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Liberals Quick To Ridicule Beazley

The Liberal Party has been quick to react to the re-election of Kim Beazley as Labor leader.

Following Beazley’s re-election press conference, the Liberal Party circulated a statement, attributed to Gough Whitlam by Phillip Adams, to subscribers to the party’s email newsletter.

The remark has Whitlam referring to Beazley’s extensive experience in government and asking: “Tell me one thing he did in any of them!”

The email is headed:

What does Gough Whitlam really think about Kim Beazley’s performance?

The email quotes from Adams’ article in The Australian on January 25, 2005:

“Reviewing his career, Gough Whitlam reminded me that Kim’s now the ALP’s most experienced front-bencher – rattling off the portfolios and the dates he held them. Staring down at me, he used a moment’s silence to emphasise the point. ‘Tell me one thing he did in any of them!'”

The full text of Adams’ article is available here. In it, he describes Beazley “as the ALP’s counterpart to Al Gore” and asserts that the resurrected leader will be a captive of factional bosses who won’t be able to throw off his small-target strategy from the past.

Beazley was a minister for all of the 13 years of the Hawke and Keating governments. He held the following portfolios:

  • Minister for Aviation from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84
  • Special Minister of State from 14.7.83 to 21.1.84
  • Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence from 11.3.83 to 13.12.84
  • Minister for Defence from 13.12.84 to 4.4.90
  • Vice-President of the Executive Council from 15.2.88 to 1.2.91
  • Minister for Transport and Communications from 4.4.90 to 9.12.91
  • Minister for Finance from 9.12.91 to 27.12.91
  • Minister for Employment, Education and Training from 27.12.91 to 23.12.93
  • Minister for Finance from 23.12.93 to 11.3.96
  • Deputy Prime Minister from 20.6.95 to 11.3.96
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