08 December 2010

Wikileaks and Kevin Rudd...

It must hurt to be Prime Minister of Australia and then be described by the US Ambassador, a close ally, as "a mistake prone control freak". But, to Rudd's credit, he does not give a damn. And, he makes a good point that there has been worse written about him in the past and there is likely to be worse written about him in the future. So, his job is to get on with the job of being Australia's number one diplomat.

Nevertheless, the scathing assessment suggested that he was also abrasive and impulsive while being not up to the task according to this little burst from the former US Ambassador:

''Rudd … undoubtedly believes that with his intellect, his six years as a diplomat in the 1980s and his five years as shadow foreign minister, he has the background and the ability to direct Australia's foreign policy. His performance so far, however, demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly.''

And, this was from just over 12 months ago. However, this was generally the gist of most assessments fired off by the former US Ambassador, Richard McCallum, to the former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and more recently the current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

The micro-management style of the former Prime Minister and his habit of undertaking large commitments without first consulting those that would be doing the hard yards in getting the initiatives up and running was ultimately his downfall. So, there really is nothing all that surprising or new in the diplomatic cables being leaked by Wikileaks. Perhaps, Kevin Rudd knows himself well enough to know the blunt assessments of him are one interpretation of his manner and style. He might not agree with those assessments, but it is probably true that he does not give a damn.

So, what is next on the Wikileaks front for Australia's diplomats?

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