A confidential US cable, discloses a secret meeting Bill Shorten had with the US Consul General in Melbourne on the 11th June 2009. The meeting, solely to present his Prime Ministerial credentials, was within the time-frame of the unions' decision to replace Rudd with either him or Gillard.
A desperate attempt to gain the nod over Gillard failed as his profile was not equal to her's of Deputy PM.
In the end, Bill Ludwig and the NSW Right opted for Gillard, at the same time giving Shorten an assurance he could consider himself heir apparent.
Seeking to pad a somewhat dull union CV, Shorten had discussed his political leanings and ambitions with the Consulate. His description of himself varied wildly from reality.
A US diplomat in attendance wrote, “Shorten was highly critical of current Australian union leadership. He was at pains to show he was business friendly. He said he had an MBA from Melbourne University and he kept talking about how close he was to the late cardboard king billionaire, Richard Pratt.
“He continually criticised union leaders saying he, unlike them, was willing to listen to business concerns.”
Shorten also told the diplomat that the Federal Government “already has plenty of duties” and that he, “did not want to see additional powers delegated to Canberra.”
In his written report back to Washington the Consul General wrote: “Shorten makes no bones about his ambitions. Despite his lukewarm relationship with Prime Minister Rudd, he struck us as highly ambitious but willing to wait (at least for a while) for his moment in the sun.”
Mmmm, it appears when appearing to be rational to the Yanks, Shorten’s Marxist views are nowhere to be seen.
The cable was buried in thousands of a Wikileaks bulk release.