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August 12, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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We Need to Talk About Kevin

KRudd. Kev. Kevin07. The Rudd. Prime Minister. That prick who rolled Julia. Whatever you want to call him, Kevin Rudd is a superstar of Australian politics. After taking a Julia-induced tumble and losing the Prime Minister’s office in 2010, Rudd came back to get Julia this year. He rolled her after three years of undermining and leadership speculation, and now looks set to save the Australian Labor Party from a catastrophic election result. The election is being framed as a choice between the ever popular Rudd, and the negative “no man” Tony Abbott.

His previous attempt in the PM’s office can only be described as chaotic. He was criticised for considering the media cycle more important than the policy cycle. He micromanaged his staff and ministers, made decisions on foreign and government policy without consulting colleagues, and eventually lost the support of the majority of his caucus. Sources say he walked out of the leadership vote to a resounding chorus of “You fucked up!”

Cue: Kevin 2.0. The revived Rudd took over the leadership again in June of this year. He cancelled the scheduled election and began to dismantle the policy platform built by the Gillard Government. Carbon pricing, which had been a cornerstone of Australia’s climate-change response, was immediately gutted, leaving no serious measures to reduce emissions. Rudd showed his true colours, caring more about public perception of policy rather than what the country or planet needed.

Asylum-seeker policy was next on the agenda for Rudd. Instead of changing the already bad Labor policy, Rudd worsened it. Instead of treating those who cross seas in sinking boats as humans, he changed the Labor policy so they would be sent back to “where they came from” immediately. The policy is considered to be more popular than the previous solutions. Again, Rudd showed that he is not concerned with the substance of the policy, nor human rights, nor the desperate situation of asylum seekers, but rather what might keep him in office.

Despite this, with each selfie, with each “KRudd” tweet, each instagram and each charming mention of a sauce bottle or how he can speak Mandarin, his popularity soars. Australia, we need to talk about Kevin. I just don’t think he’s good enough for you.

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