Vomitous – that in all honesty was my very personal assessment of the Kevin Rudd resignation that was oh so obviously stage managed and timed for the peak news slots back home in Australia. But then the whole saga is – to put it mildly – disappointing.
I rather agree with rob1966 in his comment on Malcolm Farnsworth’s account of the crisis that ought not to be.
Rudd’s carefully timed speech had Bruce Hawker stamped all over it – down to the "catch phrases", the "careful wording", the "mannerisms", and the "facial expressions".
Hawker-Britton, the "strategists" that created the problem that is NSW Labor, now attempting to do the same with the Federal Party.
This leadership turmoil is NOT about policy difference, it is NOT about wanting to take the party in a different direction, it is NOT about what is good for the country – it is ALL about personal grievences, personal scores to be settled, and personal ambitions.
The country suffers as a bunch of bickering children carry out their playground squabble – initially behind closed doors, but now out in the open for all to see.
As an aquaintance of mine mentioned in passing last night – hopefully we can have a federal election soon, and elect some politicians who are actually interested in governing for the good of the nation instead of their own vested interests and egos.
And that doesn’t include Tony Abbott either in my book.
Come the election I will vote for Leonard Cohen:
In Paris, after the press conference, I’m discreetly ushered into a back room for a rare interview alone with Cohen. Up close, he’s a calming presence, old world courtesy mingled with Zen, and his smoke-blackened husk of a voice is as reassuring as a lullaby. I ask him if he wishes the long and painful process of writing his songs would come more easily.
"Well, you know, we’re talking in a world where guys go down into the mines, chewing coca and spending all day in backbreaking labour. We’re in a world where there’s famine and hunger and people are dodging bullets and having their nails pulled out in dungeons so it’s very hard for me to place any high value on the work that I do to write a song. Yeah, I work hard but compared to what?"
Does he learn anything from writing them? Does he work out ideas that way?
"I think you work out something. I wouldn’t call them ideas. I think ideas are what you want to get rid of. I don’t really like songs with ideas. They tend to become slogans. They tend to be on the right side of things: ecology or vegetarianism or antiwar. All these are wonderful ideas but I like to work on a song until those slogans, as wonderful as they are and as wholesome as the ideas they promote are, dissolve into deeper convictions of the heart. I never set out to write a didactic song. It’s just my experience. All I’ve got to put in a song is my own experience.”
In Going Home, the first song on Old Ideas, he mentions writing "a manual for living with defeat". Can a listener learn about life from his songs?
"Song operates on so many levels. It operates on the level you just spoke of where it addresses the heart in its ordeals and its defeats but it also is useful in getting the dishes done or cleaning the house. It’s also useful as a background to courting."
Is a cover of Hallelujah a compliment he has grown tired of receiving?
"There’s been a couple of times when other people have said can we have a moratorium please on Hallelujah? Must we have it at the end of every single drama and every single Idol? And once or twice I’ve felt maybe I should lend my voice to silencing it but on second thought no, I’m very happy that it’s being sung."
Does he still define success as survival?
"Yeah," he smiles. "It’s good enough for me."