Keating Warns Against Tillerson’s South China Sea Adventurism

Former prime minister Paul Keating has criticised remarks by the US Secretary of State-designate, Rex Tillerson, regarding what he terms “adventurism” over the South China Sea.

Keating issued a statement following remarks by Tillerson at his confirmation hearings in Washington DC. Tillerson said that a “signal” should be sent to China over its access to islands in the South China Sea. He said that American allies should be there to “show back-up”.

Keating says Australia should have no part of such adventurism, as it should have had no part in the Iraq war 15 years ago.

Statement by Paul Keating.

Keating


Success And Failure: The ALP’s Results In Federal Elections Since 1910

The tables on this page show the extent of the ALP’s victories and defeats in federal elections since 1910.

Each table shows the ALP statistics for three different measures:

  • the proportion of seats won in the House of Representatives,
  • the national two-party-preferred vote,
  • and the primary vote.

The ALP’s winning election years are shaded yellow.

The table includes every election since Federation, except for the first three: 1901, 1903 and 1906. These have been excluded since they took place before the formation of the two-party system as we know it. Since 1910, elections have been fought between the ALP and the non-Labor parties under a variety of names. [Read more…]


Summoning Parliament: Turnbull’s Timing And The Historical Experience

Is Malcolm Turnbull taking longer than previous prime ministers to bring the Parliament back after the election?

Several times during the past couple of weeks, I’ve heard commentators and journalists suggest that Turnbull is dragging the chain on getting the parliament back in session. They seem to suggest that nothing is happening unless the parliament is sitting. It’s a seductive notion for those who deal in the theatre of parliament and the drama of set-piece occasions such as Question Time.

Of course, it’s a nonsensical argument. At any point in time, the parliament is likely not to be sitting. On average, it sits for around 70-80 days a year, in about 20 weeks of the year. For the rest of the time, the business of government is carried on by the executive and the public service.

Nevertheless, it set me wondering about the times parliament sits following an election. The table below shows the dates for the past 115 years, covering all 45 elections since 1901. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Launches Cabinet Diaries By Gareth Evans With Another Swipe At Bob Hawke

Paul Keating has renewed his attack on Bob Hawke during a speech at the launch of the Cabinet diaries of Gareth Evans.

Keating

Whilst Evans says in his book that Hawke was out of action for about a month in 1984 over his daughter’s drug addiction problems, Keating claimed that Hawke was “asleep” for about five years until 1989. Keating said Hawke failed to “nourish” the government with ideas and leadership.

Keating said Hawke failed to take a lead on Aboriginal land rights in this time: “Bob always cried for Aborigines but he wouldn’t do anything for them.” [Read more…]


Neville Wran’s Last Great Rally: Former NSW Labor Premier Eulogised In Moving State Funeral

On the 38th anniversary of his election as Labor Premier of New South Wales, Neville Wran was farewelled at a State Funeral at the Sydney Town Hall today.

The moving May Day service was addressed by former Prime Minister Paul Keating, former Wran minister Rodney Cavalier, former High Court Justice Michael Kirby and former NSW Premier Bob Carr. Tributes were also paid by Wran’s wife, Jill, and three of his children.

Kirby’s address was the highlight of the day, a perceptive and thoughtful insight into an “enigma”.

Keating described a man who understood power and who had “a PhD in poetic profanity”. Speaking of Wran’s unmatched ability to discern the mood of the electorate, Keating said: “He could hear the ants change step.” [Read more…]


Paul Keating Turns 70

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating turns 70 today.

Keating was 25 when he entered the House of Representatives as the Labor member for Blaxland in October 1969. He was 47 when he became Australia’s 24th prime minister in December 1991. He remained PM until March 1996 when he was defeated by John Howard’s coalition.

Keating

Keating’s first ministerial appointment came in the dying days of the Whitlam government. Following the sacking of Minerals and Energy minister Rex Connor, Keating became Minister for Northern Australia on October 21, 1975, serving for three weeks until the government was dismissed by the Governor-General on November 11. He is the youngest of the eleven surviving ministers of the Whitlam governments. [Read more…]


Keating: Rudd Preserved Labor As A Fighting Force

Paul Keating has paid tribute to Kevin Rudd for preserving the ALP as a “fighting force” and praised the former prime minister’s policies during the global financial crisis as “an instance of international exceptionalism”.

KeatingKeating, prime minister from 1991 until 1996, said Rudd had given “profound service” to the Labor Party. Without Rudd’s “energy and leadership”, the party may not have been able to defeat John Howard, Keating said.

On Rudd’s toppling of Julia Gillard, Keating said: “Without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.”

Keating’s fulsome statement contains one factual error. Not all of Rudd’s front bench members were returned at the election. Whilst all members of the Cabinet held their seats, the Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, was defeated in Lindsay, and the Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, failed to be re-elected in South Australia.

Statement from Paul Keating.

Remarks by PJ Keating

I should like to acknowledge the profound service which Kevin Rudd has given the Labor Party.

Notwithstanding the 11 years which the Howard government had had in office, without the energy and leadership provided by Kevin Rudd, Labor may not have been able to have turned the opportunity into victory.

As a consequence, Labor had another six years in government. An important six years. Added to the 13 years of Labor between 1983 and 1996, this has meant in the 30 years since 1983, Labor has had 19 of them in office.

Kevin Rudd opened his period of office with his now famous ‘apology’ and not long thereafter, saved Australia from the fate of every other industrial economy – a deep and prolonged recession. If his government had been elected for no other reason but to have achieved this, it would have achieved much: an instance of international exceptionalism.

And without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.

And I know, notwithstanding the defeat at the last election, Kevin Rudd is comforted by the fact that all of his front bench members were returned to make the continuing case for Labor.

Kevin Rudd has much to be proud of. The Labor Party stands in his debt.

Sydney
14 November 2013