The truth about Kevin Rudd

When turmoil in Europe multiplies, Australia will need a prime minister who knows how to steer a cabinet. Kevin Rudd is simply not up to that task.

It's time to tell the truth about Kevin Rudd. He is one of the most talented people in the federal parliament and he is an excellent campaigner but he has a fatal flaw.

To be prime minister you must be able to run a cabinet. Kevin simply does not have that talent so governments under his prime ministership are chaotic affairs.

That’s why he was sacked. Julia Gillard, on taking the prime ministership, did not spell that out – and that mistake is still haunting her.

When Kevin Rudd recently challenged for the leadership some of the most experienced cabinet ministers, including Treasurer Wayne Swan, were vitriolic in their condemnation of Rudd. They did not want to return to cabinet chaos.

I spent time recently with a long-term cabinet official and looking back, we found that Bob Hawke and John Howard were both brilliant at running the cabinet. Paul Keating was a wonderful Treasurer and ideas person but when he became prime minister, Keating was not good at running the cabinet. But he was way ahead of Rudd.

Surprisingly, Malcolm Fraser was talented in running his cabinet. Julia Gillard is not as good as Hawke or Howard but is also far ahead of Rudd.

Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens was right in pointing out yesterday that Australia is much better placed than most other developed countries in facing world turmoil.

But the potential turmoil is also much greater than anything we have seen in recent times. Last night Moody’s correctly put Germany on credit alert, sending German bond yields up. As I have pointed out on many occasions, Germany is in the process of sending most of the wealth it generated in post-war years down the toilet trying to rescue the likes of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal etc (Deposit rates for a European crisis, July 23, A Spanish time bomb for Aussie banks, July 24).

Moody’s is alerting the German people to their wealth exodus, which will make it harder to convince the Germans to fritter away their hard won gains.

When the Germans stop propping up Club Med countries that’s when the euro splits. And that’s when we have our crisis.

I recognise the points Michael Gawenda made about Kevin Rudd (Why we still need to talk about Kevin, July 23).

But a split in the euro will really test Australia because of the effect on the funding of Australian banks. We will need someone leading the country that can run a cabinet.