February 4, 2023

London: Kevin Rudd has been heard in Switzerland saying he was going to “shut his mouth” because he had been appointed Australia’s ambassador to the United States.

The outspoken former leader also joked about being slowly demoted, having been prime minister, foreign minister and now being appointed as an envoy to Washington.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, right, speaking at the annual World Economic Forum this week.Credit:world economic forum

Rudd attended the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski town of Davos this week. The forum annually brings together the world’s public and private elite. Other speakers this year included Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, British publicist Martin Sorrell and climate activist Greta Thunberg.

He was later sued by political As if to say, “I’ve been made an ambassador, so I’m going to shut up,” and then remark, “I’m slowly being demoted. I was prime minister, then foreign minister and now I am an ambassador”.

A source close to Rudd could not confirm the rumours, but said they would not be surprised if Australian self-deprecating humor had slipped past eavesdropping foreign journalists.


The story was told by political in his Davos diary entries on Friday under the heading “overheard”. Entries were edited by Australian journalist Ryan Heath.

Heath is a stalwart of the Davos scene and previously served as a spokesperson for then European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes. He worked on the political campaign of Rudd’s Environment Premier, Peter Garrett.

This is not the first time Rudd has been quoted using profanity. In 2010, journalist David Marr reported in the Quarterly Essay Power Trip: The Political Journey of Kevin Rudd that the then prime minister had reported that the Chinese “f—rs” were trying to “rat f–k” the Copenhagen climate talks.

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