin Rudd to disappear. Permanently. The only person he remains capable of damaging is himself: but after more than quarter of a century of doing exactly that, it is difficult to imagine Rudd going quietly or, for that matter, with a good grace.

More’s the pity, for if he doesn’t, he will simply prove former ALP Senator Stephen Conroy’s barb about Rudd’s contempt for the Australian public to have been more accurate, and prescient, than anyone could have ever believed, thought, or imagined.

 

Wannabe Cretin: Turnbull Spares Australia Rudd Embarrassment

THE CABINET BRAWL over Kevin Rudd’s pitch as Secretary-General of the UN was grotesque; but it fades to irrelevance beside the embarrassment this narcissistic megalomaniac might cause if merrily sent on a global “look at me” tour with official sanction. Treacherous, psychotic lunatics are not export goods Australia should cultivate. By instructing Rudd to tell his story walking, Malcolm Turnbull was right: whatever criticism ensues.

If corrupt, disgraced former WA Premier Brian Burke had got it into his head, perhaps on account of his stint as an ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See, to seek the role of Secretary-General of the United Nations, would there be any kind of clamour — from anywhere — for the Australian government to “back the Australian candidate?”

Of course there wouldn’t be, and whilst I note that unlike Burke Kevin Rudd has never been charged with or convicted of official misconduct, in some respects Burke might make the more suitable candidate: and that is a judgement that takes some considerable lowering of comparative standards to be able to arrive at.

A judgement that should have been immediately rendered, however — rather than squibbed by a brawling federal Cabinet and handballed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a “captain’s pick” — was belatedly delivered yesterday afternoon, with the announcement that the federal government would not formally endorse (and thus support) Rudd’s maniacal quest to take charge of the United Nations; better late than never.

But the only argument of any logical soundness at all for the Turnbull government to do so (and it’s a very poor one at that) was that he’s “the Australian candidate;” even a cursory glance at his alleged diplomatic achievements, and his malodorous record over decades in personnel “management,” is sufficient to conclusively judge Rudd an advertisement for Australia that should never be aired at all, let alone permitted to grace the widescreen of the global stage.

By contrast — as has been noted in the mainstream press over the past day — had it been a question of an ALP-aligned nominee such as Kim Beazley, the current conservative government would in probability have (rightly) endorsed him without reserve. It’s a very salient point.

There has been an orgy of comment erupting in the mainstream press since the announcement of Turnbull’s decision to let Rudd twist and dangle in the wind — from both the usual anti-Coalition suspects (the ABC, Crikey, Fairfax) as well as those organs of the press that are usually friendlier to the Coalition from the Murdoch stable — that, distilled to its essence, suggests Turnbull has been petty, biased, vindictive, and just plain nasty.

On the face of it, perhaps he has. But a decision of the kind Rudd has attempted to manipulate Turnbull into is not one to be determined on the basis of trivialities, and whether any or all of the puerile insults being flung at Turnbull ring true or not, the decision he has ultimately made is unquestionably correct.

Has Turnbull been “rolled” by conservative MPs within his party room and/or Cabinet? I doubt it. Are those conservatives able to claim a very big triumph in the washout from this, given their near-complete hatred of the man they have just seen nobbled? You bet your life they are.

And stories about the diminished authority Turnbull now possesses — like today’s Editorial in Brisbane’s Courier-Mail, which fatuously asserts the decision to veto Rudd delivered a “brutal blow” to Turnbull’s leadership — will, by virtue of the abjectly pathetic Coalition election campaign and the correspondingly pathetic result it produced, burst forth on every conceivable issue until either a further electoral pronouncement is made on Turnbull in three years’ time or he leaves his post in the interim.

But the simple truth is that Cabinet was asked to consider on its merits a request from Rudd for Commonwealth sanction and resources to pursue the Secretary-Generalship of the United Nations as an official Australian candidate, and in this sense, nobody could argue the outcome ignored considerations of merit.

It couldn’t have ignored Rudd’s idea of international diplomacy, most infamously encapsulated by his outburst against the Chinese some years ago as “rat fuckers.”

It couldn’t have ignored Rudd’s idea of personnel management, which over decades of involvement in Australian governance — openly or behind the scenes — has been manifest in a scorched Earth policy with a trail of broken careers in its wake, from seasoned senior Queensland bureaucrats in the early 1990s to an endless procession of burnt-out staff through his Prime Ministerial office, and right down to his abuse of a junior female RAAF aide that reduced her to tears for no better reason than he objected to the refreshments available on a short VIP flight.

It couldn’t have ignored the volumes of evidence of his methods in dealing with those with he is charged with working most closely; a little trip down memory lane appears below for those interested in such tawdry details.

And it surely couldn’t have ignored the fact that if Rudd were to become Secretary-General of the United Nations, that body — supposedly the peak forum of the international system — would have at its head an individual once thrown out of a venue in New York that provided sexually explicit entertainment, heavily inebriated, for “inappropriate conduct.”

The reality, as difficult as it might be for Rudd and those voices in the press who deign to continue to root for him, is that there is nothing to recommend the former Prime Minister for such a plum posting, and with the imprimatur of the Commonwealth to boot.

Anyone who knows — directly or second-hand — exactly what Rudd is like knows, deeply, how flawed and irretrievably unsuitable he is for the United Nations post; those of us who have variously characterised him as psychotic, psychopathic, narcissistic, cretinous, egomaniacal and/or a pathology case do so not to be petty, or nasty, or any of the insults now being flung at Turnbull, but because it is in fact true.

Just in case there is any doubt on this point, Rudd, chillingly, saw fit yesterday to validate virtually every criticism his detractors have ever levelled at him, releasing private correspondence dating back almost a year between himself and Turnbull that purported to show Turnbull had reneged on a deal to support him.

The Rudd release of private communications is, in itself, an appalling act of poor faith and a breach of trust, which is only worsened by the fact Turnbull himself warned Rudd months ago that neither he, nor Cabinet, would back him for the UN post: a development that surely supersedes any previous assurances, but a detail Rudd conveniently saw fit to omit from his jaundiced fit of pique yesterday afternoon.

If nothing else, Rudd’s actions underline the entrenched treachery and bastardry his old colleagues at the ALP have accused him of for decades.

Some of those past colleagues — most notably, former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally — have had the integrity in recent days to remain honest in their assessments of Rudd, with Keneally’s suggestion her pet dog would make a better candidate probably an insult to the dog only on account of it being likened to Rudd in the first place.

Others, however — led by alleged leadership prospect Tanya Plibersek, who has never hid her contempt for Rudd in the past, but has seen fit to engage in the same petty politicking she accuses Turnbull of, claiming Rudd was an outstanding candidate vetoed by the Coalition to settle a vendetta — ought to be ashamed of themselves.

In the end, Turnbull explained his decision by saying that in his judgement, Rudd was not a suitable candidate “for that particular role,” which is an understatement.

The prospect of this supreme egotist turning up in corridors of power across the world, demanding meetings with officials and government leaders off the cuff, throwing God knows what insults around at Australia’s most powerful international partners in unguarded moments near microphones or listening ears (and throwing all manner of tantrums whenever things don’t go to plan) is a nightmare scenario Turnbull is right to dissociate his government from.

And that’s just where Rudd’s campaign for the position is concerned. Imagine the embarrassment Australia might be subjected to if he succeeded.

If there is merit at all in the prospect of Kevin Rudd as Secretary-General of the United Nations, let the vanquished candidate now reflect that really, what happened yesterday might be the fault of nobody but himself; if he is qualified at all for that post — a point of obvious conjecture — perhaps he might consider that the gleeful and/or oblivious alienation of people he indulged himself with for decades just might have come at a price.

There can be no room for sentiment, and no entertainment of shades of grey in what is a black-and-white proposition.

There are too many question marks over Kevin Rudd as a candidate for a high-profile position of global governance to make the risk of endorsing him worth any benefits (real, perceived or imagined) he might deliver, and specious arguments that he should have been supported simply because he is Australian must be dismissed as the juvenile claptrap they are.

Turnbull would have been criticised over this whichever way he jumped, and just as those peddling mock outrage today are shining a light on how this government will be treated in the immediate term, the opposite call on Turnbull’s part would have been disastrous.

It would almost certainly have elevated Liberal leadership ructions, for a start; but more importantly, it would have left this country exposed to unquantifiable embarrassment at the hands of a volatile and self-consumed psychopath in a context Australia could ill afford any opprobrium or rancour Rudd managed to generate along the way.

It was only half in jest I suggested Brian Burke might be less unsuitable than Rudd; after all, Burke at least was civil, and not just in front of a camera.

A narcissistic lunatic is not the kind of commodity Australia needs to export to the world with a letter of introduction and a blank cheque.

Whatever else people might think of Turnbull, he was dead right on this.

 

 

Ruddwatch: World Needs “Kevin 747” At The UN Like The Pox

IT WAS KNOWN almost a decade ago that Kevin Rudd’s real ambition was to be Secretary-General of the United Nations; this column has never hid its disdain for the UN, believing it obsessed with meddling in member states rather than its charter to maintain peace. Even so, the moronic Rudd — with pointless meetings, unruly temper, and gratuitous travel — is not what the world needs. Any official sanction of his bona fides for the post is lunacy.

Today’s article isn’t so much an opinion piece per se, but a trip down memory lane — with a little help from YouTube — for it amazes me just how short some people’s memories can be, and where Kevin Rudd is concerned, the propensity for time to “heal all” and wipe away the recollections of his defects and shortfalls is a dangerous and salutary lesson in just how easily people are prone to forget.

In the overwhelming majority of cases, I have been at pains over the years to note in this column that political figures of opposing political stripes to my own are still, first and foremost, people; that expression of grace is difficult to concede in certain cases, and near the top of any list of those for whom it is impossible to harbour any concession of the kind sits one Kevin Michael Rudd.

Right from the start, there were those who grasped the fundamentally ridiculous nature of his claim to government in Australia; right from the earliest days of Rudd’s tenure as Prime Minister, the rumours of his eventual grandiose ambition to run the United Nations — providing a global platform on which he might parade the pomposity and histrionic bombast Australian voters quickly wearied of once he had been elected — spread like wildfire.

And right from the start Rudd became, aptly, a figure of ridicule.

Those with short memories will have forgotten how he not just alienated but enraged his Labor colleagues; his temper and ego are the stuff of legend in political circles, and his noxious and destructive approach to matters of governance was such that a large portion of the ALP caucus swore that if he ever returned as Prime Minister once he had been dumped that not only would they refuse to serve in his ministry, but that they would leave Parliament altogether — a threat many of them made good on after June 2013, when he orchestrated the overthrow of Julia Gillard to reclaim what he saw as rightly his.

For those who have, indeed, forgotten, here’s an aggregation of the sentiments of the Labor caucus of the day. It isn’t what you would call edifying.

Who could possibly forget the Rudd decree that climate change was “the greatest moral challenge of our time” or the shameful performance he turned in at Copenhagen late in 2009, as he strove to be the international face of some kind of agreement to deal with this menace, only to fail abysmally? Who can forget the stories of his brutality as a “leader,” abusing his ministers, tearing shreds off young service personnel on RAAF flights, and systematically leaking and backgrounding against his colleagues to undermine them?

Those of us with very long memories recall only too well the mess he created in Queensland — as the state’s top public servant under the government of Wayne Goss — before be entered Parliament, as a vicious crusade was embarked upon to fire not just those senior public servants who owed their positions to National Party cronyism of the 1970s and 1980s, but also to target politically unaligned (or, wisely, silent) individuals whose only crime was not to make vociferous expressions of fidelity with the ALP during the “dark” years of National Party oppression that preceded Goss’ regime.

We also remember the complete consequent mess made of the Queensland public service, with that state’s health bureaucracy rendered dysfunctional, and scores of sacked National Party appointees rehired in their old roles on expensive contracts when the penny dropped that the chosen ALP appointments Rudd oversaw simply weren’t up to the jobs they were given, and that unless those with real experience of running Queensland were brought back into the fold, the disaster Rudd’s “management” of the Queensland government created would in fact have become a cataclysm.

The huge swing to the Coalition at the 1995 state election was, apart from a few seats affected by a toll road Goss wanted to build, almost entirely built on a backlash from public servants: and to this day, I can’t think of another instance anywhere in Australia where public servants have voted en masse and as a solid bloc against a Labor government. It was an achievement of sorts, and one in which Rudd’s handiwork was everywhere.

Now, Kevin Rudd — who once famously described himself as “an out-of-work diplomat” — is showing signs of making a serious attempt to replace outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose term in the post expires late this year.

Perhaps mindful of the fact support from the continuing (Coalition) government may or may not be forthcoming, Rudd is said to be working solus to try to secure the post through his own contacts, and no wonder: who could possibly have forgotten the billions of dollars doled out on Rudd’s watch, over a single weekend in 2009, to buy off various countries in support of his government’s campaign to have Australia elevated to a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council?

Yet disturbingly, there are reports today that Foreign minister Julie Bishop will, in fact, consider providing official backing to any push by Rudd to go to the UN if he formally requests it.

Such support cannot and must not be provided, for the cretin Rudd is something the wider world needs like the pox.

Many, it seems, have forgotten the Rudd brand of diplomacy, brown-nosing to Chinese leaders to their faces and showily refusing audio translation of their speeches to highlight his Chinese language skills, whilst calling them “rat fuckers” behind their backs.

And it beggars belief that the kind of wit and wisdom exhibited toward foreign leaders by Rudd behind the scenes, replete with contempt for his audience and filled with malignant animus, could have ever been overlooked.

We will keep an eye on Rudd as this issue develops: in some respects, it’ll be quite like old times.

But the bottom line is that Kevin Rudd — despite the shortfalls of the United Nations, which are many, and the inappropriate activities it engages in that have nothing to do with preserving military peace whatsoever — is perhaps the most unsuitable candidate on Earth to lead an organisation whose primary purpose is the preservation of order and the maintenance of global peace.

Right now, the world faces increasing instability and growing threats of military conflict: the plunge in relations between Russia and the West to Cold War levels of iciness heads that list, of course, but there are other threats wherever you look. The perennial problem of North Korea and its ongoing development of nuclear weapons capabilities and the accompanying bellicose threat to launch them on the US, South Korea, Japan, and God knows who else. The tinder box that is the Middle East. Russia’s perceived designs on the Baltic states, as well as the ambition to annex other Soviet-era satellites, after its march into the Crimea provoked no consequences of significance. Perpetual tensions between India and Pakistan, or between Israel and all of its neighbours. On and on the list goes. One misstep, at the wrong time and over the wrong issue, could set off a chain reaction.

In this sense, the last thing anyone would characterise as “a resource” to deal with these threats is Kevin Rudd: abusive, egomaniacal and incendiary, Rudd’s penchant for strutting the world stage and lecturing people — to build his own profile, irrespective of whether anything is ever achieved — would simply place another match into the box.

It doesn’t matter that some characterise Ban Ki-moon as ineffective, ineffectual, or lazy; it doesn’t justify putting an insidious and volatile specimen like Rudd in his place when the opportunity to replace him falls due.

Just when you think Rudd has finally gone away, back he comes with a vengeance.

There is obviously a long way to go in this issue, and as it develops, we’ll keep watch, but the final word today goes to another old Liberal Party commercial that dates from just after Tony Abbott replaced Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader in late 2009.

The Liberals got this right; the reality soon dawned on Rudd’s ALP colleagues; and I think the more time that has passed since then, the more it has dawned on a very large contingent of the same voters who were hoodwinked into electing Rudd in 2007 in the first place.

Let Rudd play his games, and busy himself killing time, by all means: but there is no case for him to become Secretary-General at the UN.

If the government provides Rudd with any kind of endorsement, or support — either openly or behind the scenes — for hit pitch to replace Ban, it will be a very large black mark against the Turnbull government indeed.

Stay tuned.

 

MH17 Disaster: Putin’s Statement And A UN Resolution

FACED WITH IMMUTABLE international outrage over the wanton murder of 298 civilians in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, Russian President Vladimir Putin has conceded ground, and seemingly backed down; noises emanating from Moscow are one thing, as appealing and mollifying as they seem. Action, however, is another. Putin has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership. The West may not provide another.

 

UPDATED: At 5.21am Melbourne time — just 20 minutes after posting this article — news has come through that the United Nations has voted in favour of the Australian resolution before it, as discussed below.

 

It’s a relatively short post from me this morning, and one as much as to share some resources as to provide analysis and comment; working through the night as I have been of late I had expected we might have news of the outcome of the draft resolution being debated at the United Nations in the small hours, Melbourne time, that is being driven and sponsored by Prime Minister Tony Abbott; at time of publication, we don’t, although in one sense, it doesn’t make any difference to the points I make on the subject here.

If the Australian resolution at the UN is passed, then Putin has to back some fine-sounding rhetoric over the past 24 hours with some action.

If it isn’t passed — because Russia vetoes it, or on the (remote) chance its Chinese cohorts take it upon themselves to do so by proxy — then the situation between Russia and the West is going to chill to Antarctic levels, and become extremely dangerous indeed.

Some hours ago, Putin — through the English language portal of his official Kremlin website — released a statement, declaring that “military operations” in disputed areas of Ukraine should cease immediately, and that “peaceful and diplomatic means alone” should be used to move the conflict in Ukraine “from the military phase…to the negotiating phase.”

I think people are entitled to feel ever so slightly cynical about this statement; with typical arrogance Putin uses it to position himself — and Russia — beyond reproach, using language reminiscent of John Howard’s refrain that the things that unite us are far stronger than those that divide us.

He pledges, calmly, to behave responsibly and to do everything in his power to ensure international experts are finally allowed to commence a full investigation of the area in which the remnants of MH17 are now scattered (degraded as it is by looters and militia, who have effectively had several days’ head start on any official attempt to rein them in). He urges restraint.

It all sounds quite encouraging, as does the fact that Putin has also indicated Russia is prepared to vote for Abbott’s resolution — which basically calls for untrammelled international access to the crash site, and assistance from Moscow and regional authorities — at the UN Security Council. There have been squabbles over semantics, and a suggestion at one point that Russia was in effect prepared to vote for a resolution provided it didn’t apportion blame to Russia in any way, but it’s the outcome of the vote and Russia’s subsequent conduct that matter.

I did say I would keep it brief, and for now, I will. We can always talk about this again later in the day or tomorrow if circumstances warrant it.

But another day marked by anger, grief, and frustration in so many parts of the world has continued to galvanise and harden opinion against Russia; it is clear that any attempt to squib whatever commitments that country now makes will be regarded very dimly, and the real tensions between Russia and the West may be stayed for now, but they have by no means dissipated.

Notwithstanding Putin’s posturing to evade blame being sheeted home to his country, the USA has ramped up its rhetoric against Russia, piling on pressure over what it presents as the “overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity” in the destruction of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 and the 298 souls who were consequently slaughtered.

British Prime Minister warned Putin that “the world is watching,” making it clear that whatever it now does in the face of resolute and growing international fury over the atrocity will be viewed as “a defining moment for Russia.”

And our own Prime Minister, Tony Abbott — whose leadership during this distasteful time has been unimpeachable — has echoed my own opinion of Putin’s lofty rhetoric, making it clear that whilst Putin has “said all the right things,” Russia will be judged on its actions rather than its words.

Abbott said that any veto of the Australian-sponsored resolution at the United Nations would be viewed “very, very badly.”

Across the world — and including in the corridors of power in many Western democratic countries — it seems many have either awoken to the real threat to European and world security Putin’s Russia poses, or have dropped the pretence and the facade that it poses nothing of the kind.

Too much has transpired for too long to ignore the fact that Russia has been readying its military and building networks of allies, associates and clandestine agents that directly and indirectly threaten the welfare of those around it, and which pose grave strategic challenges to Russia’s traditional adversaries in Europe and the US.

What it happening in Ukraine is a microcosm of the trouble that could be unleashed if Russia’s antics are escalated rather than curtailed. And as horrific as the MH17 tragedy was and is, it is nothing compared to the destruction and loss of life a broader conflict pitting the West against Russia would inevitably unleash.

I might be wrong, and the imminent vote at the United Nations will clarify that, but my sense is that the West will provide Putin with one opportunity and one only to call off his dogs in Eastern Ukraine, allow an independent international investigation into the MH17 disaster to run its course, and to co-operate fully with those inquiries, including taking whatever remedial action is reasonably demanded against the state-backed rebels who it still seems are the likely culprits of this outrage.

In short, Putin will get his chance to make good on his words. If he reneges, it is doubtful that he will be given another.

 

 

Ruddwatch: Kevin Rudd As UN Secretary-General? Sorry, But No

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.

 

 

Climate Change: No-Show At UN Talkfest No Big Deal

FOR ONCE it doesn’t really matter whether you subscribe to the mad theories of man-made climate change, or if you’re what proponents of the so-called “settled science” peddled by those who do would call “a denier:” Australia’s non-attendance at a UN talkfest in Poland next week is inconsequential.

If Kevin Rudd were still Prime Minister (as he was in 2009, when a similar non-event was held in Copenhagen), the Australian government would be sending a “delegation” consisting of the Prime Minister, a number of senior cabinet ministers, and a small army of advisers, bureaucrats and quasi-official hangers-on — all at taxpayers’ expense.

Too often, governments and international forums that are convened and/or dominated by the Left pay more attention to the appearance of “doing something” on given issues instead of actually knuckling under and doing it.

When that issue is climate change, considerations of domestic and international prestige take precedence over the formulation of practical, workable solutions.

What was once boldly proclaimed by Rudd as “the greatest moral challenge of our time” has evolved into little more than a political football, laying bare the lie that urgency is paramount in addressing it.

Each year for at least the past ten years, one globally renowned authority on climate change or another has decreed that if “we” fail to act by the end of next year (insert year here), it will be “too late.”

Taken at their word, these supposed experts have already told us the damage is done.

Of course, the reality is somewhat more straightforward; the so-called “settled science” surrounding climate change and its causes is nothing of the sort.

In fact — depending on to whom you listen — there is growing evidence that the global climate has ceased to warm and, in fact, has resumed a phase of cooling.

I have little doubt that the Earth’s climate is changing, and as readers have heard me say on multiple occasions, I believe changes in the global climate are part of a natural cycle that has continued, through warming and cooling, for millennia.

Even so, world forums conducted by the United Nations on the question of climate change have never resolved a thing (although the 2009 session in Copenhagen could arguably be seen as the point Kevin Rudd’s leadership of the ALP was rendered terminal, and in converse that Tony Abbott would likely end up as Prime Minister of Australia).

My point is that whether you’re a “believer” or a “denier” on climate change there’s nothing for you at the Poland forum, so what’s the point of sending a delegation to it?

This is a fraught issue; politically speaking it costs votes — a lot of votes.

To date, it is beyond question that three Prime Ministers and two opposition leaders — across both the major parties — have been destroyed by the politics of climate change.

But prancing and posturing at a United Nations talkfest is an utter waste of time.

It’s pleasing to note that the freshly minted Abbott government is sending nobody on behalf of Australia: not the Prime Minister, nor his Environment minister, nor some lackey rustled up from the civil service to push paper and take notes.

The issue of climate change needs to be excised from the question of the management of the environment, with the latter given precedence; after all, if the phenomenon is a natural occurrence (as I believe it to be) then “adaptation” is the premise that must underpin any response, for management and prevention are obviously meaningless objectives.

In that context, there are options for governments to consider. But carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes and the like should be seen for what they are — instruments of revenue generation, not climate management — and the obsession with inefficient, unreliable and colossally expensive “renewables” should be abandoned.

Until those changes occur, and until the climate change debate is shoved onto a less ideological and fanatical basis in spite of its most ardent proponents, there is little point wasting good money sending elected representatives and their minions to talk about it.

To this end, Australia’s non-attendance at the latest UN forum is to be applauded: and aside from the obvious reasons for doing so, the government is also saving the overstretched taxpayers of this country a little money in the process.

 

NSW Bushfires: Irrelevant United Nations Should Butt Out

THE UNITED NATIONS today added two cents’ worth on the NSW bushfires, claiming “rapid cuts in emissions” would avoid “doom and gloom” events in future. The UN — already in ways a global irrelevance — should butt out rather than push domestic agendas on behalf of international communists.

I must begin, of course, with an apology: I’m well aware of the overvaluation I have accorded to the UN’s statement. It is not, of course, worth two cents; in fact, it is worth nothing at all. But it does warrant a response.

The declaration by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, that rapid cuts in emissions could help to avoid the kind of “doom and gloom” events signified by the bushfires currently raging in NSW is perverse, counter-intuitive, driven by ideology, and patently offensive.

I’ll suggest readers take a look at this article from The Guardian, and in particular to watch the video presentation embedded in it. Very illuminating indeed.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the UN was set up (in short) to mitigate the risk of a third world war; there’s little doubt that much good has been done in its name over the years despite it being dominated by Communists and other Leftist movements, but the UN has overstepped its charter many times, and — in buying into the debate over climate change — is doing so again.

Needless to say, the contributions of the UN just happen to dovetail perfectly with the agenda of the international Left.

Figueres’ interjections were made in light of the pending abolition of Australia’s carbon tax, and whilst she conceded the Abbott government was not abandoning the objectives of the Gillard government’s so-called Clean Energy package, it was made very obvious that she disapproved of the means with which Abbott intends to pursue them through direct action.

It seems only a matter of time before her line “we need to put a price on carbon so we don’t pay the price of carbon” becomes an election slogan for the Greens and/or the ALP, so blatantly interventionist is its impact.

As usual, too, there is no advocacy or even mention of the one existing technology — nuclear — that is efficient, clean, cheap, safe, and could slash world emissions drastically.

And I would suggest — with some deference — that the “figures” at the OECD, IMF and the World Bank alluded to by Figueres should perhaps stick to economic matters rather than providing fodder for the environmental doomsday theories of rancid socialists.

Irrespective of whether it works in environmental terms, so-called carbon pricing — at least in the form in which it has been utilised to date in Australia — is a wrecker of economies, of livelihoods, and of living standards.

In the short time such “pricing” has been in effect in Australia, energy bills for  consumers and businesses have rocketed; left unchecked these will push households to the brink, cutting discretionary expenditure from the economy, pushing already stressed businesses into terminal territory through reduced demand, inducing economic slowdown and/or recession.

Destroying jobs and families in the process, and pulling living standards lower.

And let’s not forget: for all the macho rhetoric about “terminating” the carbon tax, Kevin Rudd and his cronies omitted the bit about the European price their floating mechanism was to be tied to; within five years projected to sit at almost double the rate of the carbon tax they so graciously pledged to scrap.

Too harsh?

Well, there are two — and two only — considerations that are of any relevance whatsoever; one leads directly to the other, and if they collectively draw a blank then listening to the likes of the UN and its edicts on carbon pricing should be the last of this countries concerns.

Firstly, is “climate change” indisputably proven, beyond reasonable doubt, to be the direct result of human activity? Clearly it isn’t, and as many observers have noted in media across the world, overall global warming stopped 15 years ago despite localised variations that occur, constantly, across the world.

Figueres is quoted talking about “…wildfires, … droughts, … all sorts disturbances to the hydrological cycle.”

Yet in a fashion typical of the most ardent climate change propagandists or their associates in the hard core of the global Left, there is no mention of record cold winters in the Northern Hemisphere or other variations in the opposite direction that are inconvenient to a highly dubious and debatable argument.

In fact, none of the so-called “settled science” is anything of the kind; it can’t conclusively rule out that global temperature changes aren’t part of a natural long-term cycle that has continued, listlessly, through millenia.

And secondly, why (for the love of God, why?) is it Australia’s responsibility to solve the world’s problems, when our emissions are a piddling proportion of the world total, and when the really big emitters (China, the USA, the EU, India, Russia) are laughing at us from behind their collective hand: how could any country be so stupid and gullible?

The United Nations does a lot of worthy work as a diplomatic forum, and in other areas such as with refugees and with children (although seeking to use UN treaties to override sovereign constitutions — as the Greens seek to on asylum seekers — is probably useful to provide a pointer to which of those treaties Australia should unilaterally repudiate).

Its involvement in the distribution of foreign aid from the free world to the oppressed and underprivileged is, in my view, an abuse of the pretext it was established upon, notwithstanding the fact I endorse the notion that Australia pays far too much money in foreign aid, and that much of what it does pay is misdirected.

But for the UN to be interfering, in an activist capacity, in the politics and taxation aspects of climate change is just not on.

Any input from the United Nations on this issue is irrelevant. It should butt out.

If the imperatives of carbon taxes, emissions cuts and turning cheap energy derived from coal into a commercially unviable proposition are so high, let it first try to bully America, China, and all the other countries whose emissions, annually, dwarf those of Australia.

It won’t, because the US isn’t interested in crippling its economy and will do little more than pay lip service in response. China — from a UN perspective — is off-limits.

And if the so-called principles at stake are so discretionary as to effectively leave the USA and China to their own devices, then we don’t need this rubbish peddled in Australia either.