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Latham backs account of Kevin Rudd as 'rude' and 'obsessed with control'



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Monday 26 August 2013

Latham backs account of Kevin Rudd as ‘rude’ and ‘obsessed with control’

Former Labor leader and party elder Mark Latham has backed an account of Kevin Rudd that describes the Prime Minister as rude and obsessed with control.

Speaking at the John Button Oration in Melbourne on Saturday night, Mr Latham inferred that Mr Rudd would not address the forum following the publication of the book Speechless by the event’s organiser.

The book, written by James Button, the son of former Labor Minister John Button, a former Fairfax journalist and Kevin Rudd’s one-time speechwriter, gives a searing insight into Mr Rudd’s personality.

Mr Latham said Mr Button would have preferred Kevin Rudd to speak during the Federal campaign but “after the publication of Speechless last year, this was not possible. Such is the price of truth”.

In his book Mr Button describes Mr Rudd as someone who refuses to “choose between policy priorities or listen to unwelcome advice”.

This is an account of a Labor Prime Minister, by the son of a Labor Party Minister, endorsed by a former Labor leader.

In interviews before the publication of Speechless last year, Mr Button told the ABC’s PM program:

“I only met him twice, but the consistent message that I had in Canberra, over and over, was that he treated his staff very poorly. He worked them very, very hard, then didn't thank them for the work they had done. He lost his temper often.”

and

“Yes, I heard that he read it [Button’s draft speech] on a plane, had a tantrum and that was it. And I did check that story later to make sure it was correct.” Australians have seen a glimpse of Mr Rudd’s temper and tantrums during this campaign but it seems that his anger toward flight attendants, makeup artists and students isn’t the half of it.

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