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.