The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fullilove vs. Shanahan: two v. different views of Aust's foreign policy performance

Within days of one another, we have two very different takes on the former leader's foreign policy performance. The first by the Lowy Institute's Michael Fullilove frankly strikes one as being rather partisan and subjective--indeed almost an explicit campaign to restore the former PM to the front bench portfolio. I was expecting better from one of our top talents in the field. Fulliove's redeeming qualities are two-fold: he appears to have been within Rudd's inner circle, and thus renders what looks to be an insider's account; and he clearly knows what he is talking about. This is, after all, his bread and butter. In response, The Australian's political editor, Dennis Shanahan, obliges with a much more withering assessment, which probably needs to be discounted a little by the fact that he does not possess Fullilove's raw policy horsepower. But it is certainly surprising that Shanahan, the non-expert observer, is easily able to unearth many material mis-steps that for some reason go untouched by the think-tanker...