Greg Sheridan was on the radio a few minutes ago with a report on the Security Council bid. In dot points:
The seat was practically in the bag, so any hype about last-minute diplomatic efforts is pure spin. Where are Luxemborg and Finland in the world scheme of things?
It has cost a bundle of dollars in foreign aid which we cannot supervise and cannot afford.
Membership is meaningless in strategic terms, apart from access to other UN committees for the chosen few. The Sec Council is run by the permanent members. Others just make up the numbers.
Canada was the most obvious nation to get up last time around but missed out because they stuck with Israel.
According to Greg, we have sold out support for Israel in recent votes to curry favour with the usual suspects. Otherwise we would have gone the (principled) way of Canada.