Author(s): James Button
James Button spent a year writing speeches for Kevin Rudd. Before that, he reported on politics as a highly regarded journalist for Fairfax. But James also has politics in the blood: his father was the diminutive but larger-than-life Senator John Button, who was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments. Growing up, James watched a roll-call of political luminaries debating the fate of the Labor Party. He saw great victories and defeats at close hand. He believes both his father and his family paid a heavy price for politics. Speechless is James' highly personal account of a year working in Canberra, seen from both the inside and the outside. It's told through his experience of Kevin Rudd's failure to tell his story, and how this helped destroy his prime ministership. It also reflects on how far the Labor Party has moved from the idealism and pragmatism of his father's generation. He ends on a note of hope for the Party's revival.
James Button worked in 2009 as a speechwriter to the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. He was previously Europe Correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. He is a former deputy editor and opinion editor of The Age, and has won two Walkley Awards for feature writing. He lives in Melbourne.