Kevin Rudd is the technocratic Australian Shadow Foreign Minister.
I grew up on a farm and my father said to me when I was about 10 -"Kev have you made up your mind what you are going to do in life?". Which to a 10-year old is a fairly confronting question. "There are two great choices that you face". I said Dad what are they? He said "Is it going to be beef or is it going to be dairy?" China struck me as the third way. ABC interview, July
In this forthcoming election foreign policy is the most substantial policy difference between the major parties. The ALP opposed involvment in Iraq, saying it was extralegal and a distraction from the War on Terror and the region. Kevin Rudd was often the mouthpiece of that dissent. He's an unusually well qualified foreign policy spokesman, a former diplomat and fluent speaker of Chinese.
As his retro 2001 homepage outlines
, Rudd grew up around Eumundi and Nambour, then excelled at ANU with first class honours in Chinese Language and History. He then joined the diplomatic service and served in Stockholm and Beijing. In a career path more reminiscent of Washington than Westminster, he left the civil service for Queensland state politics in 1988. As Queensland ALP Chief of Staff he helped to kick the stagnant and corrupt Nationals out of power. Rudd entered federal parliament
in 1998, becoming Shadow Foreign Minister in 2001.
The interviews and articles online support the public persona that career path implies - a China wonk and Third Way left-winger, a regionalist used to maintaining a strict party line, and a gifted student with a touch of the arrogance of one used being at the top of the class.
That kind of scholastic erudition is often cut off at the knees in Australian public life, and earned him the caucus nickname Harry Potter
. Nevertheless, he sensibly ignored quiet gripes he was a smart-arse and listened to President Hu Jintao's speeches to parliament without translation earphones
. A touch of bragginess - mentions of his friends in Beijing - leaks through in the interviews. The average Australian will punish him for this if it's not under control - though current Foreign Minister and ex-diplomat Alexander Downer is pretty self-satisfied too. As was Gareth Evans, for that matter - perhaps it comes with the territory.
There are a few longer speeches available online. An broader address from 2001 starts by paying homage to ALP royalty
Somewhere in the archives of the Department of Foreign Affairs lies a starry eyed letter from an equally starry eyed fourteen year old from deep within the Queensland veldt asking the Department's Minister how one went about becoming an Australian diplomat. The news had not reached Queensland in those days, or at least my part of it, that Gough in addition to being Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, was also, for a season its Foreign Minister. So back the letter came, signed by the great man himself, (I held it up to the light each morning to make sure of that) advising that is was probably a good thing that I went to University first and, having graduated, that I then write a letter of application.
The ABC interview
quoted is unusually wide-ranging and informative. This is one of the stronger statements of One China I remember from an Australian politician:
it's been great to see Taiwan become a modern economy with rapidly and radically improved living standards for its 23 million people, when it comes to a formal declaration of independence of steps in that direction ... we do not think it is, good for the people of Taiwan, good for the people on the mainland or good for this region, including Australia, for that step to be taken when a high risk of the consequence of it would be war within our region.
[W]e are bound by the terms of our treaty of recognition of the PRC in 1972, which explicitly accepted Taiwan as a province of China.
This dismays foreign policy idealists, and seems indicative of the cautious line Labor would take with Indonesia or Myanmar. The focus on legality is at least philosophically consistent, and a theme he returns to.
One of the reasons I've been concerned about the Iraq war is that I get worried about the United States and John Winston Howard here at home thinking it is very clever and very smart to thumb your nose at the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council, the U.N Charter. Whatever the imperfections at least it is a bunch of rules which the world community put together half a century ago - and some rules are better than none.
This is also within a Labour foreign policy tradition going back at least to Doc Evatt, who helped build the UN. He mentions it explicitly in an interview with institution Laurie Oakes
if you're in any capital in the region from Jakarta to Beijing to Tokyo, one of the first names they bring up is Prime Minister Paul Keating - how is he, what's he doing, and they recall fondly his initiative in bringing APEC to the fore and taking Australia robustly into the region
Other interviews include on SBS
and in grubby attack-dog mode on Seven
The best politicians and writers enter the career after having a real job. As an ex-diplomat, Rudd skirts close to the line, but he certainly has an air of competence unusual in a Shadow without ministerial experience. We'll soon enough see if that competence is needed in a more serious task than haranguing from the opposition benches.
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.