Evolving Thoughts

Rudd’s strip joint visit

I do not care if a politicians visits a strip club. In fact, a politician that did it and owns up without embarassment would be a good choice to pick, because you know he’s not going to pull that family values crap in the future. But a politician who visits one, owns up, and then apologises? You know he’s going to try to have it both ways.

Too many Australian politicians are playing the religious card lately. Rudd is one of them. C’mon folks, we’re Australians, not Americans. We should be like the French or Italians and cheer anyone who shows he’s human, male and occasionally stupid. Stop making religion a political drawcard. Sure, I know there are votes out there begging, but let’s face it – people choose politicians for what they say they’ll do in public policy, not for what they do in their real life. Politics is all about fiction anyway.

I don’t want to live in a country that has the level of religious interference in public discourse incommensurate with their representation in society that America has (of course, if I’m forced to by employment, I will go anywhere – philosophers are whores for money). Let’s not follow the US on this one, OK?


  1. #1 Susan Silberstein
    August 19, 2007

    Is he getting bad press at home because of this?

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    August 19, 2007

    This happened in 2003 …. so why has it taken so long to come out, and just before an election?

    In fairness, he doesn’t appear sanctimonious about this – he’s playing the “human, male and occasionally stupid” card. Imagine how a US senator would have dealt with this.


  3. #3 John Wilkins
    August 19, 2007

    Susan: Yes he is. In part it’s his own damned fault, for playing the religion card earlier (but so has Howard and his team, more than once).

    And yes, Bob, it’s because there’s an election due soon. It hasn’t been announced, but they’ve been doing the ads for about six weeks already…

  4. #4 KiwiInOz
    August 19, 2007

    When I first heard it I thought, great, he’s human after all. Then the apology. For something that happened in 2003. And that he’d already cleared (after the fact) with his wife. I particularly didn’t like him hiding behind the “was too drunk, couldn’t remember” line. Be a man. Acknowledge the deed. Acknowledge the embarrassment. Acknowledge the apology to wife. Move on.

    (PS. Crystal Daze wants to catch up with you again Big Kev. Something about impending school fees or something)

  5. #5 Laurent
    August 19, 2007

    Hum, as a French citizen, I would say that the use of “occasionnally” seems “politically” correct, though politically uncorrect (it’s significatively more often than occasionally!). Well, if I think twice, maybe the use of “human” is wrong too, but you may have been thinking of Italian here, right? You got the “male” right nevertheless.

  6. #6 John Wilkins
    August 19, 2007

    I often understate things. It’s my English heritage 🙂

  7. #7 Laurent
    August 20, 2007

    Reminds me also of Coluche, a French humorist who attempted to run in the presidential elections decades ago and said “I’ll quit politics when politicians quit comedy – they steal my job, I steal theirs.”

    He resigned before the elections though he could have easily been elected (overstatement, my French heritage 😉 he was only credited 16% of intended votes, though it was only a few weeks after he made his decision public). I still wonder how different things would be now if he had kept going.

    The English wikipedia page is really short and quotes really don’t translate well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coluche)

  8. #8 Obdulantist
    August 20, 2007

    Rudd is NOT getting bad press. Public opinion is firmly in the ‘so what, who cares?’ camp. What press are you reading/watching? Christian Self-Righteous Wingnut Daily?

    Rudd did not say he couldn’t remember because he was too drunk. He said he was drunk, and didn’t recall the alleged groping and being asked to leave the club. Funnily enough, the two people with him have both completely cleared him from that charge (and of any other charge of impropriety), describing him behaving as a “perfect gentleman”. Should also be noted that (despite almost certainly being the source of it) the conservative government are running away from this story at a great speed, as they know full well what will happen if stories of sexual misbehaviour start being flung about, being very far from clean themselves.

    As Bob O’H noted, this happened in 2003, and is now only coming out, and is not the same story that was getting around for the last 4 years. It has been seriously embellished. And the journalist who wrote it has a history of serious drink related problems himself, of barracking strongly for the government, and his wife works for the gutter level push polling company that does all the government’s dirty work. Coincidence? Ya think? That journalist’s already undistinguished career is now in the process of being flushed down the toilet, by himself.

    Folks here should also know that the club in question was not some back alley sleaze joint, but a upmarket venue with restaurant, full bar, of which the stripping was just a part, and which was frequented by diplomats, pollies, corporate high flyers, doing the networking, deal making thing. (I am not saying that makes such places acceptable, but keep a sense of perspective here, please.) Rudd did not propose going to it, in fact he (and one of the other two) didn’t even know what kind of place it was. After they had been there approx. 40 minutes, they left as they were uncomfortable about the venue.

    “Be a man. Acknowledge the deed. Acknowledge the embarrassment. Acknowledge the apology to wife. Move on”

    He did. He has. From the start. Time for every one else to move on.

    Sheesh. What a total beat-up. A complete non-issue. Why are you even wasting precious Scienceblog space on this? Seriously.

    The truth is that this is probably going to work in Rudd’s favour, and against the government for playing dirty sleazebag smear tactics, something they have a solid and justified reputation for.


    (Declaration of interest: I hate the Howard government and will be voting for Rudd. Make of that what you will.)

  9. #9 John Wilkins
    August 20, 2007

    The media I’m seeing is commercial television news. ABC has been more measured. I think now (but it was not clear when I first posted) that it will not hit him hard, but nevertheless he apologised. Why? What’s wrong with a politician doing what is legal, both here and there? Only because he plays the religion card.

    I will vote Green, myself, which means Labor will end up getting my preferences, because I abhor the morality of the conservative government (and they show nasty tendencies to borrow Rovian tricks, too, lately), but I am not impressed by Rudd. If you are, great – vote for him. But this is my blog (and the space is unlimited, so there) and I say what I think, not what others want me to.

    For my money both parties/sides are playing the religion card hard. It needs to be stepped on, now.

  10. #10 Susan Silberstein
    August 20, 2007

    Yeah, I’ve always liked the really sciency stuff here, like “The Serenity Firefly Personality Test” and get really pissed off when the fracking blogger goes off message.

    Oh, wait, did I say that out loud?

  11. #11 John Wilkins
    August 21, 2007

    Message? I have a message? Apart from saying very loudly “I think this!”?

  12. #12 Susan Silberstein
    August 21, 2007

    Uh, that’s my point. You don’t have “a” message. And it’s your blog, so you can say anything you want. It’s not like anyone is compelled to read it if they don’t like what they find here.

  13. #13 John Wilkins
    August 21, 2007

    I knew that. I was being Ironic. Or Sarcastic. Or something ending in -ic.

  14. #14 Zarquon
    August 22, 2007


  15. #15 Thony C.
    August 22, 2007


    Somebody give Wilkins a dose of paraffin please then he can get back on topic

  16. #16 Trinifar
    August 22, 2007

    I don’t think the US is nearly so religous or full of prudery as some thing. Clinton’s approval ratings kept going up during the Lewinsky affair and impeachment. Didn’t hurt that the economy was also doing well, but, still….

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