Classic Ellis: Beazley on Rudd

(From And So It Went)

Wednesday, 15th August, 2007, 6.10 a.m.

I wake early, and brood on my encounter with Rudd in the hall. Hi Bob, how are you? Why did I not simply go with him into his office, and talk? I recall an earlier time in his vicinity, and what followed.

FLASHBACK, Tuesday, 27th March, 2007, 4.25 a.m.

Drove to Canberra and entered, in good order, the Leader of the Opposition’s office. Tim Dixon greeted me cheerfully, and we talked. Eventually he said, ‘Have you seen Kim?’

‘No,’ I said, ‘I didn’t much feel like…you know…invading his misery. Witnessing it.’

‘No, no, he’s fine. C’mon, I’ll take you round.’

And he took me round long corridors to see him. I was expecting a warm puddle of grief, but no. ‘Brother Ellis!’ he shouted. ‘Mate!’ He was the vast Falstaffian mountain of cheer and resolution I’d always known.

He proposed lunch in the Members’ Dining Room, on him. And so it came to pass. We talked of movies, the Middle Ages, the lunacy in Iraq. Eventually I said:

‘Do you have a view of…Rudd?’

He gave one of his big share-misery laughs. ‘Ah, you and I are the last of the warriors, Ellis,’ he said. ‘This has been a victory for middle management.’

‘Yes,’ I said. ‘Yes, I see.’

‘He’s brilliant, he’s brilliant, and in this game that doesn’t hurt. But in the end, in the end, in the bitter end, he believes in nothing.’

‘That’s not right,’ I said. ‘I mean, he said to me once, “people think I’m a God-botherer, but I’m only a small-’g’ god-botherer really.”‘

‘Which means he believes in nothing!’ Beazley shouted ebulliently, closing the subject and sitting on the lid.

We roistered for an hour and a half, when Beazley said, ‘I’d better make an appearance in the House. Otherwise they’ll think I’m sulking. Which I am!’ He laughed and went.

  1. Intersting to see Maxine McKew support Kevin Rudd. What do you make of this?

    • She blamed Gillard for her loss of Bennelong.

      Misplaced in my view; the voters of Bennelong wanted to be rid of Howard, and McKew thought they had voted for her. The sheep simply went back to the fold.

      She should not have taken it personally. Politics is a long game and she is still young enough to learn. Bob Ellis, you should perhaps discuss matters with her; or perhaps Beazley should? She may make a good minister in 3 to 5 years, and who knows after that?

      • No, they voted for the Chinese-speaking Rudd as well as her and could not vote for Julia his destroyer.

        She could be in the Senate tomorrow, and the serial boofhead Arbib out of it.

  2. Beazley was right : “this is a victory for middle management”

    And doesn’t every middle manager fancy himself as CEO!

    The feral middle-manager soon found himself confused and distressed when faced by the feral failed priest with attitude; Abbott had his measure in 2010 and I do not doubt he would again, if caucus were to be so benighted as to bring him back.

  3. Another Lapsed Adventist

    A wise assessment from Beazley.

  4. Prove me wrong Gerard:
    Laugh my fucking arse off

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