March 02, 2007 | Graham

Harry Potter does lunch with Voldemort

Rudd’s fall to earth couldn’t have been more sudden than if he’d lost his broom while over-reaching for the snitch in the Quidditch stadium. And rather than Gryffindore he’s looking at worst Slytherin, and at best Huff and Puff.
If he’d met Brian Burke for a meal once, it could be dismissed as just circumstance. Twice, well that’s happenstance. But three times, as they say in the Bond novels, that’s confirmed enemy action. If he wasn’t doing business with Burke, what was he doing?
Rudd’s excuse is that Burke’s a very engaging fellow. How many times was Rudd in Western Australia during 2005? And how many times did Rudd meet Burke? As foreign affairs spokesman there wouldn’t seem to be a huge number of reasons to go to Western Australia in 2005. Without access to Rudd’s diary you’d have to suspect that almost every time he went to WA he met Burke, and that’s frequent enough to constitute a close friendship if the purpose was merely social.
Either way Rudd loses. Business or friendship, Burke is the kind of guy you don’t want to have anything to do with. And if you do have something to do with him you must be able to remember what you talked to him about.
Rudd’s attraction to the electorate is that he’s a fresh face who seems honest and transparent. But if honesty and transparency are strategies rather than attributes he’s just another politician. Worse, he’s a preachy hypocritical one.
Rudd has been quick to apologise. If you live in Queensland you’re familiar with that line – Peter Beattie uses it all the time. That’s a pity for Rudd. Sometimes apologies are sincere, but Queenslanders are cynical about apologies, just as West Australians are about Burke. I’m not sure how the issue will play around the rest of the country, but judging on this morning’s headlines the press gallery has decided that it is a “tipping point”.
It’s certainly a loss of innocence for the boy wizard and demonstrates at best questionable judgement. The Government will be using this crack to put some of his other judgements to the test. Rudd is probably the most conflicted opposition leader in Australia’s history. Afterall, the Rudd family business is built on government contracts and could be rendered virtually worthless by a change of government policy on job placements. How do you run against the government when you’re one of its biggest clients? And if you become Prime Minister, what do you do, the conflict becomes even larger?
As Harry Potter knows, sometimes you just get caught up in things and you don’t have any say in it. Other times you get yourself into trouble. So far Rudd has only himself to blame.

Posted by Graham at 9:34 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. so kevin turned out to be a politician. who’d have guessed?

    anyone who thought he was going to be an improvement on johnny howard also believes in vegetarian hyenas, and the tooth fairy.
    go on voting for pollies, go on complaining when they turn out to be pollies, but do stop whinging when they do what pollies do-

    Comment by al loomis — March 3, 2007 @ 10:58 am

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