When Kruddy got up as leader of the opposition in December 2006 the commentariat had a field day.
“Dull”, “egg-head”, “pale shadow of the Tories”, “will fall apart during the election campaign” were some of the lines trotted out.
“Hang on”, I thought “this sounds familiar”, so I had a look back at some of the pieces that appeared in the UK media in July 1994 when Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party.
Sure enough, the same clichés popped up; “dull”, “egg-head”, “pale shadow of the Tories”, “will fall apart during the election campaign”.
It therefore pleases me tremendously that Blair went on to win three general elections before retiring as PM.
The media never “got” Blair and they don’t “get” Rudd (both intelligent, highly complex politicians who also were/are widely popular). Witness, for example, this particularly stupid piece in the Age recently or Crikey referring to “Kevin Chavez” – a reference to the authoritarian Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez. I'm also sure they'll be using the same tired arguments from now until the time Kruddy finally decides to pull the pin
Veteran journalist Mungo MacCallum, in his book about the 2007 election Poll Dancing, was struck by the difference between the Rudd of the gallery (“boring”, “dull” etc, etc) and the Rudd on the campaign trail (warm, relaxed, easy-going, popular).
I think the gallery, in large part, hates Rudd because he’s smarter than just about all of them – and lets it show. Rudd also knows that the vast majority of the Canberra journos are absolutely irrelevant and prefers to talk directly to the punters, which prompted petulant foot-stamping from the likes of Barry Cassidy when Kruddy declined to show up on Insiders but appeared on Rove instead.
And I’m sure the (what I’m going to call for the lack of a more suitable local insult) Guardianistas will continue their irrelevant bleating for the duration of the Rudd government as they did for the Blair government; especially these pompous knuckle-heads.
Here’s a message chaps – nobody in Canberra really cares what you think. They don’t give a flying fuck if you call yourselves “citizen journalists” or “the new media” or “Captain Walt the Wonderful”. You want to witter away, feel free but don’t kid yourself you’re doing anything useful or important.