PM admits to being warned against inappropriate behaviour

The Poison Dwarf, Glen Milne, has unleashed a story that’s been sat on since 2003 about Kevin Rudd attending a strip club in New York while drunk, at the invitation of a New York Post journalist. It’s obviously an attempt to discredit Rudd as the family values religious moderate that is his current public image, although I’m not sure that a drunken one-off visit to a strip club is totally a smoking gun.

The really slimy bits are these two quotes:

where he was warned against inappropriate behaviour

according to some sources, Mr Rudd was warned by Scores management against touching the dancers.

Thanks to the insight of commentor Jethro at Larvatus Prodeo at the utter commonplace of that warning in strip clubs, let me unleash some equivalent “well sourced” shock horror tidbits about our Prime Minister, and every single one of these warnings given our PM was more recent than 2003:

On a recent flight, the PM was warned against endangering other passengers by failing to secure his carry-on luggage.

When going through his (Oz equivalent to) red boxes, the PM was warned against breaching (Oz equivalent to) the Official Secrets Act by disclosing any classified material.

When crossing the street, the PM was warned against walking without looking in both directions.

Update 21Aug: The owner of Scores has denied that Rudd was cautioned for inappropriate behaviour or asked to leave, saying that as soon as Rudd realised that it wasn’t just a sports bar he wanted to leave, and did exactly that.
Rudd in strip joint: ‘Oh no, this won’t do’
Yup, Rudd the wowser all along, just as we always suspected. What an anticlimax. What a non-story.

Categories: culture wars, Politics

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23 replies

  1. Stripping and hooking is not good wholesome fun. The women who do it do not like the men who pay them to do it. The smiles are all fake, boys, every single one: strippers hate you. For most of the women, the only way they can keep doing the work at all is to be high as a kite for their shift.
    Of course this means that nearly all that money from that “well paid job” (after the “manager” gets his cut) goes on feeding their drug habits. How many drug addicts do you know with happy, healthy families?
    Are there students/housewives stripping/hooking who aren’t addicts and who are investing the hard-earned in lifestyle accountrements? Certainly there are. Do they constitute more than 1 or 2 % of sex workers as a whole? They do not.
    Women resent the fantasy glamorisation of stripping as good wholesome fun.

    [Moderator note: this poster’s gravatar has been modified because we can]

  2. Well, the serial sophist Evil Pundit has dropped by, and his comment consists solely of quoting my own words from another post without attribution. I suspect that this just might be an attempt to portray me as inconsistent.
    Show me that Rudd is a regular at strip clubs rather than someone who simply accepted one invitation from an influential Murdoch news editor, and I’ll condemn him as much as you like. The news editor, by the way, says that Rudd behaved “as a perfect gentleman” while they were at the club.
    Of course, the news editor apparently is a regular at the club, so I’m happy to call him a sexist jerk, but at least he’s willing to put his name against his version of events, unlike the unnamed sources who are all terribly shocked that Rudd, just like every other punter in a strip club, was told not to touch the dancers.

  3. Tigtog what’s your opinion on strip clubs?
    As Anne Summers said, to “Middle Australia”, Rudd going to a strip club is a lot more normal and a lot less frightening than Mark Latham using his fists and bully tactics.

  4. That’s two very separate questions, Paul.
    To middle Australia, I think Anne Summers is right – going to a strip club is just a boozy blokes’ night out with nothing particularly scary.
    My opinion: the normalising of strip clubs as mainstream entertainment is normalising exploitation and ripping dignity from depersonalised women, as well as placing them in a vulnerable position with regard to harm from managers, punters and themselves.
    I think the world would be a much better place if folks who wanted to enjoy naked bodies joined nudist clubs and allowed other people to see them naked as well while they appreciated the body beautiful. Egalitarian nudity in the great outdoors and playing sport – fabulous stuff.

  5. tigtog you’ve been copping a few curve balls lately and you’ve handled them beautifully. I don’t know why I am using sports metaphors, what the hell do I know about sport?

  6. A lot of people use the Chippendale dancers as a comparison point with women stripping for men but as you said there’s is more objectification, vulnerability and exploitation in what happens to women.
    I got told both sexes can objectify each other but the objectification of women leads to much worse things happening than any objectification of men.
    I’m glad i found your blog – as a left blog you are much better reading than certain others – you get tired of those people that think we can go back to the Whitlam era a generation after the Dismissal. Times change and for better or worse are not going to change back.
    Paul Williams

  7. How predictable of the Libs to spin a morally polarising topic to discredit Rudd at this moment. It’d be funny if it weren’t that it’ll probably satisfy the goal of deflecting some media commentary away from criticising their actions re: the Emergency NT bill last Friday.
    Ignoring complaints about legislation that permits abuses within the sex industry and/or the feminised poverty that fuels that are present enough across governments that neither ALP or Libs are in a position to moralise. If they cared at all about women’s rights they’d have done a better job on the NT bill.

  8. Good to see that Kevin “Groper” Rudd gets a free pass from the feminist Left on an issue that would see them demanding the head of any any other male on a platter.
    Just like NOW gave Bill Clinton a free pass on sexually exploiting his employees, as well as an allegation of rape from one woman.
    It’s so easy to sacrifice your principles for the sake of the Party, isn’t it, comrade sisters?

  9. Not even the Poison Dwarf himself believes that Rudd groped anybody, EP. Or that any taxpayer money was spent by Rudd on this night out.
    It’s more telling that Rupert Murdoch’s money paid for this night out to my eye. And that you’re still not over the Clenis.
    What makes you think I’m a Labor voter, by the way?

  10. Oho, the Poison Dwarf is backing down from the unsupported “inappropriate behaviour” allegations and getting onto what apparently is the real story: that Rudd believes that social justice is a higher Christian calling than individual moralism, and that this should be a warning to the social conservatives at Hillsong et al.
    Oh noes, a professed Christian actually taking notice of the verses about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and visting the lonely being the crucial questions come judgement time. How scary.

  11. Oh, and another journo backs up Caroline Overington’s claim that the “groper” angle is totally new and has never been part of the longterm anecdotes about Rudd’s Big Night Out: Phillip Coorey of the SMH talks instead of the story at the time being of Rudd the nerd freaking out “and scarpering after about half an hour”.

  12. I was pondering last night why this wasn’t bothering me as much as it should – if it was Tony Abbott, for example, I’d be outraged.
    And it occured to me that Rudd just doesn’t seem to have form as being anti-woman.
    He has a powerful female deputy leader, who he seems to respect. He has spoken, seemingly genuinely, of his respect for his wife’s business empire. These revelations seem somewhat amusing, rather than serious, because they just don’t fit.
    I guess part of the reason I struggle to believe anything the Government says is that they have a habit, demonstrated habit, over years, of lying. Rudd just dosn’t seem to have that demonstrated habit which would lead me to think that this incident fits into a pattern of negative behaviour.

  13. TigTog & friends – I came over here from LP because I wanted to raise the non partisan point about why it is considered acceptable for men to visit strip clubs and, if that is acceptable, why not brothels?
    However, I was glad to see that this had been more than adequately covered above.
    Please help out this mere male,if you would – listening to the vox pops on radio this morning, I don’t think I heard anyone (including the women) raise the point that a bloke who goes to strip shows must be, ipso facto, skewed in his relations with the women in his life, assuming he has a life beyond work, the pub & the porn.
    I’m all for running nekkid & bonking 24/7 if consensual but, as noted above, the commodification is the worm in the kernel.

  14. Raunch culture seems to be the reason that much of society thinks that visiting strip clubs is acceptable, although I think the “look but don’t touch” standard kicks in when comparing strip clubs to brothels. There is, after all, the very pragmatic issue of STDs to consider.
    As to your hypothesis about blokes going to strip shows and their relationships with women, it would be important to distinguish between those who go to such places regularly and those who are just persuaded by their mates once in a while and who don’t want to be seen as wowsers.
    I suspect Rudd only stayed in the club for as long as he did (less than an hour) in order to not look like a total wowser in front of a journo and a larrikin ALP MP. Wowserism don’t play well with Aussie punters.

  15. I think persecuting Kevin Rudd for this activity borders on the ludicrous. I’d be worried if he didn’t and a bit worried that he feels the need to apologise.
    Most men enjoy checking out the physical assets of a beautiful woman and many women enjoy displaying such.
    It is one of the great pleasures of being alive.
    The pale virgin shrouded in snow arise….

  16. T/T; thanks but I just can’t see it – go to a stripjoint, for whatever reasoon, you are complicit in every aspect. (viz a recent thread on whether viewing paedophile pics contributed to their perpetuation.)
    This bizarre sexual dystoph is the bases of so many of society’s current ills & conundrums.
    It raises the stunning popularity in the early 60s of Le Girls for women-in-groups, eg my working class mother and her friends would go several times a year.
    If you really want to bend your brain, try this – in India eunuchs are in far greater demand (by the only criterion that matter$ – charge$) as prostitutes because they are less “inhibited” than women… and this is the sad remnant of a religious system based on sexual ecstacy.
    The Dancing Boy bars of Tangiers, or most of the N African kasbahs, are far more erotically charged than the comparable femal .. oh, wait.. there aren’t any comparable female joints.
    No-one could possibly call me a wowser but I cannot conceive that commercial sex is healthy for either participant.

  17. It’s important to distinguish between cultural criticism, institutional criticism and personal criticism here amphibious. You appear to be rather fond of sledgehammer pronunciations – I prefer more nuance myself most of the time, even though I sometimes fall short of the standard.
    I too wish for a culture where the commodification of sexual relationships would be seen as bizarre as well as shallow and unsatisfactory. I don’t think equating people who haven’t examined an instance where they followed the herd with the cynics who actually profit from the commodification of sex is all that useful in getting there though. A discussion can be had without accusing them of being out and out arseholes.
    I would have thought more of Rudd if he’d had the guts to just be an out and out wowser in front of the larrikin blokes he was with and refuse to go in once he saw what sort of club it was. However, that an ambitious pollie with his eye on the leadership didn’t want to appear a wowser in front of Col Allan is hardly all that surprising.
    It’s still nothing compared with the Coalition’s sustained attack on women’s capability to manage a fulfilling work/family balance, let alone the sneaky constraints on reproductive freedoms.

  18. What tigtog said, plus: when you’re stuck in two-party politics, there are total records to weigh up, and neither party or its leader is 100% perfect in every respect. When it comes to misogyny and bigotry, this is how I sum up the two options currently on the table:

  19. T/T & Laura – No argument about the partisan aspect which is why i moved to this blog to seek a different view/angle.
    T/T – yeh, I know I’m not subtle but I’ve been in this since the 60s and ‘watched the best minds of my generation…’ turn to Ikea. I despair of the 2 steps forward, 3 steps back that seems to have grown worse with the current crop of yung’uns.

  20. Just to clarify – Lauredhel here is not the same person as the Laura over at LP.
    Laura would have worked a cat into that scales graphic.

  21. And, to round the non-story off, the owner of Scores totally debunks the whole “Groper” Rudd story. Tough luck, EP – we were right to judge that that dog simply wouldn’t hunt.

  22. Rudd comes off a bit differently, depending on what selective quotes get used and what editorial interpolations are made. “Snotty” and “uppity” Rudd wanted to stay, if you believe the News Corp. report, while the Post editor, Col “[Allen]”, wanted to leave.
    Yeah, like I believe that’s the only time even this particualr Post editor was at Scores.


  1. Bob Brown: the Rudd scandal in perspective and in a nutshell at Hoyden About Town
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