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Pattern of unacceptable behaviour extends to the Prime Minister.



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Thu, 12th June 2008 PATTERN OF UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR EXTENDS TO THE PRIME MINISTER

The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Shadow Minister for Trade (to 22 September 2008)

Self-professed diplomat Kevin Rudd has failed in his most fundamental test during his belated visit to one of Australia's largest trading partners, Japan.

Shadow Minister for Trade Ian Macfarlane said despite the damage Kevin Rudd had already inflicted as a result of his attitude of indifference towards Australia's largest export destination, the Prime Minister seemed intent on causing further harm.

''The very purpose of this trip was to address the negative fallout created after Mr Rudd shunned Japan during his world tour early this year,'' Mr Macfarlane said.

''But instead of working to strengthen the relationship and enhance the prospects for Australian exporters and businesses, for example by furthering talks on an Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement, the Prime Minister's only response has been to turn his blowtorch on the Japanese.

''Mr Rudd's snide and arrogant comment about Japanese ministerial visits to Australia, along with the petty score keeping about the number of ministers the Prime Minister has sent to do his work for him in Japan while he concentrates on China, shows Mr Rudd is still not prepared to take responsibility for his own actions or for the position he holds.

''For a Prime Minister who sells foreign policy as his strong suit, Kevin Rudd seems to have missed the class on Diplomacy 101.

''Once again, instead of getting down to work, Mr Rudd has attempted to deflect attention and avoid closer scrutiny of his decisions.

''On the back of his poorly defined and ill thought-out schemes about an Asia-Pacific Union and a new body for nuclear non-proliferation, the image our Prime Minister is projecting is of an erratic, ego-centric and volatile leader who cannot be trusted to deliver on the detail.

''Until Mr Rudd comes to grips with the fact that the buck stops with him, Australian exporters and investors will be feeling very nervous about their prospects in Asian trading markets.''