Former PM Kevin Rudd
Former PM Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd opens up about how plans 'turn to sh**'

KEVIN Rudd has described Malcolm Turnbull as a 'brick wall' to his bid to the become the secretary-general of the United Nations.

Mr Rudd, speaking to young Labor faithful, said the Coalition's government decision not to support his advancement was proof that sometimes the best laid plans in life will "turn to shit".

Footage of the video comes as Coalition Senator Cory Bernardi bragged that Labor frontbenchers were personally congratulating him for his part in blocking Mr Rudd's ambitions.

In the video, Mr Rudd talks about growing up on the Sunshine Coast, and losing his father, and the share farm he operated, after his father was killed in a car crash.

He said he learnt from an early age that sometimes life is not fair.

The informal chat in Brisbane came just a day after Mr Turnbull told him he lacked the 'interpersonal skills' for the top diplomatic post.

Mr Rudd told young activists how the election of Gough Whitlam inspired his interest in politics.

He even wrote to Mr Whitlam, telling him he would like to become a diplomat.

Mr Whitlam  advised Mr Rudd to study hard at university and learn a language. Mr Rudd speaks fluent Mandarin.

Mr Rudd told young Labor members that hard work doesn't always guarantee success.

"I've got a very dark deep secret for you, sometimes it'll turn to shit and sometimes it won't turn out perfectly," Mr Rudd said.

"I've had a modest experience of that, just a little bit, including yesterday," he said to laughter.

"Part of the collective scar tissue of life," he said, smiling.

Mr Rudd said he had been seeking to "make a huge difference" on the international stage, until he was thwarted by a "brick wall".

"And then one of those other brick walls presented itself in the form of Malcolm Turnbull."

The video was uploaded by Labor's candidate for the seat of Brisbane Pat O'Neill.

Malcolm Turnbull denies anointing Kevin Rudd for UN job

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has denied giving Kevin Rudd any guarantee his government would support Mr Rudd's bid to become secretary-general of the United Nations.

Mr Rudd released three letters after Mr Turnbull revealed he had decided not to nominate him for the role.

In the letters, from earlier this year, Mr Rudd wrote that Mr Turnbull had previously told him he would support his bid, along with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

But Mr Turnbull hit back, saying they were all confidential, private conversations.

He said he had made it clear to Mr Rudd that any nomination would have be taken to Cabinet, to avoid the perception of a 'captain's pick', something former PM Tony Abbott had come under fire for.

The ABC reported that on Monday, Mr Turnbull refused to say whether he gave his personal support to Mr Rudd in his bid for the UN's top job.

He said the letter's account of what happened on December 23 was "absolutely untrue ... it was made very clear to him that it was a matter for the Cabinet, it would be a difficult political decision and he was given no assurance that he would get the answer he sought".

The ABC reported Mr Rudd's chief backer in the Cabinet room was Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who had argued he was a qualified candidate because he was a former prime minister.

More on this, including the full texts of the letters, here