An interesting first hand account from Alan Duff:
Your columnist experienced the man first-hand about 12 years ago at a conference in Coolum, a sort of a think-tank collection of Aussies and Kiwis. I was not impressed.
That would be the CIS Consilium conference. Have been to one of them – incredibly intellectually invigorating.
A man I didn’t know interrupted and it was obvious by his self-certainty he was going to hijack my presentation. His casual insensitivity really annoyed me. The rule was, with 60 speakers over two days, no interruptions, period. No applause.
The man destined to be Australia’s Prime Minister proceeded to rip me apart, at least my arguments. To hell with that, if I didn’t outdo him I may as well sit down in disgrace. Even with a displeased crowd against him, Rudd didn’t blink as the words cascaded like some waterfall he’d designed to hit jutting rocks in a surprise spray, dive between stone contours like an invisible hand had briefly calmed the waters, then boom – you get the drift.
I now know that Rudd thinks any occasion is more about himself. I don’t think it was personal; we were strangers to each other. Though he did refer to the book and movie, I believe he just saw an opportunity to blow someone out of the water. And damned if I’d allow that to be me.
I did tell him to shut the hell up and, in a different breach of house rules by my fellow speakers and the audience, the room erupted in applause for me.
Wish I had been there.
The story rings very true to me. I’ve had another stories from very reliable sources about how Rudd at Trans-Tasman meetings would talk almost non-stop, and never let anyone else speak. It is one of the reasons so many of his colleagues hated him.
Quiet for a little while, he next tried to reinvent himself as head of the UN. A role that requires diplomacy skills he patently lacks. Kevin Rudd doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He’d have soon messed up in the UN role. But such is his ego you can never write the man off. If only.
The sad thing about him not being nominated is that he will now blame the Australian Government for robbing the world of his skills. If they had nominated him, then we may have had the fun of the first ever 0-0-15 vote in the Security Council to discourage!