05/08/2013 - 06:46

PM Rudd loves the limelight

05/08/2013 - 06:46


Save articles for future reference.

Kevin Rudd has an image problem – he’s too concerned with his image to work at developing good policy.

PM Rudd loves the limelight

Kevin Rudd has an image problem – he's too concerned with his image to work at developing good policy.

Only the willfully myopic cannot see that Australians have endured a torrid ordeal during the past (nearly) six years under Labor.

There has been unprecedented wastage of taxpayers’ money on crackpot spending schemes, and the imposition of ridiculous taxes upon an economy whose growth is far more fragile than so many in Labor and Treasury realise.

So many truly dismal performances, plus an ongoing failure to fulfil two of the essential reasons Australians voted to federate in 1901 – defence of the ‘realm’ and ensuring regulated immigration.

Under federal Labor we’ve seen defence cuts of 5.4 per cent (2010-11), 5.1 per cent (2011-12), and 10.5 per cent in 2012-13.

And since 2008 there have been nearly 50,000 so-called asylum seeker arrivals, meaning billions of dollars unnecessarily outlaid, with the bill for Kevin Rudd’s deal with Papua New Guinea for boat arrivals still in the pipeline.

In a nutshell, Australia’s six years under Mr Rudd and Julia Gillard have meant shameless negligence with respect to Canberra’s two prime responsibilities, and gross incompetence in areas it shouldn’t have entered.

There’s a range of explanations for such cockeyed outcomes, including federal Labor’s love of spending others’ money and its longstanding attachment to boosting the size and number of bureaucracies.

Although both explanations are valid, in Mr Rudd’s case they ignore an overriding proclivity that better explains his dysfunctional behaviour.

The starting point is a now-infrequently used word that was, nevertheless, common parlance in the schoolyards of my youth.

The word is ‘skite’, which in this part of the world means to boast.

The Irish nuns responsible for my early education used ‘skite’ to describe us when we boasted or bragged.

Skites are self-centred egoists and show-offs, who yearn to always be at centre stage.

They’re just like Mr Rudd, someone who relishes the spotlight, as his regular appearances on morning TV program Sunrise with Joe Hockey for five years until 2007 attest.

It also helps explains why he’s always out and about patting of voters’ heads, putting his arms around some, and taking mobile phone pictures of himself with others, rather spending more time pressing the flesh than in his office.

He’s an incorrigible skite.

Being prime minister for him is the ultimate experience because he can so easily claim centre stage.

Clearly, neither Ms Gillard nor her backers, when they ousted him from power failed to appreciate just what a gargantuan skite he was.

They’d assumed he’d depart quietly, like so many others ousted before him – Arthur Calwell by Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke by Paul Keating, and Simon Crean by Kim Beazley.

Not Mr Rudd.

PM or not PM, he persisted with skiting. And he and his advisers quickly realised that this not only boosted his polling figures but, whenever compared to Ms Gillard, was helping bring her down.

The further he surged ahead the more skiting he did, until finally he retook the leadership.

And he’s been skiting ever since – at shopping centres, school classrooms and assemblies, especially, and other venues.

Clearly he’s loves every minute of it.

Children are particularly easily taken-in by skites, and he and his media supremo, Bruce Hawker, know this, which is why school appearances are so frequent.

But the problem skites have is their eventual, and inevitable, encounter with reality.

Remember Mr Rudd did more than his fair share of skiting when first prime minister from December 2007 to June 2010, at which time Ms Gillard and her backers concluded his government, to use her phrase, “had lost its way”.

Unfortunately she and her factional backers also lost their way by doing nothing about the two major Rudd failings – neglecting defence and refusing to end unregulated entries by asylum seekers.

However, when the Rudd ordeal finally ends – however and whenever this happens – hopefully the Labor Party sets about learning to distinguish between skites and bunglers, and real achievers.

Then Australians are more likely to be safe in an increasingly unsafe world where there’s absolutely no need for skiting.


Subscription Options