Editor: An unfortunate flip remark from former Australian Labor Prime Minister.
Kevin Rudd: Foucault’s more painful than the knife in my back
The Sunday Times, November 19 2017.
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Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister ousted by his deputy, tells Leaf Arbuthnot his Oxford PhD course can be brutal too,
Kevin Rudd, the apple-cheeked former prime minister of Australia, is not going gently into that good night. Aged 60 and four years out of office, he has just embarked on a PhD at Oxford and seems exhilarated to be learning again.
Rudd was prime minister not once but twice. His first stint, as leader of the Labor Party, was in 2007-10; his second was in 2013.
Although we talk under the silent stare of one of his minders, Rudd is evidently throwing himself into student life. He enthuses about the “great minds” he is encountering and taking part in Oxford’s “weird” rituals — including the matriculation ceremony at the start of the academic year, where new university members parade through town in gowns.
Yet he is clearly still adjusting to the demands of academic work. “The other day I endured my first lecture on Derrida and Foucault,” he recalls with a laugh. “I’m still in the recovery ward.”