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12 January 2011 @ 08:48 pm
Ah Harry ... I mean Kevin ...  
I can't help it, I still love Kevin Rudd. Australia's former prime minister, now foreign minister, was out on the streets of Brisbane today, trousers rolled up to his pasty white knees and tide marks to his thighs, carrying stuff to help evacuate people in his region. He evac-ed the belongings of a bunch of Korean students who are all on holidays and were going to lose everything. Bless him. A group of journos and stickybeaks started paying attention to him, so he roped them into helping.

Meanwhile, in his official capacity, Kevin announced today that offers of international help had been pouring in. Some from Australia's traditional friends, the US and UK (Thanks, Barack and Clameron!), some from European nations that have strong links with this country (most of them -- did you know Australia has the third largest Greek city in the world after Athens and Thessaloniki?).

And there are also significant offers from Indonesia, our giant northern neighbour that is not hugely rich. There were frosty relations between Australia and Indonesia for about thirty years over East Timor and events relating to it, which eased dramatically in the aftermath of the Pacific Tsunami and earthquakes that followed. It's strange that natural disasters can sometimes accelerate diplomacy in a way that nothing else can.

African nations are also offering support, even though many are currently stretched supporting countries in their own region. It's very heartwarming.

The good news is that Australia is comparatively wealthy, and even though these floods will take billions off the GDP for the next two years (agriculture and mining will be slow to recover), we have not had a recession during the GFC and are better positioned to weather the blow, as it were, than most of our G20 colleagues. So while we may require aid in terms of experts, equipment and maybe even manpower depending on how bad things get, from a money perspective, we'll cope as a country.

It is individuals who are going to have problems, with many underinsured or not insured at all. Millions of dollars have been pouring into the government fund, but thousands are affected, and whole homes are being lost. If you have spare funds, there are sites for donation. Many don't, good thoughts are just as valuable, and if you have Queenslanders on your flists, so is taking the time to comment to them and let them talk about what's going on. Having a good yarn, as they say in Oz, is thoroughly therapeutic.
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mrsquizzical: potter DHcorkRonHarrywethugmrsquizzical on January 12th, 2011 09:55 am (UTC)
oh bless you.

good ol' kev.

i was distraught hearing of some people in toowoomba who obviously don't have flood cover, because LOL IT WOULD NEVER FLOOD IN TOOWOOMBA they live on a MOUNTAIN, WHAT? D:
mrsquizzical: driving lessons rupert*huh?*mrsquizzical on January 12th, 2011 11:25 am (UTC)
i tried to find some footage of krudd but all i got on google was some pastor blaming him for the floods... 0-o
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
I was boggling at that loony last night. It's the same one who thought abortion caused the Victorian bushfires. Wanker.

I've seen it replayed on the ABC a few times, but can't find it on their site yet. Give it a few days and I am sure someone will have it as a KRudd tribute vid ;-)
mrsquizzical: driving lessons rupertcrossmrsquizzical on January 12th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC)
makes me furious. i'm sure i'll laugh in a day or so.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
I hope the pastor gets incurable tinea.
mrsquizzical: driving lessons rupertcrossmrsquizzical on January 12th, 2011 12:30 pm (UTC)
yes! and the zips on all his trousers break. and the milk in his tea is always off. *nods*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
I know! Mr B's family are from up that way and we have travelled through it quite a bit in our years together. I have to say that I would never have expected Toowoomba to flood, either.
alwayswithabookalwayswithabook on January 12th, 2011 11:11 am (UTC)

I totally agree.
Watching K Rudd today made me proud to be an Australian. I live in Brisbane and am currently flooded into my area (Kenmore). Sure it's scary watching the water raising but was is even better is how great it is to see how the community come together.

I really have become friendly not only with my neighbors but the wider community.

It feels like we are all in this together and I can't help but feel like we can get through it because we have each other.

Cerisewivern on January 12th, 2011 11:16 am (UTC)
Wasn't KRudd wonderful. He's a dork but he knows how to get in and help.
ecosopherecosopher on January 12th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
Good ol' Kev. I'm not ashamed to say I miss him, a bit.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 02:02 pm (UTC)
I do, too. I miss his tortured syntax!
drbunsendrbunsen on January 12th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
Kev was that rare thing, a Thoroughly Decent Bloke. They never last in politics, alas, specially not at the top of the NSW Nazi Mafia Labour Praty.

Typo left in place for the lulz.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 12th, 2011 02:01 pm (UTC)
Oh it's true! Why they are allowed to say anything at all that affects the rest of the country given how gruesome they are in NSW is A Mystery.

And Kev was more pragmatic than I would have liked on a few things, but I could see that it was not without reason. Alas, common sense is an undervalued virtue in politics. Still, he is becoming a cult figure, and Australia does have a history of Lazurus-like leaders, who knows?
drbunsendrbunsen on January 12th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)
Lazari, and also brain-eating zombies like Latham.

Seriously, sometime when you have 20-odd minutes to kill, look up the Four Corners report on how Nazis took over the NSW Libs. No, actual, honest to Gawd, WWII-era Ukranian Nazis.
Hollyhollyxu on January 12th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC)
A group of journos and stickybeaks started paying attention to him, so he roped them into helping.

That right there? Impresses me like no campaign slogan ever would.
Leni Jess: Fragile (tile by Brian Bickle)leni_jess on January 12th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
A group of journos and stickybeaks started paying attention to him, so he roped them into helping I saw that on the news last night, and thought, Good for Kev! He didn't let them waste his worktime by standing still to chatter back, either; the "interview" was conducted wading through above-the-knee water carting damn big suitcases on the head, then going back for the next.
xenelle on January 13th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
Personally I'd have thought that helping out whilst conducting interviews would make for a better story all round - as its more of a first person perspective which people prefer to hear about than a distanced 3rd person perspective that your supposed to get in news. Especially as the only bias you should be providing in this time is against the floods.
Leni Jess: Afternoon Light (Kenneth Macqueen)leni_jess on January 13th, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
But in general TV journos don't turn to and lend a hand, they just go on doing their job. It was nice seeing one made to work for his human interest story.
xenelle on January 13th, 2011 12:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah I know they do Its more that I thought that some more would do that even if it was to provide something more than the static standing and talking shots rather than the better practical and logical aspect of helping I can understand interviewing people who are standing around looking at devastation or narrating as they are on a boat or a chopper but when you are interrupting people carrying stuff then help them with the carrying as most people can talk whilst moving