Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rodents to the right of us, rodents to the ... Oooh, shiny!

The ever-quotable Bernard Keane in this morning's Crikey Campaign Special:

Despite Kevin Rudd’s – by his recent standards – extravagant endorsement of the Gillard Government last night, his reappearance should be sufficient to ensure another day is spent by the Press Gallery interrogating the Rudd issue. Perhaps the Prime Minister can just start her press conferences by tossing a shiny thing into the midst of the hacks. It would have pretty much the same effect.

I've only read the transcript of the Rudd/Adams interview, I didn't actually hear it. One commentator has said Rudd sounds 'gutted', which is probably because that's what he has, surgically, ever so slightly been: now minus what had become a troublesome and more or less expendable bit of gut.

But given that it was clearly not a wholly trouble-free operation -- the last personal acquaintance of mine to have keyhole surgery for gall bladder removal was in hospital for less than 48 hours and fully recovered by the end of the week -- and given that he is still clearly well below par, and given the rage and hatred that steamed out of Phillip Adams' columns and radio time after Rudd was deposed, and Adams' well-publicised departure from the Labor Party after decades of loyal belonging, what I want to know is this: Why did they do it?

I know that loyal Queenslanders have never recovered and probably never will recover from the rolling of their boy Kev and therefore, you know, them.  But everyone, not just Queenslanders, seems to be taking not just the content of this interview, but the fact of its being set up at all, at face value. Surely I'm not the only non-Queenslander to the left of Kevin Rudd and Phillip Adams who thinks she can smell a rat.


Fine said...

I'm with you. I'm so over the beatification of St. Kevin, which has entailed a major re-writing of history and as a corollary constant denigration of Gillard.

Eric Sykes said...

Yes, it's all so pathetic really. Abbott just gets closer and closer to being our worst nightmare come true. While everyone falls over themselves to pretend the Ruddster was a "decent chap done wrong". I think Australians, in the main, love failure you see. So Rudd is kinda the ultimate failed hero, the greatest "might have been" so far. And if Labor loses..then all the better, the failure is compounded and the heroism is affirmed.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced by the notion that Rudd was especially popular in Queensland simply because he is a Queenslander. At least in certain circles in Brisbane that might normally have been considered a 'natural constituency', the stories from his days in the Qld government still seem to bring on the shivers.

Mindy said...

I want Labor to win the election, but I just know that the meme is going to be that Saint Kevin has saved Labor and Julia if they do. If they don't it will be all Julia's fault (for being a woman). I don't think I'm being too sensitive when I get frustrated that Rudd criticising Abbott gets top billing while Julia gets asked about Rudd.

WV: bables

Emily said...

I've never subscribed to the portrayal of Rudd that has been so much to the fore since he was elected, but more particularly over the recent past. I've never been happy with denigrating somebody I don't know (or for what it's worth even somebody I do know).
I'm also apparently so naive that I do think he has submerged his own hurt in the service of a larger vision for Australia even knowing the cynical reaction it would bring from all and sundry.
Fine might be interested to learn that I've also never beatified Kevin Rudd, nor denigrated Julia Gillard. Like Kevin Rudd's mum, my parents also instilled in me the belief that it's a waste of time worrying about the woulds, the coulds or the could-have-beens in life, or to fall into the trap of becoming so eaten away with cynicism that it has an effect on the way we view the world.
Being about to celebrate my 74 years of life I feel comfortable enough in my own skin that I don't feel a need to tear somebody else down to gratify myself.
I'll go on reading my books and thinking about how good life is AND I'll happily vote Labor on the 21st.

Bernice said...

I did hear it live (thou it was pre-recorded - would love to hear the unedited version) and listened for the first half, thinking it was Anthony Ackroyd with Adams being unusually naughty.
But it was Kevin. Agree it was was a very odd choice of venue for the first big interview.... but the subtext of patrician heroes to the rescue makes sense.
What a f*cking mess this whole thing is - had ph call with Sister No 2 who votes green and not "only for my own gain" as she eloquently put it. She was furious re treatment of Rudd. Gave rendition of Canberra insider routine, to which her response was "God, Labor can't tell anyone THAT story..." Quite. What a f#cking mess. A rat-f#king mess.

M-H said...

When I had my GB out the surgeon was quite clear that I would need at least two weeks off work after less than 24 hours in hospital. And I wasn't doing a particularly stressful job either. Also, I felt like shit in the weeks before my diagnosis - faint nausea and general miserableness. GB can leave you feeling below par for ages before it really lets you know it needs attention.

Which makes me wonder if he really wasn't well, but refused to deal with it (or couldn't be diagnosed.) I am gobsmacked by the construction that he is claiming to be saving the party - if he hadn't given this interview or one like it he would have been slated as damning it by his absence.

And Annabel Crabb's article in The Drum yesterday about how campaign journalism works should be compulsory reading:

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

MH, commiserations on the gall bladder. I have been miraculously spared this one so far but will know it if it ever develops, I think. My friend may have been cracking hardy for some reason, who knows, but when Kevin seemed to spend ages in hospital, and then from what he said to Adams, it did sound to me as though it had been a nasty one -- I certainly wasn't suggesting any deception there. It just seemed very strange to me that suddenly he and Adams were all over the meeja and have been ever since. Anyone would think he was still the leader the way people are carrying one. And Julia, like women everywhere, suddenly becomes invisible as soon as there are boys to talk about.

I too enjoyed the Annabel Crabb and have been meaning to link to it as a corrective to my annoyance with the abysmal performance of almost every journalist I've seen so far, though I must say nothing excuses the kinds of questions they ask or the fact that they seem utterly determined to make the pollies talk about nothing but personalities and gossip.

Zoe said...

Pav, have you been reading Grogs Gamut? His writing about the election has been magnificent, in particular this and this

DB: sofist

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks Z, excellent -- got 'im on the blogroll now.