Shorten – Australia’s Maxwell Smart?

by on 12 June, 2013

Included in a stack of released WikiLeaks cables was an account of Bill Shorten's meeting with US Consul-General Thurston. This report was made public in August 2011 in various publications including the Australian Financial Review.

It is to be wondered if Shorten's union mates know of that meeting and what was said? It looks like Bill's ambition for greatness is again being played out in his so far commitment to support Gillard. "Sorry Julia, they made me dump you." GC.Ed.@L.

Mr Shorten met with the US Consul-General in Melbourne Michael Thurston in June 2009.


In a confidential cable back to Washington, Mr Thurston notes the
“ambitious” but “rumpled in appearance” Mr Shorten had been touted as a
future prime minister.

“Shorten makes no bones about his ambitions in federal politics,” Mr Thurston wrote.

“During a June 11 meeting, Shorten told Consul-General that `he did not take this job to stand still’.”

Mr Shorten – now Assistant Treasurer – told Mr Thurston he was deeply
influenced by civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr and quoted from
several of his speeches during the meeting.

Mr Thurston described Mr Shorten as a “nimble conversationalist” and “considered and thoughtful”.

“Shorten struck us as highly ambitious but willing to wait – at least for a while – for his moment in the sun.”

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