Kevin Rudd is running yet another scare campaign, this time smearing Tony Abbott as a ‘pugilist’ incapable of understanding diplomacy.
There are, in my opinion, difficult times which lie ahead and I sometimes question, I really do question, having known Mr Abbott for a long, long time whether he really has the temperament for that sort of thing.
You have got to sit back and think and calmly reflect and then work through what the best decision is and judgment and experience are quite important. He doesn’t have a background on this field.
Sometimes I find in him a bit of an impulsive nature that is rushing ahead with judgment, you know what his background is. He’s been in parliament for 20 years, 19 of which he was the great pugilist, and in the last 12 months he has suddenly become the statesman. The Tony Abbott I know having served 15 years in the parliament with him is of a different nature.
This stuff is complex, in diplomacy words are bullets, you have got to remember that
Right away Rudd can’t help lying. Abbott was a student boxer, but hasn’t hit anyone since becoming a politician. If in diplomacy ‘words are bullets’ Rudd should know the meaning of words like ‘pugilist’.
And then Rudd accuses Abbott of being ‘impulsive’. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. This from a Prime Minister who impulsively pushed for the NBN on the back of a beer coaster. A Prime Minister who dreams up a special (and unconstitutional) low-tax rate for Northern Territory, who wants to move the Navy to Brisbane (did he consult anyone about that idea?), build a fast train and knows only how to spend a lot of (other people’s) money badly.
Rudd is a strange combination of impulsive behaviour and procrastination. He has no idea of discipline and consultation and careful deliberation of the evidence. He just comes up with weird ideas which never get implemented. On the other hand, he has proven to be incapable of taking decisions, preferring to act as Australia’s Prime Procrastinator.
As for diplomacy, just because he worked a while in DFAT doesn’t mean he learned anything about diplomacy. He is probably Australia’s least diplomatic Prime Minister (and Foreign Minister) whose capacity to offend other countries has no bounds. He lacks the self-awareness, introspection, common sense, and empathy to be a successful diplomat or negotiator. There are three key tasks for an Australian diplomat. To put people at ease, to gather information and to promote Australia’s foreign policy. Rudd fails on all three counts.
Abbott may not have direct foreign policy experience, but I trust him to handle our foreign policy far better than I trust Rudd. Abbott’s foreign policy capacity is as yet untested. But Rudd’s incapacity is proven.