Kevin Rudd
Former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd (Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)

Keep the Rudd flag flying Achieving a brutal victory against a sitting Liberal prime minister like it's 2007 or something, Kevin Rudd was reported yesterday to have been the major impetus behind the delivery of millions of Pfizer vaccine doses last week -- not our absentee prime minister. This follows botched negotiations early in the year, with Australia apparently having displayed a "rude, dismissive and penny-pinching" approach to the process.

Of course, there is something vaguely mafia-donnish about Pfizer's conduct here, offering fewer vaccines because Australia wasn't sufficiently obsequious (having to deal with junior bureaucrats apparently sparked a lot of anger). Still, it does seem strange that Scott Morrison apparently did not directly speak to Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla. And this is particularly galling given that we have a few test cases of what does spark Morrison into action.

When former finance minister Mathias Cormann was campaigning (successfully, in the end) for the position of OECD secretary-general, the government not only gave him a private jet and a website but, according to reporting from Bevan Shields, Morrison made 55 phone calls to 30 world leaders to help secure the vote numbers for Cormann. Going back a little further, early on in his leadership Morrison intervened to make sure Craig Kelly wasn't ousted from preselection in his seat, a debt which Kelly has of course loyally repaid since.