Kevin Rudd’s lack of loyalty to the country which gave him everything and suffered so much for it has been mentioned here before. This time about Scott Morrison’s decision to move the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem.
And there’s nothing we can do about it.
Rudd attacks Australia again
In a blistering critique of the prime minister’s proposal, Mr Rudd says it is regrettable that Mr Morrison has even considered departing from the long-held bipartisan consensus in Australian politics on the status of Jerusalem “for domestic political purposes”.
Moving the embassy would amount to “sacrificing Australia’s international political credibility for petty local partisan advantage”.
It’s important to analyse what Rudd is saying here.
There is some technique in what Rudd is saying here. And how he is saying it. It deserves some attention.
What Rudd is really saying
Take this sentence: “sacrificing Australia’s international political credibility for petty local partisan advantage”
Rudd is belittling the decision on four fronts. Not bad for just 10 words.
- “Sacrificing” is meant to indicate that what we are doing is for nought.
- “Australia’s international credibility” is an appeal to the cosmopolitans who see international respect as the ultimate accolade. This harkens back to criticism of Australia’s offshore detention system which was meant to make us an international pariah (but didn’t).
- “Petty” shows that those who agree with the decision to move the embassy are small minded because they can’t see the big picture.
- “Local partisan advantage” is never preferable to bipartisan decisions in which no party can be held to account and in which the public has little or no say. This, of course, perfectly sums up Australia’s immigration policy – just eat the sandwich, don’t look at the contents.
Then he draws on his authority – a rapidly diminishing stockpile.
As a former prime minister and foreign minister of Australia, I would call on Prime Minister Morrison to abandon this foolhardy position.
Even in written form you can feel the pretension. Speeches demand a different writing style; Rudd’s demand an editor.
There should be no ‘process’ for him to reach the decision that all his predecessors have reached over many decades, including Prime Minister Howard.
Calling Howard’s name is an attempt to shame Morrison’s decision, and elevate Rudd into the same league as Howard.
There is a grave danger that the further alienation of the Palestinian people from a long-term homeland of their own in a permanent Palestinian state will result in further radicalisation, and over time the launching of a third intifada.
Further radicalisation? Opposed to what? They celebrate death and pay pensions to the families of bombers. They try to set Israeli crops on fire. What would they do when they get really cheesed off?
Then he hits his stride:
It is regrettable that Prime Minister Morrison has chosen to depart from the long-standing Australian bipartisan consensus. It appears that he has done so to appease the interests of elements of the far-right Israeli lobby in Australia for domestic political purposes.
He loves this song. He plays it wherever he goes.
The left of Israeli politics, of course, is pretty much fine with the destruction of Israel and/or sees it as akin to the Nazi party (see Lowenstein, Antony). They are hardly the arbiters of what is best for the State of Israel.
And again we are drawn to bipartisan consensus which actually means the decision is beyond debate as the big players have agreed.
But what Rudd loves more than anything is to place blame on the “far right”. It’s his latest trick. That and blaming Rupert Murdoch. For the record, all bar one of Murdoch’s capital city newspapers endorsed Rudd in 2007.
Go away, Kevin
Rudd’s analysis of China tends to be on point. Not that he’s big-noting himself when he mentions it. Nor our Kevin.
"I am in Washington every other week, Beijing every other month – trying to wrestle this beast called the US-China relationship to the ground as one of probably 10 relatively significant US foreign policy thinktanks." — @AsiaPolicy's @MrKRudd https://t.co/9OaS3WPpCc
— Asia Society (@AsiaSociety) November 2, 2018
But that’s not enough for him. He wants the world to praise him as more than a China expert. He wants to be a world expert. An elder statesman. He retains the drive to be UN Secretary General. He needs the applause of the crowd. Until then, he won’t go away.
For someone who prides himself as a strategic thinker, this is short-term thinking.
The reason he lost the endorsement of Turnbull to be UN Secretary General is that he could not be trusted. A moment after he was informed he wouldn’t receive Australian Government support, which is essential, he let fly and forever ruined his chances with a Liberal government.
It’s unlikely the Labor Party which bagged him mercilessly would endorse him, but they’re his best bet. Attacking Liberals can’t hurt. But the more he drags Australia down, the harder it will be for any government to endorse him.