Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ruddite verbosity

Julie Bishop accurately described our PM as a 'walking slogan' - 'when I travel around the country', 'can I say', 'fresh ideas', 'You know something?'. Even Labor-supporter Michelle Grattan says that Rudd speaks like a robot and provides quaint examples of Ruddspeak. But now our ear-wax munching defender of the rights of 'working families' has even annoyed the journos at Melbourne's Pravda because of his cliche-ridden verbosity:

...in full flight in Brussels last week answering a three-part question about Asian security.........

"I'll reverse engineer and start at the third and move back to the first," he began, throwing his questioner into confusion.

"On the question of security in the Asia-Pacific region, I think it's quite clear that if you look at the post-'45 history of East Asia that you see an absence of multilateral security mechanisms.

"What you saw even prior to the end of the Cold War here, of course, was the evolution of a series of confidence and security-building measures coming off the back of CSCE, OSCE and the Helsinki accords.

"This, in my judgement, helped to take some of the sharper edges off some of the harder security policy relationships which existed in this continent at that time."

On climate change:
"When it comes to making a carbon market work, when it comes to making an emissions trading scheme work, you must have a long-term target, you must have a medium-term target, hence why we are going through the Garnaut process, and it must be anchored into a system which is a capping trade system, which is globally compatible, and able to be rolled out as a global carbon market."

I am sure he wanted to add that it must address the needs of 'working families' but I assume that disappeared into the stream of Rudd's pretentiousness.

Rudd cracks silly jokes and salutes the US president but is 'only human' says Julia Gillard. I am comforted that his loyal deputy discounts the possibility that he is the reincarnation of something divine.


Slim said...

I'm not sure that verbosity or lack of it is an important quality in a Prime Minister or whether a smirk or lack of one is a measure of a Treasurer. These are simply elements of personal style and not an indication of ability.

It's popular for conservative commentary at the moment to portray Rudd as all spin, homely catchphrases and wind-baggery. Speaking of which, the Liberals are what, exactly? They cannot articulate what they stand for as they stagger around in the political wilderness of relevance deprivation pretending to care for pensioners, the poor, the homeless, the down-trodden. They'll be calling for more nurses and teachers at this rate.

All politicians have annoying speech habits. Howard always seemed to preface everything with a grating, whining, err...

What really matters is what they achieve. It's a little early to tell, but I'm sure we'll find out over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Harte to say it but I agree with slim.

Couldn't care less how boring he is as long as he does his job well. Whitlam was a great speaker in contrast and look what we ended up with.

hc said...

I guess I think that Rudd's verbosity and use of slogans and cliches says something about Rudd the man. Unfortunately I get the impression that he believes this guff.

There is something missing in this man. He speaks without conviction like a bureaucrat who has wandered onto a performing stage and can only play the part by peddling dumb-assed cliches.

His actions so far emphasise the symbolic not the real. A third-rate actor in a sitcom. Yes, tomorrow we will have an 'educational revolution'.

No Kevin, we won't.

Slim I disagree with your assessment of John Howard. There was always a lack of pretension about the man. A caution that involved a reluctance to grandstand and to be speculative.

Anonymous said...

Harry, if you hired someone to a senior position in your university, how long would you give them before you passed judgment on how well they were doing their job?

Longer than four months perhaps?

Although, to be accurate, you were saying this stuff about Rudd when he was just four days into the job.

All you've done in this post is tell us, yet again, that you don't like the Labor Party. Fair enough, hundreds of people in this country, maybe even thousands, agree with you. But this isn't news.

The big first test of the government's actions is the budget, which is just a few weeks away. Why don't you wait until before firing away?

Anonymous said...

Johnny wasn't a great speaker indeed he was a bad and boring one but so what.

not pretentiousness?

Who wanted to open the Olympic Games? Who lived st Kirribilli house under the excuse of assisting his children?

Gimme a break

Anonymous said...

Agree with you Harry. The Labor party dumped Beazley for being an ineffective windbag and replaced him with a bigger one. However, on the positive side, Rudds performance shld ensure that we don't have to put up with him for the "next decade" as Slim suggested. Geoff

Anonymous said...

Geoff, you should check out the opinion polls before making predictions of that sort.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Rudd has obvious difficulty putting his thoughts into plain English.

George Orwell spoke about this problem in Politics And the English Language when he wrote: "(But) if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought".

By comparison, Mr Rudd's speech to a group of Peking University students uses uncharacteristically clear, even precise, language--at least the English translation of his speech does.

When Mr Rudd speaks Mandarin he is no doubt careful to choose words whose meanings cannot be mistaken--the pity is he has yet to learn this skill in his native tongue.

Perhaps he should compose all future speeches in Mandarin, and then translate them to English before delivering them. Maybe then we will understand what he is trying to say, just as easily as did the students at Peking U.

Anonymous said...

"The Labor party dumped Beazley for being an ineffective windbag .."

True, but the difference is they've replaced him with an effective windbag.

Rudd has always had both the virtues and vices of a good bureaucrat. One of the vices is verbosity. One of the virtues is he gets things done.

Anonymous said...


Rudd's going to be PM well into the 2020's; so enjoy the ride