Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kim Beazley

The other night I was thinking about how I'm researching all these politicians. I feel sort of like the prince in Cinderella--well, because I think part of me is trying to find this perfect politician. I want to find someone I admire as a leader, but that I'd also like as a friend. Okay. No. I'm not totally delusional. I don't expect to become actual friends with anyone that I research and write about. It's more like an imaginary friendship in my little imaginary world.

I was disappointed with Mark Latham. He just didn't fit my fantasy. He's too violent. No Liberal politicians satisfy me. That's quite predictable.

Now I'm onto my next candidate. Kim Beazley. I heard about him while studying Latham.

Beazley was born in Perth on 14 December 1948. He's about three months younger than my mom.

Birthday website time!

He's a Sagittarius like me! I like Sagittarius people--well, because sometimes I like myself. I don't like the word though. I have a very hard time spelling it, and have to keep looking it up. My spelling is quite horrible. One day, I'm sure I'll forget to spell check before posting, and you guys will see it for yourselves.

I know a little bit about Sagittarius since I am one. The first thing that comes to mind (and the thing I can relate to) is we choose honesty over tact. That's totally me. I don't do it all the time. Sometimes, I can manage to be sweet, fake, and polite. But often I'm not. An example happened during our Thanksgiving weekend. We had guests over--friends of my parents. One person talked about how he didn't get the hype over free range turkeys. He prefers the cheap regular stuff. He thought the cheap stuff tastes better. A normal polite person would probably just sit there, nod and smile. My mouth popped open and said something like well, I think it's actually about the welfare of the turkeys.

I also said in front of these guests (because I forgot they were at the table) So, who was the one who needed the toilet plunger this morning?

Yeah, that's the other thing about me. I'm extremely nosy. Is that a Sagittarius trait? I have no idea.

Enough about me. Back to Beazley. His numerology number is 3. That's all about being social. I think of Galinda from Wicked. Popular!

To think of Celebrated heads of state or

Specially great communicators
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!
They were popular!

His numerology number is not compatible with mine. That makes sense to me. I'm often not very social. I often WISH to be popular, than once I get any attention I want to run into my room, close the door, and hide.

He's a rat in Chinese Astrology. I'm a rat. Cool.

His Native American sign is the owl. Maybe that means he's wise. I'm starting to think wisdom is rare in politics.

All right. Now I have to start the hard stuff. I notice I ramble a lot. I think maybe I'm being slightly avoidant. All this political stuff is complicated. I have fun doing the research, but it also stresses me out a bit.

Beazley was leader of the opposition from 1996-2001 and then from 2005-2006. I'm guessing he took up the role again in 2005 when Latham deserted it.

According to Lord Wiki, Beazley is currently a professor of political science at the University of Western Australia. But he recently was offered the role of chancellor-designate at the Australian National University. I guess he'll be moving back to Canberra. I have no idea what a chancellor-designate is. I'll look it up......

Well, I can't find a definition really.

 I'm guessing it's a pretty important role.

Lord Wiki says Beazley had a part in Hawke's and Keating's ministry. He was deputy minister from 1995-1996. That's was during Keating's ministry.

He was replaced as party leader by Kevin Rudd. I wonder if it was a smooth transition; or did it involve lots of betrayal and fighting? I wonder if it involved any sinister handshakes.

Here's something sort of interesting. Beazley's mommy was an athlete. She broke records and stuff. His dad was a politician.

Beazley went to Hollywood Senior High School. Lord Wiki didn't make it a link which makes me guess there's not much information out there about it. Maybe it closed down? I'll look it up....just in case.

Well, there's a Facebook group about the school. And you don't have to sign on to Facebook to see it. I didn't realize you could do that. I wonder if Beazley is a member of the group. I wonder if Beazley is on Facebook.

For his college/uni studies, Beazley went to the University of Western Australia and Balliol College, Oxford. I have no idea what the latter means. I'm going to have to click on that link. First though, I want to look at the University of Western Australia. On Lord Wiki's page about the school, Beazley is listed as a notable alumni. His father went there too, and also Bob Hawke. Oh! And Rolf Harris went there as well.

Very prominently, on the front page of the website, they say, The University of Western Australia acknowledges that it's campus is situated on Noongar land. I like that they say this, and I think it's great that it's not written in tiny print in the back somewhere.

Regarding the University of Oxford. I'm trying to get Lord Wiki to help me understand this. I'm getting that Oxford is made up of many colleges and Balliol is one of the most prominent ones. Oh no. Actually Lord Wiki says it's one of the most popular. See! We're back to that word again!

Balliol is known for it's politically active students and pet tortoise. Interesting.

Sadly, Rosa Luxembourg disappeared after being the campus pet for over forty years.

While not admiring the old tortoise, Beazley became close buddies with Tony Blair.

Oh my goodness. Lord Wiki just took my head for quite the spin. And for those of you who do not believe I'm dumb, I shall now give you a prime example.

Lord Wiki says: While at Oxford, he became close friends with Tony Blair and Geoff Gallop (a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and former Premier of Western Australia respectively).

Obviously (as someone with brains would know) Lord Wiki is saying Blair is a Prime Minister (which yes... I do know!) and Gallop was a Premier of Western Australia. But since the parenthesis were next to Gallop's name, I thought Lord Wiki was saying this one guy had been a Prime Minister of the UK and then moved to Australia to become a premier. I was thinking. Wow. Is that actually possible? I followed some links, figured Lord Wiki had his facts mixed up, and then finally came to my senses.



When Beazley returned to his home country, he worked at Murdoch University. Is that named after who I think it's named after? It seems (according to Lord Wiki) that it's not. But right now, I'm not trusting my own judgment and reading ability.

The website makes the school look pretty progressive. I get the feeling they stress stuff like lifelong learning and free thinking over high grades and academic excellence. They're also into discoverers/research.

Beazley's first official political role came in 1980. He became member of parliament. Then in 1983 he became minister of Aviation in Hawke's ministry. I didn't know there was a minister of aviation. Is that an airplane kind of thing? Oh, okay. Lord Wiki says this minister is in charge of a bunch of transportation stuff--not just airplanes.

After that, Beazley became minister of defense. It seems the guy liked military stuff. He might not be my type of guy. He actually had the nickname Bomber Beazley.

Wow. Beazley really jumped around. He was minister of transportation and communications (I'm guessing that's somehow different from aviation), minister of finance, minister of employment, education, and training, and then minister of lost campus pets. Yeah, I'm joking about the last one. Really though. Is it normal for a politician to be minister of so many things? He's such a Renaissance man!

Here's some controversy. I guess there were rumors that Beazley had connections to a guy named Ratih Harjono. This was thought to be a security risk for some reason. Beazley denied a connection. I can't find much information on the guy. I think he's Indonesian. This website says he was an aid to the president. I'm not sure why that makes him dangerous as a friend.

Beazley is one of those who said he was over trying to be leader and then later changed his mind. Lord Wiki says he said, it's over for me as far as leadership goes. That was in 2004. In 2005, when Latham dropped out, Beazley decided to put himself back in the game.

In Mark Latham's book, he strongly showed his dislike for Beazley. He accused Beazley of undermining Latham's position as frontbencher and opposition leader. He also claimed that Beazley failed to offer support to a man named Greg Wilton who later committed suicide. Beazley denied the accusations and Lord Wiki says other people stood behind him.

Who should we believe?

Anyway, he lost leadership of the Labor Party to Kevin Rudd. It seems this was done with a vote and not a lot of fighting. But maybe I'll find some bad stuff in further research. I'm going to say good-bye to Lord Wiki now and look elsewhere.

This website says Beazley has three daughters. I like the three daughter thing. It reminds me of Charmed. Also, I'm one of three sisters. Unfortunately, none of us have magical powers.

The Sydney Morning Herald has Beazley's last speech to the House of Representative. It was published in September 2007--three months before we went to Australia. Wow. It's pretty damn long--not sure if I want to read all of it. I'll read the beginning at least.

Beazley starts off with a warning that he's going to offend mightily in the next thirty minutes. Oh! So, I might be reading the whole speech. This could get very interesting. You better not disappoint me, Beazley!

He spends two whole paragraphs thanking his family. That's sweet. He reminds me of my dad in that way. He even mentions the son-in-laws--totally my father!

Wait! It goes on. He has a whole story about his youngest daughter. The story talks about how the media spread dirt on Beazley. He suggested to his wife that the daughter stay home so she could avoid bullying at school. The daughter insisted on going to school anyway and facing all the crap.

Beazley says: The truth is that if we are all honest in this place—whether we are on the Liberal or Labor side of politics or on the National Party or whether we are Independents, for that matter—the hard secret of our lives is that our families come second.

That's very sad. But I think it's one of those things that actually needs to be true. It's good for the countries, but probably not so good for the spouses and children.

Beazley goes on to say: One of the great things about politics is that it extracts you from your natural selfishness; you cannot help it. Even the most selfish human being going into politics will, over time, gradually understand the enormous responsibilities that are laid on his or her shoulders to be the fathers and mothers of the whole nation.

Yeah. I don't really buy that. No, not at all. I think politicians can be extremely selfish. It would be NICE if they weren't. But I think most of them are power hungry and lose sight of what others need.

Beazley thanks his staff. I think that's nice.

He says stuff about Bob McMullan. He knows where my bodies are buried and I know where his are buried. That means we hold each other in terrorem. I am terrified enough to exit this place knowing that he could reply to anything I had to say, so I will leave that to one side.

Wow! That's exciting! Thrilling. The guy has my attention. Who is Bob McMullan? Maybe I'll add him to my list of people to research.

It seems that Beazley is very supportive of unions. He says, Understand this: when you wish to assault democracy, first you attack the unions; when you wish to restore democracy, first you start with the unions.

I'm not sure if I completely agree, but it sounds good. It sounds very passionate.

Later in the speech, Beazley apologizes to someone named Carmen Lawrence. He says I apologise to my colleagues for my behaviour in that period of time. Fortunately, it was done in private and nobody knows what a bad person I was—and she has forgiven me. That's a pretty brave thing to say.

Beazley admits he liked being minister of defense the most. He says it's the Vietnam War which made him interested in politics.

He talks about American-Australian relationships--something about a submarine. It goes over my head. But he says this which I understand, That is not to say that I do not love the Americans and think that they are our most important ally, but they are a bunch of people you have got to have a fight with every now and then to get what you need out of them.

I think that's a very well-rounded reasonable approach. Keep America as the ally, but don't blindly kiss their ass. We should really never kiss anyone's ass because they just might fart on us.

I don't know. So far, I sort of might like Beazley. Well, at least there's nothing I strongly dislike about him. He sounds fairly honest--at least for a politician. That must be the Sagittarius in him. He reminds me of me in that I do a lot of thanking, apologizing, and offending.

Oh look! Maybe I really could be his friend. The University of Western Australia provides his phone number and email address. Cool. Maybe I'll call him later. No, I'm too shy. And I also am not a big fan of phone conversations.....

Here's more controversy. In 2006, Beazley wanted people to sign up for Australian values when they applied for an Australian visa. Does that include tourists? I think it's kind of cute. The stuff he asks for isn't divisive in my opinion: mateship, fairness, freedom, and respect for the nation's laws. I think that's kind of sweet, although probably a token gesture that wouldn't do much for anyone. But it's not like he's asking people to declare they believe in Jesus Christ, will never wear head scarves, and will never kiss someone of the same gender.

I found an obituary for Beazley's father. He sounds like a very decent man--fought for Aboriginal land rights. He also pushed the idea of Indigenous children learning in their original languages.

Oh, I think Beazley might just be my man. I love what he says in this interview. He talks about why he left politics, saying, One of things I have noticed about past leaders, when they do beyond their leadership... you become a bit of a pest, you become a bit of a know-it-all and a bit a focal point for any dissent that's sort of roaming around. I don't want to end my political life as a nuisance.

He sounds humble. I like humble people.

Here's something fun. He has a MySpace page. Or maybe that's not so much fun. MySpace makes me a bit dizzy.

He last logged in on November 25 and his mood was giggly. He likes politics, beer, and his wife. I guess that's his three most favorite things. The beer thing is confirmed on the top left corner of the page where he says find the cheapest grog in your neighborhood at boozle.com.au. Or maybe that's an advertisement?

His favorite movie is The Castle. I need to see that one day. He says his favorite book is newspapers. Well, I'm not too keen on that. I like when people like books.

His MySpace says he's there for dating. Well, THAT'S interesting. Does his wife know? He's not sure of his orientation. Oh! Maybe he's looking to do some exploring. What a progressive politician. I love how he describes his body type Some extra baggage. Cute.

He says he's an Aries. What?! Did my birthday website lie to me? Well, maybe he's on the cusp like me. See, look! We have something in common.

In his bio, he says he has three available daughters. What happened to the son-in-laws?

Holy crap. I was just led to this website. It's called Conservapedia. Their tagline is The Trustworthy Encyclopedia. Yes, because we all know we can trust the right over the left. I thought maybe they weren't so out there because their entry on Beazley is fairly short and neutral. But then I saw their entry on Obama, and how he's our first Muslim president. Yeah. The website also implies that there might not have been a stolen generation. Why do these people exist? I better leave the website before I lose my little mind.

I'm going to look at more Beazley quotes on a quote website.

He said, Politics call for robust debate and criticism, but this should never descend to personal and demeaning slurs. I like this. I wonder if he ever broke his own rule. Well, I'm going to leave that website too because it doesn't explain the context of the quotes. It's a bit confusing to me.

This anti-homosexual website did not like Beazley showing support of homosexual rights. Anyone who is criticized by an anti-gay organization is pretty cool in my book. Usually. I mean if the anti-gay group hates the individual for torturing kitty cats, I'll be on the anti-gay group's side on that particular issue.

Here's more stuff that I can like about the guy. He thinks Indigenous issues are very important and despite his love of the military, he did not support the war in Iraq.

Well, Jack just asked me to trade computers with him. I'm thinking this might be a good place for me to stop.

I think, in conclusion, that from what I know.....Beazley sounds like a pretty cool guy. I like him. Go Beazley!


  1. Dina I am loving your blog but need lots of time to absorb it all....good grief woman you are making me use my brain again!!!

    It is fantastic!!!

    And yes Latham was and is a bully!!

    My son is almost finished researching a post then he wants to get stuck into your blog. he too is watching the Howard Years...I have them on tape...what episode are you up to?

    Will be back when I have digested these last thought provoking posts. My husband is due back in four hours after being with his terribly ill mum in Britain for a few weeks so am trying to stay up to tidy up...it is 4.39am and we have Christmas decorations coming out of the wazoo!

  2. magikquilter,

    Thank you so much!

    I think I might be using my brain too much. It might explode or something. I hope yours doesn't as well. We need some earthlings with their brains still intact--you know because the aliens might attack.

    I'd love to see your son's blog. Do you have a link? Well, I'm sure there's a link on your blog. I'll go explore and see if I can find it.

    I haven't seen the last episode of the Howard Years. I'm not sure if I'm going to watch it or not. I think I'm burned out when it comes to the Liberal party.

    I'm sorry about your MIL.

    I can't believe you're up that late...or early? Have fun with the Christmas decorating. I don't think I could handle it. We passed a house the other day that still had Halloween pumpkins. I told my son that would be me (if we did decorating). Once I decorate, the stuff takes forever to come down. I had Jack's birthday decorations up in our house for about two years. Actually no. Now that I look. Some of it is still there! But I'm not sure if these broken streamers are from two years ago or three years ago.

    If I ever decide to have a Christmas tree, it will likely become a permanent decoration in our house and not a seasonal thing.

  3. Kim is a smart guy and a really nice bloke. Too nice in fact to very effective as a politician. He also lacked the common touch required for success as Labor leader, but as a I say, a super nice bloke with a huge heart. Have you looked into any of our indigenous leaders? Sam Watson? Noel Pearson? Oodgeroo Noonuncaal? Some amazing stories there. Hello, by the way, you are a unique creature,

  4. gingatao,

    I'm a unique creature? I guess I can't argue with that.

    I've heard of Noel Pearson, but not the other two. Maybe I'll write about them someday.

  5. I'm loving your research this week, Dina.

    And you have excellent taste in politicians. Kim Beazley is one of my all-time favourites. I always thought he didn't end up as prime minister because he was too nice - didn't have the "mongrel" in him to play dirty - which, let's face it, the really really successful ones seem to....

  6. I liked Kim. It was unfortunate that the general public had not quite had enough yet of 'the Howard year' when Kim was the leader of the labour party, having him as prime minister could have been interesting.

  7. Gina: Sadly, you're probably right. Although Obama seems decent and he won. Maybe politics will actually change. I hope.

    Mistress B: I wonder how it might have changed history.

  8. Hi Dina,
    I really liked Kim and he should have been PM in 1998 where he won the majority vote by 50.98% to Howards 49.02% but lost the election because Howard won 10 more seats in parliment so we didn't get who we voted for, which is the big flaw in the Australian preferential voting system.
    I agree with you on Latham he was a bully and had anger management issues

  9. Matt,

    It happened to us too and we don't have preferential voting.

    That was 2000 for us.

    It's weird how our countries kind of mirror each other.

  10. I'm not all that keen on Beazley. I remember what a blowharding bully he could be when he was a senior minister in the Hawke and Keating governments. As a Western Australian I've seen a lot more of him than most Easterners haveand I didn't lament his passing from the scene at all.

    Kim was a passably competent minister when under the guidance of a dominant personality such as those two PM's, but he was always a natural-born follower. Shafting him was the best move the ALP made in twenty years; he was quite capable of losing the election that Rudd won.

  11. Retarius,

    Thanks for the different perspective. I think we all see people in different ways, and since you live in Western Australia, you probably did get a glimpse of him that others didn't.

  12. Wow Retarius has an interesting perspective on Kim ....coming from WA he would get a far different view I think. Hmm I really liked Kim though and was only happy he went so that Kevin could take over. And look where that went. I think nice people can be successful in politics....Kevin was a diplomat first so we will probably never know his true nature.

    Why no Christmas tree...are you Jewish or Muslim or another religion or one of the rare non religious who do not celebrate? Or are you pagan like Anja? Do I need a capitol for Pagan...should check that out.

    That Conservapedia sounds like the sort of place which would get my blood boiling...amazing how one gets led to these places.I am careful now though as my son said to google the address of these places first so that my virus protection is able to monitor them for me first. Are you ever nervous about viruses when you are wandering around in your research Dina?

    My son was asking if you have considered Simon Crean or his very recently deceased father for research in this vein?

  13. magikquilter,

    I feel Rudd is a fairly decent guy, but I do get the sense that he's a people-pleaser/brown-noser. He seems like the super nice guy who will never give you his true opinion. Beazley seems much more upfront and honest.

    I never thought about viruses when doing research! But NOW I'm thinking about it. You have just added to my paranoia. I hope you're happy ; )

    I did come across Simon Crean's name. I didn't think of doing research on him. Maybe I should??

    I'll answer your religion question on the other comment.

  14. After leaving Parliament, Kim Beazley served as Australian ambassador to the United States. That posting is often given to former senior politicians in both major parties as a kind of "consolation prize."

  15. Ross,

    Is being an ambassador to ALL countries a consolation prize, or just being one to the US?

    I imagine it would be a nice job for people who like to travel and experience different cultures. Although maybe they're too depressed about not t achieving PM-ship to enjoy the adventure.