Melbourne University Press, $32.99 pb, 255 pp, 9780522858587
In 2008 I was asked to write speeches for then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It was a tempting offer. The trouble was that I would be based in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), not the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and would work as a public servant, not a political staffer. Having worked as both a public servant and a political staffer, I believed the best way to do the job – which is all about intimacy of belief and thought – was to be embedded in the leader’s office. I also knew that the PMO already had an incumbent speechwriter, Tim Dixon. I said no.