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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 05:39 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 05:39 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: Rudd\'s motives

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22 March 2011 09:39

Charles Lockyer follows up his earlier email on Malcolm Cook's question ('what is Prime Minister Gillard's approach to foreign policy''):

Your question got me thinking about the Rudd-Gillard relationship, and where this is leading Australia.

There's an editorial in The Australian by Rudd, regarding the Libyan NFZ. Basically he's saying that it had to be done, and it was only carried through thanks to the Arab League, French/British cooperation and the US being the US. He then goes on to explain why Aus isn't contributing militarily.

While he raises a fair point that Libya is in Europe's backyard and not ours, he seems to forget what happened with Timor, where there were countries from much further afield than the Pacific region contributing troops to the peace effort there. Rudd's campaign for an NFZ, while morally right, smacks of the time that he told NATO states to contribute more to the Afghanistan effort, after they had already given and lost more than we had there. He never manages to put our money where his mouth is, whether it was as the PM or as the Foreign Minister.

From what I've seen, Rudd appears to care more about his public image and his political career than he does about those his policies are going to affect. He wants to be seen as doing the right thing, making an immediate effort and trying to do something which separates him from previous politicians, rather than actually contributing to the Commonwealth of Australia. Off the top of my head, there was Tax Reform, Carbon Trading, Mining Tax, 2020 forums, and being a Fiscal Conservative before moving on to being everywhere and anywhere as the Foreign Minister, which contributed to the fear over Japan's Nuclear scare and the NFZ over Libya.

If Rudd actually cared, then he would have followed through with the Tax Reform before attempting anything else, and would have been much more careful with the money he splashed around after the GFC (so that there wasn't any profiteering which led to the deaths of untrained personnel trying to install foil in people's ceilings). He would also have made more noise over the deaths of protesters in Iran and Bahrain rather than just focusing on a country which was already in its death-throes. Too little too late, or nothing at all, it seems.