Kevin Rudd

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Kevin Michael Rudd MP (born 21 September 1957) is the 26th Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the federal Australian Labor Party (ALP).


  • Compassion is not a dirty word. Compassion is not a sign of weakness. In my view, compassion in politics and in public policy is in fact a hallmark of great strength. It is a hallmark of a society which has about it a decency which speaks for itself. [1]
  • We have seen this complete right wing takeover of modern liberalism, and it is an ugly spectacle to behold.[1]
  • When you analyse it carefully, it is about a family’s ability to stay together and have time together. We all know, with our fractured lives in this place, how difficult it becomes when we as human beings cannot spend time with one another. However, the problem is that these industrial relations laws now set that disease in place right across the nation in every workplace, in every part of the country. What I fear most of all is the ultimate impact of this on the fabric of Australian family life.[1]
    • Speaking of the Workchoices Act introduced by the Howard government in March 2006.
  • Labor’s message then is this: we believe in a strong economy; we believe also in a fair go for all, not just for some.[1]
  • I say to those opposite: we intend to prevail in this battle of ideas, on the ground, right through to the next election. We intend to prevail.[1]
  • When it comes to labour market reform, here's the difference between us and John Howard: John Howard regards labour as just like any other economic commodity. We actually see labour as made up of human beings. These are human beings with an intrinsic dignity. When they go to the workplace, they're not just like a lump of wood or a piece of coal, these are human beings, and they should be treated properly as people with intrinsic rights. [2]
  • The major challenges of climate change, the major challenge of the economy and manufacturing, the major challenges in education, and how do we turbo-charge our national education system to create the knowledge base for the future of the Australian economy. These are the sorts of areas that you're going to see detailed policy plans from us in the weeks and months ahead... [2]
  • Labor has a universal position of opposition to the death penalty both at home and abroad... It is not possible in our view to be selective in the application of this policy. [3]
    • Statement made in 2002.
  • ... no diplomatic intervention will ever be made by any government that I lead in support of any individual terrorist's life. We have only indicated in the past, and will maintain a policy in the future, of intervening diplomatically in support of Australian nationals who face capital sentences abroad.[3]
    • Response to a backlash following statements made by Robert McClelland, days before the fifth anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings, who said that Labor would campaign internationally to stop executions of terrorists.
  • John Howard's credibility on the entire Iraq war has been torpedoed by John Howard's own intelligence agency.[4]
  • Everyone's entitled to their point of view but that's seriously a weird one.[5]
    • Response to Liberal MP Danna Vale's comment that Australia's rising abortion rate indicated that it might become a Muslim nation in 50 years.
  • [But] we should not be kowtowing to anybody when it comes to freedom in this country.[6]
  • If he has any self-respect he would resign over this matter, the negligence is so gross.[7]
  • This goes to demonstrate the fact that John Howard established this inquiry in order to bring about his own absolution, not to bring about any form of accountability.[8]
    • Response to John Howard's interview with the Cole Inquiry.
  • My name is Kevin, I'm from Queensland, and I'm here to help.[9]
    • Address to the Labor Party conference, 2007


  1. a b c d e Rudd's first speech as Labor leader. The Australian (December 5, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  2. a b Rudd's new vision for the nation. ABC Local Radio (December 5, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  3. a b ALP in 'me-too' policy mess over death penalty. The Age (October 10, 2007). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  4. Howard under fire over Iraq. CNN (July 17, 2003). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  5. Attacks on Abbott cheap and nasty, says Pell. The Age (February 15, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  6. Mainstream media takes a cautious line over blasphemous cartoons. Sydney Morning Herald (February 7, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  7. Cole has no power to find against ministers: Rudd. Lateline. ABC TV (April 10, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  8. Labor says outcome of inquiry is stacked. The Advertiser (April 13, 2006). Retrieved on 13 February, 2008.
  9. "World briefing: Too clever by half: Australia's quarrel with its new PM" Simon Tisdall. The Guardian. London (UK): Apr 9, 2008. pg. 17
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