Hugo Kelly writes:

Kevin Rudd was doing such a good job tackling the
Government’s culpability over Wheatgate – then he had to go and blow it with
these over-the-top comments about Robert Hill’s prospective
appointment as ambassador to the UN.

Does he think that the public doesn’t know that all
political parties appoint politicians to ambassadorial positions, and that
bleating about it is nothing but hypocrisy?

Sure, there are duds appointed overseas to get rid of
them and/or to create openings at home, or even to reward them. Look at the ALP;
the late Vince Gair for chrissakes (his main diplomatic achievements in Dublin
are contained in an Irish Foreign Ministry Dirt file). Then
there’s Brian Burke, another sterling ambassadorial appointment by the

But Labor has also made good appointments; among them
Neal Blewett (London), Michael Tate and Don Grimes, even Gough Whitlam (UNESCO).

And the Coalition has done the same. When Bob Hawke
came to power former Liberal senator Robert Cotton was in London, and Hawke
sensibly left him there because he was doing an excellent job.

Quality former politicians make excellent ambassadors
– they have all the necessary skills. And Robert Hill is perhaps one of the best
natural diplomats in Government; thoughtful, intelligent, with a lively sense of

Kevvie – give over, and stick to issues that don’t smell of
hypocrisy. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and no-one believes you actually mean

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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