Kevin Rudd


I have a fairly pragmatic approach to political lots. Are As member former stream Prime Minister Paul Keating telling me one day. In politics might not Lancaster bombers, we're not out there sort of lumbering I've the target eventually seeking to drop their ornaments. Spitfire is my we've got limited time get out there and take on the enemy get it done and get out of there. Bring lesson was we don't have much time we've got you have to accept the fact that it's a precarious profession. Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister Austrailia twice from two thousand, seven until two, thousand and ten and much more briefly in two thousand thirteen. He led the Australian Labor Party to a huge victory in the two thousand and seven general election. But was never quite as popular among certain of his own colleagues. As he was with the Australian public, he was overthrown in a party room coup by his former ally Julia Gillard who subsequently appointed him Foreign Minister Rudd Intern overthrew Gilaad shortly before the two thousand and thirteen election which labor lost. My mantra mullahs and Kevin Rudd joined me few months back prior to the descent of the covid nineteen pandemic for the big interview. Kevin Rudd Welcome to the beginning of you could be with you here in London. I. Want to start at the start because it is something this always intrigued me and I think it's a way of explaining you'll beginnings in politics to a global audience but you, of course, labor, prime minister you come up from almost archetypal country party as it used to be known background you grew up tough in rural Queensland you you're a country party family and yet as a teenager. You gravitate towards Labor what was that? I think a couple of reasons. One is I had a mom who insisted I read books. which was in the state I grew up in Queensland in the sixties and seventies was almost illegal. So I read books and I read books about politics in the world. These are the things that I stumbled across. Developed an interest in the Labor Party in an interest in China actually. The second reason was just much more direct and personal. My father died as a kid who was killed in an accident. And then the idyllic world of growing up on a farm in rural Queensland through came crashing down because in those days there was nothing called really now part of Australia a compassionate welfare state. So we're out on our own so that I think much more basic level just caused me to think why and this shouldn't happen to anybody and caused me intellectually and emotionally to gravitate to the centre-left of politics. Your entry into politics as a politician takes a few detours. You initially a diplomat with various foreign postings especially, in China, I had to learn how to Paush. which has been a particular interest. Was Politics always the plan did you think of being a diplomat as an apprenticeship for what you eventually wanted to do? The almost tense is I wanted to be a diplomat. I dreamt one day of maybe being a foreign minister which met of course into politics but I don't think I. Really had a game plan back then putting the dairy cattle of being the prime minister of the country but any young person growing up interest in public life in political life look at the back of their mind has this secret baton in the backpack, which is maybe just one day maybe just one day and often it's just part of the boys and annual rather than anything. We'll serious you did of course, become foreign minister, which we will get to the not necessarily in the circumstances you might have envisaged or indeed preferred but when you say They wasn't really a definite plan at least early on to become prime minister was their particular point at which it occurred you actually that might be possible. Yeah I remember sitting in the parliamentary party room one day in Canberra. Says well after I was elected. And we had just a COP third or fourth election loss in a row and I was beginning to take out the abacus and workout that this may be quite a while before I'm able to be on the Treasury benches and then I, looked around the room and I thought who can lead this show into victory and this sounds too many people to be listening to this audience ultimate vainglorious. But for me, it was actually deeply pragmatic. You probably bit vainglorious. No, don't you think like that? Yeah. You know I've never been much into the psychology of politics, but I think in broad terms politicians divided into two camps those who actually want to do serious things who have the reformist zeal and their bones and those who just like like being there remember Peter Sellars last movie being there. And I think doesn't matter where you are. Chinese. Communist. Party is trading Labor Party all the British. Conservative. Party, the tend to gravitate do either of those categories. So I, think I'm in the Reform Camp I want to be in public life in order to improve the condition of the world. That's what drives me, but at home and abroad. But you don't get to do that unless you. Grapple with the practice of politics and so in the potty room that day I looked around Jeez I'm not sure there are folks here who can defeat John Howard who was then one of our most successful conservative prime ministers since the war. But you become prime minister in two thousand and seven I.

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