peteg's blog - noise - books - 2010 06 20 QuarterlyEssay38 DavidMarr PowerTrip ThePoliticalJourneyOfKevinRudd

David Marr, Quarterly Essay #38: Power Trip, The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd

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Marr can write, there's no doubt about that. The question is whether he can analyze. Rudd is driven by anger? Well, maybe, but what does that tell us? Obsessed by detail, unable to delegate, an oppressive boss... one wonders that the government has managed to do anything at all. I was relieved when Howard went down in 2007, but my small hopes for this lot had evaporated well before I read this. Crabb's efforts have definitely reduced readers' expectations of the commentariat.

Crikey develops this argument further. I concur with the observation that Rudd is more boring than angry. This essay does not explain why Rudd decided to fill his void (if there was one) with generalist political power rather than make money ala his wife and Turnbull.

Probably all you need to read is contained in this excerpt in the SMAGE. I don't think the full version is worth twenty bucks. If you're desperate for more, you can read Judith Brett's take in Inside Story.

Incidentally I did buy Quarterly Essay #36: Australian Story: Kevin Rudd and the Lucky Country by Mungo MacCallum, and found it so feeble that it defied a write-up. Mungo claims to hold on to reality with both hands but seems to have little familiarity with evidence. This journal's glory days are long gone.