Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rudd's Agenda

In NOVEMBERS issue of THE MONTHLY, A Magazine of Australian Politics, Society and Culture, we have as the feature story the following article.
Go to for more.


"Before he became the Labor leader, I held in my mind three wildly contradictory images of Kevin Rudd. In the first - derived from the scurrilous portrait in The Latham Diaries - Rudd was a media-obsessed, vaultingly ambitious, duplicitous opportunist. In the second - based mainly on my observation of his near-successful attempt to prove that the foreign minister, Alexander Downer, was lying when he claimed he knew nothing about the bribes paid by the Australian Wheat Board to Saddam Hussein - Rudd was an outstanding parliamentary performer: focused, diligent, courteous but remorseless, quick-witted and intelligent. In the third - which was based on his Dietrich Bonhoeffer article - Rudd was a true believer in Christian social justice, a politician who identified not with power but with the powerless, who believed that the impending catastrophe of climate change was the overwhelming challenge of our age, who had given his life to politics to try to make the world a better place."

In "What is Rudd's Agenda?", Robert Manne takes a close look at the Rudd government as it approaches its first anniversary. What, he asks, is its relation to the "philosophic and policy disposition of its predecessor"? Has Australia "begun significantly to change" since Labor took office? What did Rudd promise, and what has he failed to deliver?

"Rudd is committed in the international sphere to ... what he invariably calls, in language borrowed from the standard Australian foreign-policy textbooks, 'creative middle-power diplomacy'. Here Rudd is at his most ambitious or, as some might think, grandiose. It was no accident that Rudd was very keen to address the UN General Assembly; that he is keen to make Australia a player in the diplomacy leading up to the Copenhagen conference on climate change; that he has signalled for the first time an Australian interest in the international struggle to combat extreme poverty within a generation; and that he has tried to inject Australia into the current international negotiations over the financial markets' meltdown. Rudd aspires to be the architect of a new Asia-Pacific Community - a somewhat amorphous regional entity comprising all the major Asia-Pacific powers, from the US through China to Russia, where the habits of peaceful co-operation, conversation and good-neighbourliness will somehow be learnt."

I have my copy, as I get it every month, now all I need to do is get around to reading the full article. Maybe it will shed some light on his 'Agenda'. Bearing in mind, that I did not vote for Rudd or his cronies, but I was nevertheless willing to 'give him a fair go' as is the Aussie way, but so far I have been disappointed, as have so many actual labour voters around the Country. It is nearing the end of his 1st year, so we will see how he fares for the next year, which will leave him 2 more years to see what 'The People' really want to do about their voting choices.

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