[Marxism] Kevin Rudd's nephew is a red
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 24 07:06:11 MDT 2010
PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT: Monday, 16 August , 2010
CAROLINE JONES, PRESENTER: Hello, I'm Caroline Jones. Julia
Gillard’s election campaign has been dogged from the outset by the
Rudd factor. There’s been no escape from it, even in her own
Victorian seat of Lalor where Kevin Rudd’s nephew is standing as
one of her opponents. Van Rudd is an artist. He’s running in the
PM’s seat as an independent backed by the new but tiny
Revolutionary Socialist Party. It’s an indication of the complex
heritage of the extended Rudd family. Some of who are speaking
publicly tonight for the first time to show their support for the
young candidate. This is story of Van Rudd.
(Meeting in Trades Hall, Melbourne)
WOMAN FROM THE PARTY: Coming up we know this year is a federal
election so the Revolutionary Socialist Party will be standing
candidates in different places of the country. In Melbourne here
we will be standing Van Rudd against Julia Gillard actually. Van
is a very committed comrade and a committed socialist. He is a
fantastic radical artist and he tries to highlight the struggle
for social justice and the struggle for human rights and socialism
around the world.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: I wasn’t surprised when I heard Van had decided
to run as a candidate with the Socially, Social Revolutionary
Party because he had been quite strong in his convictions. I think
I was slightly amused.
VAN RUDD: I’m quite new to the revolutionary politics. Just
learning things from how meetings are conducted to the workers’
theme of the International song so I’ve got to ask some fellow
comrades where I can find some lyrics.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: I can’t help but worry for his safety and
because he’s got such a big profile at the moment and being
connected to Kevin Rudd, whether someone is going to see him as,
you know, someone who is a good target.
KEVIN RUDD (Winning the 2007 election): I will be a Prime Minister
for all Australians.
VAN RUDD: When Uncle Kevin took over the leadership of the Labor
Party, I, like a lot of people, thought well at least the Labor
government can actually reverse a few of the policies that the
John Howard government was taking on in strength like the Pacific
Solution in regards to asylum seekers.
KEVIN RUDD (2007 victory speech): And tonight I would also honour
the memory of my mum and dad and I salute the values they
delivered to this their son.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: Kevin as a person has disappointed Van
and myself in the sense that it still seems to be, I suppose, the
same agenda, worrying more about corporations as opposed to
worrying about the majority of people who don’t have very much.
KEVIN RUDD (2007 victory speech): I also honour my wider family,
my brothers Greg and Malcolm and my sister, Loree, who have been
great supports for me for a long period of time.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: I see Van as an art activist as opposed
to a politician I suppose, because with the politicians we have
today, I suppose, I see, that word means something, you know,
VAN RUDD: I don’t want to turn my uncle a monster because in my
view, he’s not. He's always the uncle that encouraged me to paint.
He bought my first set of oil paints. But my voice is just as
legitimate. I think it would be a crime not to voice my opinions
but I certainly do think about the fact that it might make my
father or Uncle Kevin or my brothers or my father feel
uncomfortable about it.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: We naturally love our kids. It's a
biological thing. It's a bigger thing to like your kids. I like
Van. I like Van 'cos he’s kind and he’s gentle. They're the people
I like. They’re the kind of people l like. When I heard that Van
was going to run as a politician I was not shocked. I tend to be a
quieter operator but I am not lying here at night troubled or
disappointed in my son.
VAN RUDD: My dad, Malcolm, is a very private person and I think
has been for a long time, in comparison to his brothers and
sister, Uncle Kevin being the more outspoken one in terms of
politics, no doubt.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: I always remembered being what would now be
called a greenie. But I never joined a political party myself. I
think I am the only one in the family who hasn’t.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: The Rudd in Van is Malcolm. Malcolm thinks about
things and doesn’t always take the status quo opinion in fact
you’re very hard to find any status quo in Malcolm at all and I
see that in Van. He feels for people that he doesn’t think have a
voice and I think that’s a noble thing in Van. He is mainly in
that respect a Rudd.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: My father became a share farmer on a dairy
farm. I was the oldest, then my sister, then Greg, then Kevin was
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: We lived about two and a half hours drive north
from Brisbane. We didn’t own anything at all really. We didn’t own
the farm or the house. We were all shy but there was a lot of
interesting discussion in our home. Very different points of view
on many things and we grew up very comfortable with having
different points of view.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: I’ve described my mother as rabidly
Catholic. It made no sense to me. My father wasn’t long on advice.
I do remember him saying stay a bachelor and not much more than that.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Mum and dad went through quite a difficult patch
in their marriage and Malcolm and I felt the tension of it.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: I have to concede that I was looking for a
way to leave which is how I ended up in the army at 15. If someone
asked me for the next significant impact on the way I looked the
world it would be my experience at the army apprentice school.
There was unnecessary violence there. Bastardisation.
VAN RUDD: It was this background of our father being in the
military which did have an influence on us.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Malcolm would have been somewhere around 19 or
20 when he went to Vietnam.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: Because I was in the regular army it wasn’t
something I thought a lot about. If I was to be frank with you,
had I not been in the army I probably would have been in the
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Vietnam is part of who Malcolm is and will be
'till the day he dies.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: My mother left Saigon and like a lot of
Vietnamese women went to Vung Tau where the soldiers were having R
and R. And that’s where she met my father.
TUOI RUDD, MOTHER: Malcolm wanted to understand Vietnamese more.
He was good looking, younger but lots of people, but he’s so nice,
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: Tuoi’s background. They were poor people and
that Mekong Delta was a rather violent place to be.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: You couldn’t say they had a normal romance
because it wasn’t a normal time.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: We established a relationship and once she
told me she was pregnant I was certainly not going to leave her
there with a child of mine. My superiors, they saw it as their
duty to talk me out of this. But once they knew my mind was not
for changing, well they were on my side of getting Tuoi, who
became my wife, and my son out of Vietnam.
TUOI RUDD, MOTHER: It better life here than over there. If I live
there I don’t know what my children like. I could be dead.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Malcolm and Tuoi’s three boys, Dat, Van and Rad,
from an aunt’s perspective were always pure delight. This home
that I am living in living now is the actual home where Tuoi and
Tuoi’s three boys came to live with my mother. When my father
died, this was the home my mother bought.
VAN RUDD: My brothers and I found my grandmother wanting to
cultivate in us a sense of civility or properness as we called it.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: She was the matriarch of the family and was
very important in keeping myself and my brothers as close to the
straight and narrow as we could possibly be.
VAN RUDD: There was lots of things we hated that she was making us
do. Every now and then she would take us down the shops to the
men’s wear store and fit us with some good pants for going to
church. She took us to speech lessons, piano lessons.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: My mother was worried about the acceptance of
Vietnamese children in the Australian Community.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: I actually had no sense of Asia at all. Zilch,
when we were growing up.
TUOI RUDD, MOTHER: The people were kind. Nambour is the best place
to grow. The Asian only me, only Vietnamese here.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: Mum was active in the community and well known
in the town.
VAN RUDD: We gradually became conscious through our teen years
that mum was different. We were buying groceries and she probably
wouldn’t understand something the check out person was saying. You
get embarrassed by your mother and because she can’t communicate
properly so you jump in and speak for her.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Her understanding of the world broadened. She
became quite independent of Malcolm.
VAN RUDD: The time period when we worked out that mum and dad were
drifting apart was pretty tough. We were sort of wondering why
both parents are not in the house.
TOUI RUDD, MOTHER: When Malcolm left I just die inside, but I have
to live for my boys. That’s what I promise myself, whatever
happens I have to live, look after my children.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: When you’re younger you make decisions that
you probably wouldn’t make if you were older and wiser. So I
acknowledge the difficulty particularly for my boys and I remain
sad about it.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: My mother was angry with Malcolm because her
view was you just didn’t do that. You didn’t leave your wife and
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: My mum mellowed a lot as she got older. I
don’t that she had much choice with four children, three of them
divorced. Good on Kevin.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: Van, he’s always got in mind what’s his
dad going to think and hoping he’ll say that’s really great and
I’m proud of what you’re doing. So I think that is something that
he does search for.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: Malcolm’s interest in Vietnam and in becoming
more and more skilled in the language, I'm sure he's brilliant
actually, is out of love for his sons. He’d would want them to
know his pride in their country, his love for their country, for
the other half of who they are and be able to contribute to that.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: All of our family has ended up at least
intellectually interested in what’s happening around us.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: Upon reflection the discussions at my
grandmother’s dinner table were Labor centric.
VAN RUDD: Most stories that we talked about were based on people
who struggle in different parts of the world to make a living.
That’s what I gathered from all of my uncles and aunties at once.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: I had developed a big fascination in Russia. I
sensed from my own marriage experience feeling locked up for 12
years and people considering me very evil for wanting to leave,
that I had some empathy for a whole nation that was locked up and
had been regarded evil. To me they’re people and I think in our
family it’s the people that matter. I can’t explain Kevin’s
interest in China other than I have no doubt it's something
similar. His thesis was on one of the brave people within the
regime that dared to speak out because people were suffering.
VAN RUDD: I started to gain a different political perspective when
I met Tania my current partner in 2003. We’ve made a small family
out of that now. What I found very interesting about Tania was her
political convictions. In this day and age it’s certainly rare to
find that in anybody let alone women. Her family came from Chile
after the Pinochet dictatorship and so there was this political
context and it immediately it made me think of my own being the
Vietnam war. So basically it was the floodgates open.
(Excerpt from News report, ABC TV Melbourne, May 2008)
NEWSREADER: Here in Melbourne the City Council stands accused of
censoring art after it removed a painting with an anti-China theme
from an exhibition. The painting is by Kevin Rudd’s nephew.
(End of excerpt)
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: I’m sure it must worry the whole family
what impact Van’s art work might have on Kevin politically,
obviously because a lot of his art work is quite a challenge to a
lot of the beliefs Kevin might have.
(Excerpt from News report)
NEWSREADER: The government is standing by its decision to delay
processing new claims from asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Sri
Lanka, despite a barrage of criticism.
KEVIN RUDD: More asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan
will be refused.
(End of footage)
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: I don’t think it’s easy for Van to be a
Rudd, especially now.
(Excerpt from News report, ABC TV January 26)
TV NEWS READER: Police have fined Kevin Rudd’s nephew after an
anti-racism protest outside the Australian Open Tennis today. Van
Rudd and his friend Sam King wore Klu Klux Klan hoods for the stunt.
(End of news report)
SAM KING, FRIEND: It was Van’s idea to do an action at the tennis
centre, to use the KKK costumes as a way of portraying how we felt
about the government’s policies.
MALCOLM RUDD,FATHER: My eldest son, my police officer son, rang
me. He said, I hope you’re ready for this but Van has just been
arrested for wearing a Klu Klux Klan outfit at the tennis.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: If Malcolm had a choice he'd prefer Van
to not do things that were so provocative. I’m sure it must worry
the whole family.
(Excerpt of Radio report)
ANNOUNCER: Do you agree your name is being used in this.
KEVIN RUDD: Families are complex businesses as I think everyone
knows. We choose our friends (laughs). It’s a free country. But I
disagree with his views and I disagree fundamentally.
(End of radio report)
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: I didn’t worry about it. I looked at it. I
thought my goodness Van’s certainly getting a high profile with
this. I saw no depth in it. If Van were to go and work in
something totally different to his present experience for a year,
two years and then continue with his artistic expression, his art
would be richer.
VAN RUDD: There's certainly is stigma attached to being on welfare
benefits. I’ve gone on and off it for many years and it almost
become part and parcel of being an artist.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: We do find it hard to make ends meet, you
know we just get by fortnight to fortnight.
VAN RUDD: We don’t want to go down that road of being away from
our kids a lot and we want more fulfilling jobs and we feel like
the service we give to society is much bigger than say if I was to
go to a factory and create more soaps that are out there in their
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: As with any parent, I'd probably wish that
all my boys would find the perhaps mythical modestly or well paid
satisfying career, buy a house and live happily ever after. I
suspect that may not happen. On many occasions I have put to them
that if you don’t know what to do with our life, there’s a lots
worse to do than putting in four years in one of the services.
VAN RUDD: My brother Rad and I at the time, when we were living
together in Melbourne, had carried on a very similar political view.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: But Since I’ve joined the military Van and I
have grown apart. His ideology denounces military activities and I
feel it’s a personal attack when it’s not.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: I have no trouble defending Van because his
mind is not radically different from mine.
RAD RUDD, BROTHER: I just hope the family stays as a sound unit.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: I‘m still proudly left, and I, in our
family, I might be the most left, but I personally would find it
difficult to be a politician.
VAN RUDD: I had the choice of being an artist but a silent one, so
do I stay silent or do I speak up? The fact that there’s an
election on this year, my political party thought it would be a
great opportunity to voice our opinions and our campaigns. So I
will be running in this year’s election in the seat of Lalor
against Julia Gillard.
SAM KING, FRIEND: The fact that Van shares a name with Kevin Rudd
was certainly one factor in us deciding that he should be the
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: I think Van doesn’t really understand the
political process. I think he has strong views and I think other
people behind the scenes, those people perhaps exploiting the Rudd
name asking him to step forward. I think they understand the
(Excerpt from News report, ABC TV, June 24 2010)
NEWS JOURNALIST: No one has seen anything like it. A first time
prime minister dumped, a female prime minister sworn in. All after
a political mugging that was ruthless swift and effective.
(End of excerpt)
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: What happened there I believe shocked me no
more or less than lots of other folk, the speed of it.
(Excerpt from 7.30 Report, June 24 2010)
JULIA GILLARD: I don’t need someone to show me polling to
understand that a good government was losing its way.
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: It is my general view in life that when any one
sets out to criticise, you learn something very powerful about the
(Footage from ABC TV News, July 7 2010)
REPORTER: In a day of upheaval on asylum seekers policy, the prime
minister foreshadowed a return to offshore processing. An East
Timor based version of the Howard government's Pacific Solution.
TONY ABBOTT: Look for all of Kevin Rudd's faults, at least he knew
something about foreign policy which plainly the new prime
(End of footage)
LOREE RUDD, AUNT: The Labor party to me is family and the family
is valuable. Whatever happens in the family doesn’t destroy the
family. You grow strong and you find ways through things.
VAN RUDD: Now that my uncle’s not the prime minister, I just can’t
wait 'til it’s Van Rudd the artist rather than the Prime
(Excerpt of Van Rudd in Werribee, Melbourne, two weeks ago)
VAN RUDD: What we’re doing is to get signatures from people in the
Lalor electorate so we can formally register myself as a candidate
in the federal election. I'm running as a candidate against Julia
Gillard. (Woman laughs) And I just need 50 signatures from people
that live in this electorate.
LOCALS: And that's neither of us.
VAN RUDD (To woman): Do you live in the area?
WOMAN: No, I'm actually just visiting.
VAN RUDD: Lots of international students and people who are
employed here but don't live in the area. So hopefully we'll get a
(End of excerpt)
SAM KING, FRIEND: We had well over 100 signatures and we took them
into the Australian Electoral Commission and they verified that
'yes more than 50 of them were valid' which is their requirement,
so they've accepted the nomination and Van’s name will appear on
the ballot paper.
VAN RUDD: After having kids I am certainly a lot more wary, I
wouldn't say frightened but wary of what can happen to them now I
am more openly in the political scene. In the past I’ve had
threatening emails from racist groups. So it certainly impacts on you.
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: I do have some worries but generally feel
pretty okay with him being out there, knowing he’s got a lot of
TUOI RUDD, MOTHER: I happy what he does. I trust him so he do what
he wants. He’s a man now, a young man, so I can’t protect him what
he do. But he’s doing the right thing. That’s good.
(Excerpt from Campaign launch)
VAN RUDD: Tonight I’m launching the campaign against Julia Gillard
in the seat of Lalor.
VAN RUDD (making speech): Thank you everyone for coming tonight.
It's great to see all the support here. I did have a speech
written out but I’ve lost it.
(End of excerpt)
TANIA JORQUERA, PARTNER: If he won we’d obviously back him and
support him all the way and I think it would be a hard battle
being a socialist within Canberra.
VAN RUDD (Campaign launch speech): We all know for a fact that the
major parties are coming up with absolutely nothing. We all know
the Liberal party are off the board. Forget about them. If they
come into power again at least things will be concrete. At least
you can see what you're fighting against. So with the Labor party
you can also say that maybe they're touching on a few things to do
with refugees and asylum seekers. We all know that’s crap.
MALCOLM RUDD, FATHER: As far as I ‘m concerned it’s a matter of
principal for Van. The good thing is it probably won’t take long
to count the 24 votes they get, or 25.
VAN RUDD (Campaign launch speech): I just want to do I always
wanted to do if I ever did ever enter the political arena in terms
of parliamentary politics, is enter like this. (Does the Michael
Jackson 'moon walk') I don’t know if any other politician has done
that so I wanted to do it.
Van Rudd is currently undertaking post graduate studies and
planning a new art project based on his campaign experiences.
His uncle, Kevin Rudd, was approached but declined to be
interviewed for tonight’s program.
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