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John Passant

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August 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Gunga Din: who is Rudd talking about?

The Committee to Humanise Our Prime Minister (CHOPM) has excelled itself this time. 

Poor old Therese Rein had the shits  – who wouldn’t with a husband like Kevin? – and spent a night in Cairns Hospital.  

As she left the hospital the Prime Minister reassured all of us about his wife’s health.

She’s made of sterner stuff than you or I, Gunga Din ….

So now we’ve moved on from shaking the sauce bottle to Gunga Din. 

It just sounds so false coming out of the mouth of a nerd like Rudd. 

CHOPM really should desist and let Rudd talk about what he knows – you know, things like detailed programmatic specificity.

But once again, like fair shake of the sauce bottle, CHOPM couldn’t even get the saying right.

So who is this Gunga Din?

The words come from the racist ‘poet’ of empire – Rudyard Kipling. It’s about a bhisti ( a lower caste water carrier for households or soldiers in the times of the British Raj ) who sacrifices his life for a British soldier.  The final verse of Gunga Din says:

Though I’ve belted you and flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you,
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Gunga Din delivered water to the British soldier and saved his life just before he himself was killed.  Gunga Din is almost a ‘white man’.

So Rudd is saying his wife is a good bhisti?  Hmm.  Not good but a view that probably deep down reflects his attitude to women.

Just as Kipling’s soldier was surprised by the courage of Gunga Din (and his loyalty to Empire’s thugs) so Rudd is surprised by Rein’s ability to overcome diarrhoea and her loyalty to him and his rotten Labor Government.

She’d take  a bullet for God, King and Country and for Kevin (who epitomises all the values of the British Raj).

More likely, Rudd is talking about you and me. He thinks we are the lower orders, ready to die for our superiors (like him and Therese). Not me boyo but as Afghanistan worsens and more Australian men and women die for the US alliance apparently I am in the minority.

Lest I be accused of over-analysing this, (God forbid!), he was also saying his wife was strong and had recovered, unlike poor Gunga Din who died for imperialism.



Pingback from “Gunga Din”? What was Rudd on about? |
Time August 10, 2009 at 7:49 am

[…] More here: “Gunga Din”? What was Rudd on about? […]

Comment from Matt
Time August 12, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Really, John, you are over-analysing this comment. Too much time and (perhaps) anti-Rudd animus I suspect.

Comment from John
Time August 12, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Matt you are right about over-analysing , but I just wanted to have a bit of fun and chase up Kipling again. My most viewed and googled article was the one on Rudd’s comment about detailed programmatic specificity and I thought there might be a few enquiries about who Gunga Din was as well.

And surely CHOPM has a ring of truth about it, don’t you think? Or if not truth, possibility? That tells us something about how we (or maybe just it’s just me) feel about Rudd.

I look forward to Rudd’s next

Comment from John
Time August 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Oops. I got sidetracked and didn’t finish my last comment. I look forward to Rudd’s next Delphic announcement, one that needs deciphering.

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