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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hopeless effort by Rudd

As you might recall during the Labor leadership contest I thought Kevin Rudd was a bit weak for not going through with sticking his hand up. However, normally he is good when it comes to field of foreign affairs. Yet, his preformance over the last few days in relation to Chinese diplomat was extremely weak.
That for example his appearence on Lateline on Tuesday night and on Wednesday on 774 in Melbourne. In both cases, he was unwilling to say anything about the case until he was briefed by DFAT and that he had been waiting for this briefing for days. The public does not care if Rudd has been briefed or not, so he might just have to find a position without the help of DFAT.
It should be a fairly easy issue to attack the government over this issue as they are caught between a rock and a hard place. If you send the guy home, he is going to be jailed. If they let him stay, trade with China could be effected.
Thus the government has been caught saying stupid things, like Downer claimed that the diplomat had never filled out the forms to defect. There is of course no form to defect. Petrov never had to fill out a form. Could you see the KGB heavies letting Mrs Petrov fill out a form at Darwin airport whilst they waited for the plane to be filled? Yet, Rudd has not attacked Downer very well over this.

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