An obscure gentlemen living out his retirement years in Brisbane has had a lengthy letter published in the paper today, in the grand tradition of newspapers printing rambling rants from retired Majors in Eastbourne or “Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.
We’ll save you the chore of having to read it by summarising the entire thing in one paragraph. Actually, we just need to reproduce the final paragraph of Mr. Rudd’s letter;
The core objective of course is to avoid a Royal Commission that would lay bare the actual nature of their Australian political operations and their destruction of the NBN.
For those who haven’t heard already, the NBN is a case study in governmental profligate spending on things nobody needed or that the existing market would have provided cheaper and better if the government had simply got out of the way. See an earlier summary here.
Clearly this disaster is eating away at Kevin Rudd and spoiling his twilight years when he should be playing with his grandchildren.
The letter is also a case study; of how one side of politics struggles to see the irony of their hatred of the other side. Let’s fisk some choice moments to illustrate;
This year will be an important year for three of the world’s oldest, continuing democracies – the United States, the UK and Australia.
The US will decide, post-Mueller, whether Trump’s presidency is terminal. The UK will decide whether to tear up a half a century of European integration. And Australia faces a general election.
Anyone hoping for anything other than a big nothingburger from Mueller really hasn’t being paying attention.
Britain is going to decide about the EU? What was the 2016 referendum about then?
It’s a hunt for Australian relevance to suggest the tri-annual federal election is in any way comparable to Trump and Brexit. Australia is almost at the point of selecting Prime Ministers by alphabetical order or like a jury service lottery.
It will also be an important year for the Murdoch media where its power in these three democracies is formidable, and in Australia’s case dominant.
Murdoch’s combined News Corp brands have an annual audience of 16m, of which there will be significant “doubling up” as that won’t be a unique visitor number.
The combined audiences for the state-funded ABC, the brand formerly known as Fairfax and the Guardian have far greater numbers for their left of centre bias.
Murdoch is hardly dominant.
Watching Fox is like watching a revivalist meeting of evangelical fundamentalist preachers seeking to out-compete each other for the affections of “the base”.
An interesting analogy for someone previously very comfortable to been seen saying his prayers out loud.
The result is that the Grand Old Party of Lincoln has been ripped from its moorings, with profound consequences for the American democracy at home, and the American-led global order abroad. Well done Rupert.
An alternative view might be the American voters finally broke the circuit of the una-party where the differences between the Democrats and Republicans could hardly be noticed on most policies, particularly globalisation and foreign policy.
But then he deployed his formidable media arsenal in full-throttled support of Britain leaving Europe during the 2016 referendum before finally hitting the Jackpot with Nigel Farage’s UKIP, the ever-opportunistic Boris Johnson and Brexit.
An alternative view might be, due to a catastrophic miscalculation by David Cameron, the British people were (mistakenly, according to people like Rudd) given a vote on something that had been denied them for 43 years and they chose liberty.
Once again, well done Rupert, and that’s despite the fact that his newspapers had already been found guilty of multiple breaches of the criminal law following the Leveson Inquiry into what became known as the “phone-hacking scandal” in 2011-12.
A little obfuscation there making it sound like Levenson was purely about Murdoch’s mastheads or at least right of centre publications; it was damning about both sides and particularly the left wing Daily Mirror.
By contrast, the Canadian democracy has been in reasonable shape. Interesting that there is negligible Murdoch presence there.
An alternative view might be that, without the balance of a strong right of centre media presence, the Canadian people are suffering awful virtue signalling legislation and have become the laughing stock of the western world under their man child trustafarian Prime Minister.
And then we’re back to where we started, “my beautiful NBN project failed because my very own political party fired me for being a useless and sociopathic control freak and every Prime Minister since has struggled with the reality that it made no economic or practical sense for the government to deliver telecommunications networks“;
This was not just to put Abbott’s mad, right-wing government into office. It was also about protecting his company’s commerical interests by getting Abbott and his then Communications Minister Turnbull to destroy my government’s Fibre Optic to the Premises National Broadband Network.
Once one understands quite how shallow and self-serving Kevin Rudd is, reading his ramblings can be a great source of shadenfruede; he’s clearly tormented by his total lack of political legacy and it’s completely eating him up during what should be a long and relaxing retirement at the generous Australian taxpayer’s expense.