‘Untidy’: Rudd’s swipe at PM’s coronavirus effort
FORMER Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has taken a swipe at Scott Morrison's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and says US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is the last chance to save the world from anarchy.
In comments sure to anger both the Australian and US Governments, Mr Rudd used an Australian National University forum to criticise political leaders in each country.
He downplayed the Australian response to the pandemic, saying the "male leadership" had been "stampeded" into following the direction of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"That's the untidy, uncomfortable history of what actually happened down here," he said. "When people talk about Australia (and) New Zealand having done well, I think when we look at the sequencing of the decision-making process there was genuine leadership by (Ms Ardern) on this," he said.
"And I think that's had a huge effect on seeing democratically elected leaders who are women exercising such effective national leadership."
Mr Rudd also set his sights on November's US presidential election, saying it was "critical" Mr Biden defeated President Donald Trump because the next four years were the "last chance saloon" for US global leadership.
"Either America gets it dot dot dot dot together in the next four years or they don't and we continue the route towards anarchy," he said.
He said Mr Biden was "not JFK but none of us are" however stood for "decent values" and would put in place a "first class" Administration able to turn around the fraying global order.
"If he loses, then I think all bets are off as to what happens to the international order," Mr Rudd said.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was also part of the panel discussing what the global world order would look like after COVID-19.
She nominated Mr Trump's falling poll numbers as a positive sign for the future of global multilateralism.
Ms Power, who served in Barack Obama's Administration, said Mr Trump had used his "pulpit" domestically and internationally to press his message that "globalisation is bad for your people and that foreigners are dangerous and the world is a zero sum place".
She said it would be vital for middle powers such as Australia take more leadership on the global stage and set an example for "fence sitters" still deciding whether to follow the US or China.
Originally published as 'Untidy': Rudd's swipe at PM's coronavirus effort