The Prime Minister had big news this morning.
“Today I’ll be asking the Governor-General to approve the appointment of Kim Beazley as Australia’s next ambassador to the United States of America. I’ll also be asking the Governor-General to approve the appointment of Brendan Nelson as Australia’s next ambassador to the European Communities as Australia’s representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and special representative to the World Health Organisation and as Australia’s ambassador to Belgian and Luxembourg. These two appointments will ensure two respected and proud Australians continue to serve their country in the highest capacity.”
A further example of Kevin Rudd’s deft bipartisanship, as Bernard Keane puts it in today’s Crikey edition. However, appointments and overseas postings can also be used quite effectively to place critics at arm’s length, a sort of exile if you will. In this light we should not be surprised if Mark Latham is soon appointed as Australia’s new representative in Djibouti.
Surely the Financial Review’s most colourful columnist must be coming close to the point of enforced international departure … a fitting tribute to his long public service and contribution to the Australian polity. In today’s column he quotes private emails from the now deputy prime minister at length, taking us all back to the moment in September 2005 when Julia Gillard wrote: “Rudd is out campaigning his little heart out to be leader — seeing newspaper editors, doing business functions, backgrounding — all the usual stuff … Smith and Swan are obviously concerned that Rudd has got in front of them and if Beazley fell over Rudd would be it. Consequently, they are actually genuinely supporting Beazley, instead of the usual routine of pretending to support him but actually manoeuvring for their own futures.”
Latham observes: ”Now she presents herself at party forums as a dewy eyed Kevinista, a loyal and compliant deputy to the man she once abhorred. This is what happens to Labor MPs when they compromise their beliefs for power.”
Guinea-Bissau perhaps? Tonga?
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