I’ve been impressed by Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ever since he was elected in 2007. I think he showed calm, reassuring leadership in the wake of the recent catastrophic bush fires.
Good to see him intervening on equality issues too. His reaction to the recent verbal attacks on Nine Network’s presenter Tracy Grimshaw, made by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay at a cooking event, show a politician who is prepared to challenge prejudice.
Ramsay – for whatever reason I don’t know – had said that Grimshaw is probably a lesbian, needed “to see Simon Cowell’s botox doctor” and had shown his audience a picture of a woman on all fours with the face of a pig. When he had appeared on Grimshaw’s talk show, she had agreed not to question him on his extra-marital affair.
Ramsay obviously thought, being in Australia, he had licence to demean women and use ‘lesbian’ as a term of abuse. He was wrong.PM Kevin Rudd told a radio interviewer: “I think I can describe his remarks as reflecting a new form of low life. I just drew breath when I saw the sort of stuff which was said about her, I just think that’s off and offensive.” Bravo, Kevin Rudd. Get back in the kitchen, Gordon Ramsay, and put a lid on it.