Kim Beazley for Governor General?

Photograph of Kim Beazley

Will former Labor leader Kim Beazley be Australia’s next Governor-General? That’s the story out of Canberra today.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always liked Beazley because he’s a strategic thinker and a good orator — both skills in short supply in modern politics. He’d provide a fine counter-balance to Kevin Rudd, able to give passionate, long-ranging and doubtless wordy speeches about grand visions on grand national occasions, while Rudd gets on with the nuts and bolts of running the country.

Indeed, since Rudd’s predecessor, Prime Minister Toad, took on many of the Governor-General’s roles for himself — to the extent that virtually no-one can remember the current GG‘s name — it’d be nice for a bit of profile restored to the role of the Queen’s representative.

Beyond that, since Rudd promised to put an Australian republic back on the agenda, Beazley would make an excellent “last Governor-General”. Well-respected even by his opponents in parliament, and a man of dignity.

Beazley’s final parliamentary speech was filled with history. Even if John Howard didn’t have the manners to show up, commentators like Annabel Crabb agreed it was a fine occasion.

I’m damn sure our troops would rather be farewelled to battle with an inspiring speech by “Bomber” Beazley than a precisely-planned but self-conscious lecture from Rudd or a whining, backward-looking duck-quack from Howard.

13 Replies to “Kim Beazley for Governor General?”

  1. I cannot think of a more worthy individual the Kim. He is one of a very rare breed in politics — a truly decent man, of outstanding intellect and compassion.

    I had the honour of sharing across the aisle in a flight from Perth to Sydney some years ago — he left a lasting impression. No handlers either at Perth airport — picked up his own bags!

    I am sorry he will never be Prime Minister as he would have graced the office with such dignity and respect for his fellow Australians.

    A Great Australian!

  2. @Nick Hodge: Do you still get to wear a uniform as GG, I wonder, if you weren’t a serving military officer previously? I guess as commander-in-chief of the armed forces you do!

    @Michael: Erk! Mark Latham as Governor-General would at least be… exciting.

    @Alastair Murray: All agreed. I met Kim Beazley at least once when I worked for ABC Radio, and enjoyed chatting. One of politics’ true gentlemen. Thanks for joining us.

  3. Today’s papers carry statements from the PM and Cabinet Secretary Faulkner denying ‘Bomber’ is being considered for GG.

    However, he’s apparently in the running to become our next Ambassador to the US. Hey, the US have much cooler jets than the F/A-18 for him to ride in….

  4. @Richard: Yes, Chairman Rudd has ruled out appointing a former or serving politician for Governor-General.

    Keen to avoid the appearance of political favouritism, Mr Rudd had suggested the former defence chief Peter Cosgrove was suitable for the role. However, General Cosgrove has called for a woman to be appointed.

    The NSW Governor, Marie Bashir, is among a group of women who could make history by becoming Australia’s first female governor-general.

    Lowitja O’Donohue [sic], the first chairwoman of the disbanded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, could make double history by being the first female and the first indigenous governor-general.

    My money’s on Marie Bashir at the moment. While Ms O’Donoghue gets the “sorry” factor, Bashir is also strongly respected for her work in Aboriginal mental health and gets the Lebanese factor too. Am I allowed to say that?

  5. I agree that they should appoint a woman to be the last (hopefully) GG. Marie Bashir would be a good choice.

    Alternatively, we could give Dannii Minogue some meaning in life.

  6. OK, I think we have our Poll of the Week. Assuming that General Cosgrove is now running Australia and says we have to have a woman as Governor-General, who should it be?

    Nominations so far are:

    • Dannii Minogue
    • Lowitja O’Donoghue
    • Marie Bashir

    We need a few more suitable Australian women to suitably represent Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. I’ll add the following to the pot:

    • Edna Everage
    • Pauline Hanson [deleted, see further comments]

    Further nominations welcome before 0700 Sydney time tomorrow, Tuesday 22 January, after which I’ll put the poll online for voting.

  7. Maybe AVM Julie Hammer, but I fear she’s relatively unknown outside defence circles.

    And I’ve always had a soft spot for Lorraine Bayly….

  8. I nominate Ja’mie King. The current GG wants us to be more charitable — well Ja’mie did good work for World Vision and Summer Heights High.

    (Maybe we need one more semi-serious nominee 😉 )

  9. Oops, Chairman Rudd says no politicians, so Pauline Hanson isn’t in the running.

    @Richard: Could Air Vice-Marshall Hammer be any more obscure than the current incumbent? Fewer than 30% of Australians know his name — and that’s after years in the job.

    @Snarky Platypus: Ms King would be perfect, yes. But semi-serious… I guess Corinne Grant‘s not a go-er then?

  10. Crikey has plenty of suggestions for Governor-General too. Women include Geraldine Doogue, Janet Holmes á Court, Margaret Jackson, Professor Fiona Stanley, Kylie Minogue, Janette Howard, Leila McKinnon, Mary Gaudron (High Court Justice 1987-2003), and netballer (and solicitor) Liz Ellis.

    Someone also suggested Justice Michael Kirby. Not a woman, obviously (and no snide comments), but he’d be an interesting choice.

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