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Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 01:28 | SYDNEY
Thursday 17 Aug 2017 | 01:28 | SYDNEY

Miliband's faint praise

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22 April 2008 10:03

Although there are now definite signs of resistance to the cult of Kevin (see this and especially this), here's one strange example of it, from British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who, it turns out, is a lively blogger. Miliband wrote a post last week about Rudd's visit to the UK:

But his travels are now being put to good use as he showed in his speech in London last week, arguing for 'creative middle power diplomacy'. Rudd argued that we should shape the global response to global challenges together – us because of the links to Europe, them because of their links to Asia, both of us because of our links to the USA. Now fully part of the climate, terrorism, financial regulation debates, Australia embodies the point that in a small world anyone can carve out a leadership role.

The first two sentence are pure political polyfilla, intended mostly to fill a space rather than say anything substantial. But that last sentence is bothersome, firstly because it suggests that, with the rise of Kevin, Australia is suddenly 'fully' part of the climate, terrorism and financial regulation debate. You could make this case when it comes to climate change, but it does seem rather a distortion of the Howard Government's policies and a somewhat glossy portait of what is still a pretty insubstantial Rudd record.

Miliband then finishes with a rather condescending bit about how anyone can be a global leader, even tiny, insignificant Australia. What are we, The Little Engine That Could? Perhaps the next time Rudd speaks in the UK, he needs to put more emphasis on the 'middle' in 'creative middle power diplomacy'.