BOB CARR has been writing a book about his time as Foreign Affairs Minister as he carries out the job - raising eyebrows among officials and colleagues because of his time-consuming recording of events and discussions.
A spokesman for Senator Carr confirmed on Monday the book was a ''work in progress'', intended to be published soon after the Foreign Affairs Minister finished in the dream job that unexpectedly drew him out of retirement in February.
But later, the spokesman said Senator Carr had ''postponed all work on the book and will not be doing further work while he holds his ministerial job''.
Illustration: Rocco Fazzari
The spokesman said the book was intended to be more like Senator Carr's intellectual 2002 tome Thoughtlines: Reflections of a Public Man than Marilyn Dodkin's racier biography Bob Carr: The Reluctant Leader, which included excerpts from the then NSW premier's lively, self-reflective and often very revealing personal diaries.
There was ''interest'' from publishers but, as yet, no final publication deal, the spokesman said. Like Thoughtlines, all proceeds from the new book will be given to charity.
Some officials have commented on the time the Foreign Minister has spent keeping notes for the book, and some Labor colleagues are concerned about what he might say about internal political machinations.
But the spokesman reassured it would be ''reflections on foreign affairs and world events'' and not be about ''the cut and thrust of daily politics''. ''It is not a diary or an autobiography,'' he said.
Senator Carr unexpectedly entered the Senate and was immediately elevated to Foreign Affairs Minister in February after Kevin Rudd's unsuccessful bid for the Labor leadership left the former prime minister relegated to the backbench and led to the sudden resignation of NSW right powerbroker Mark Arbib.
Senator Carr explained his decision to make his diaries as premier public by saying it would give ''people a clearer idea of what it is like to ride the roller-coaster'' and would provide a ''more effective record of one's time''.
Senator Carr was recently critical of former Labor minister Lindsay Tanner for writing about what was wrong with the ALP.