Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister, drops the F-bomb in YouTube video


"You only need about THIS much Vegemite on your toast," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd tells world leaders... Just kidding. Rudd is pictured here on March 10, 2011, during a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart Mouldi Kefi in Tunis.


Fethi Belaid

The man who, if speculation proves correct, could be Australia's next Prime Minister has been caught on camera in a profanity-ridden tirade against his underlings.

The video, uploaded on YouTube, was filmed when Kevin Rudd was serving as Prime Minister the last time around, an experience that didn't turn out too well for him — though judging by the video it's not hard to see why.

As you'll see Rudd — currently serving as Australia's Foreign Minister after being unceremoniously dumped as the Labor Party leader in 2010 — appears to have some anger management issues.

The video, titled "Kevin Rudd is a Happy Little Vegemite" and posted anonymously on YouTube on Friday, shows him slamming the table and cursing repeatedly as he practices a speech in Mandarin.

Rudd, a former diplomat for Australia in Beijing, speaks a handy level of Mandarin, though it is apparent from the video that he is repeatedly getting tongue-tied, and that he feels it's not his fault. 

His main complaint seems to be that ''dickheads at the embassy'' haven't given him simple sentences.

''Don't have the f---ing patience to do it … This is f---ing Chinese interpreter up again … Ohh … just f---in' hopeless,'' Rudd says.

The video's release couldn't come at a worse time for Rudd, who is the subject of much media debate as he neither denies nor confirms that he is plotting a coup to take back the prime ministership from his successor Julia Gillard.

It was Gillard who originally rolled Rudd as the country's elected leader in a 2010 Labor Party coup (in Australia, the ruling party gets to decide who it has as leader — and therefore the country's prime minister — whether that person was head of the party when voted into or office or not).

Rudd — who was elected in a landslide in 2007 — has been taking full advantage of polls that show Gillard is highly unpopular among Australians, while he himself seems to have widespread support as an alternative prime minister. 

The perception of rivalry between the two has destabilized overall support for Labor as it heads into an election year. 

The video has also thrown into question whether Rudd has the temperament to lead the country, which is perhaps unsurprisingly one of the main criticisms of him during his time as prime minister.

Meantime, Gillard has denied her office is behind the leaking of the video, telling the Australian media on Sunday that:

"My office did not have access to the material people have seen on YouTube. I don't know who put that material on YouTube, but whoever did it has acted inappropriately."

Rudd certainly has his suspicions, claiming that it may have been stored in archives within the prime ministerial office.

‘‘Anyone who’s got a touch of suspicion about them would say that if this was done, somewhat embarrassingly, a couple of years ago, and it suddenly emerges now, then obviously it’s a little bit on the unusual side,’’ Mr Rudd told Sky News. "But these are questions for others.

‘‘But the bottom line here is, I accept responsibility for what occurred. I’m not about to point the finger at others.’’

Rudd reportedly said the video was from one of a number of speeches he recorded from time to time in the prime minister’s office "a couple of years ago."

"You’d sit down and try and get the script right. Obviously I wasn’t getting it right on this occasion and was getting pretty frustrated about it."

To his credit, he didn't shy away from his use of strong language. "I’ve never pretended not to swear from time to time. That’s been out there for a long, long time. I wish I’d sweared (sic) less but that’s just the truth of it."

Then there's the suggestion that the video will only help his cause, appealing to Labor supporters who find Gillard a distant — the descriptive "cold" has often been used — overly scripted politician who has little in common with ordinary, working class Australians who form the base constituency of the Labor Party.