Not For The Faint-Hearted, the first volume of Kevin Rudd’s massive autobiography, is out, and the former prime minister is on the publicity circuit.
Rudd now spends much of his time in the US, where he is president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York, and keeps a close eye on the unfolding Trump presidency.
He argues Australia should minimise direct engagement with Donald Trump in favour of dealing with “sane people” in his administration. “Assume that this will be a passing phase in American politics, it may not be … sit and wait in terms of what happens in three years’ time.”
In the interim China is benefiting from the unorthodox presidency. “Take, for example, Trump’s appallingly irresponsible decision not to attend the East Asia summit in Manila which is upcoming, instead conceding the ground totally to China.”
On matters closer to home, “Kevin from Queensland” says the strength of One Nation in the Sunshine State is “formidable”. Yet despite Pauline Hanson riding a populist wave, she is “all criticism, all critique, with no solutions”.
Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra