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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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ACTU Congress Pays Tribute To Bill Kelty

Bill KeltyThe triennial Congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions has paid tribute to the work of its former Secretary, Bill Kelty.

At a dinner in Sydney, former Prime Minister Paul Keating led the tributes.

Kelty was ACTU Secretary from 1983 until 2000. Throughout the Hawke/Keating governments, he was pivotal to the operation of The Accord with the union movement.

Kelty’s work with the government on superannuation reforms, wage fixing, tariff reductions and other issues was vital to the economic reform and social legislation of the 1980s and 1990s. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Interview On Sky News

This is a rare one-on-one extended interview with former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

It was shown on Sky News The Nation on December 15, 2011.

Amongst other topics, Keating talks about the state of current politics, Aboriginal reconciliation, the Republic issue, and his relationship with Bob Hawke.


After Four Years, Labor Is Still Buying Time

The Labor Government celebrated four years in office on Thursday with a manoeuvre that all but guaranteed it will serve a full term.

AnniversaryAs it embarks on its fifth year in office, Peter Slipper’s defection has enabled Julia Gillard to fulfil one of the most important goals of a prime minister: to insulate her government against sudden threats and extend its longevity.

The means may make some pall but the ends are delightful for a government living on the edge.

But not much else has changed. Only the madly optimistic believe Labor will make it to a sixth birthday.

Of all Australia’s federal governments since World War I, only those led by Scullin (1929-32) and Whitlam (1972-75) failed to make it to four years, although death and party-room coups meant the prime ministerial baton was often snatched from one leader and deposited with another. Only Scullin, Whitlam, Fraser and Howard led their parties to victory and then back into opposition. [Read more…]


Selling The Carbon Tax: Less Is More

Julia Gillard should have stayed in bed this week, for all the good her carbon tax campaigning did.

In fact, she ought to just shut up about the carbon tax and get on with something else.

This week smacks of the same hopeless political strategy that Rudd and Gillard have fallen for before, the strategy that says you have to run around the country like a maniac and never shut up.

It’s also the strategy that gives Tony Abbott a daily free kick as the media treat the circus like an election campaign and give him equal time.

Take Gillard’s appearance at the National Press Club yesterday. Her speech on climate change was quite good, but it was overshadowed by the personal development lecture from the Unley High school girl.

Last night’s television pictures duly centred on Gillard’s teary moment and her injunction to the press gallery to “stop writing crap”. Forget about any coverage of the economic imperatives of the carbon tax.

That argument was left to Paul Keating who, in 20 minutes on Lateline, managed to put the case better than any minister in the Government has managed for years. In that inimitable style of his, Keating positioned the tax as a necessary response to a transformative need in the economy. As an advocate, he shamed the Government with his easy command of striking political imagery. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Defends Carbon Tax On Lateline

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating appeared on Lateline last night to defend the carbon tax.

Keating said the carbon tax was an essential step on the path to new industries in the new age: “See, the question is, I think: do we want a first-rate industrial economy or do we want an economy with a brown, fat underbelly? You know, do we want to get into the new age with the new industries, or do we stay in the old ones, talking as Tony Abbott is talking about industries that were important a hundred years ago?”

  • Watch Keating on Lateline (20m)
  • Listen to Keating (20m)

Transcript of Paul Keating’s Lateline interview.

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: To discuss the media and politics, I’m now joined in the studio by the former prime minister Paul Keating.

Thanks for being here. [Read more…]


Paul Keating’s Letter To Bob Hawke On Blanche D’Alpuget’s Biography

This is Paul Keating’s letter to Bob Hawke regarding Blanche D’Alpuget’s biography of Hawke.

The letter was sent on July 12, 2010.

10-07-12_keating-letter-to-hawke


Political Quotations – Set 3

  1. Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. – Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)
  2. Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them. – Paul Valery, French poet and critic (1871-1945)
  3. Life means progress, and progress means suffering. – Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Dutch-born journalist and lecturer (1882-1944)
  4. The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within. – Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
  5. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. – George Orwell
  6. [Read more…]


Political Quotations – Set 2

  1. Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. – Mignon McLaughlin, author.
  2. When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. – Confucius (551-479 BC).
  3. At the end of a long and probably very boring meal (at a formal dinner), (British Prime Minister) Macmillan turned to Madame de Gaulle and asked politely what she was looking forward to in her retirement. Quick as a flash the elderly lady replied: “A penis.” Macmillan had been trained all his life never to appear shocked, but even he was a bit taken aback. After drawling out a series of polite platitudes, – “Well, I can see your point of view, don’t have much time for that sort of thing nowadays” – it gradually dawned on him to his intense relief that what the old girl had actually said was “happiness.” – Paul Foot, in the essay A New Definition: The Quality of Life, British Medical Journal, VOLUME 321, DECEMBER 2000.
  4. The moral test of a government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life — the children; the twilight of life — the elderly; and the shadows of life — the sick, the needy and the handicapped. – Hubert Humphrey, Vice-President of the United States 1965-69.
  5. When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now, all I see are the dregs of the middle class. When will you middle class perverts stop using the Labor Party as a cultural spittoon? – Kim Beazley Snr to an ALP State Conference, circa 1970.
  6. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Launches ‘The Longest Decade’

This is the speech delivered by the former prime minister, Paul Keating, at the launch of The Longest Decade, a book about the economic conditions of the past decade and a half, by George Megalogenis.

The launch took place at L’Aqua, Cockle Bar, in Sydney.

Transcript of speech by Paul Keating.

History, of course, is difficult to write, if for no other reason, than that it has so many players and so many authors.

It is hard enough to get any history right, even if one was a principal player; it is even harder to get it right when one is an observer. [Read more…]


Keating: Conservative Story Is Simply Not Big Enough For Australia

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has made another intervention in contemporary politics that is likely to induce apoplexy amongst conservatives.

In this speech he excoriates the role played by Australia’s conservatives. Keating says: “Their failure is not simply one of crabbiness or rancour; it’s a failure of imagination, a failure to read our historical coordinates correctly but usefully to move to a bigger construct, a bigger picture as to who we are and what we can be. That’s the real job of political leadership.

“Their timidity not only diminishes their own horizon, it is a drag on the rest of us. The country always has to make its progress despite them. They never help. They have always to be dragged along and they will only accept a new norm when someone else has struggled to put it into place.”

Transcript of the extemporaneous address delivered in Melbourne by Paul Keating at the launch of The History Wars by Stuart McIntyre.

Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia 1991-96The writing of The History Wars is very important. The book will sit on the shelves of libraries as a sort of code stone to help people understand the motivations of players in today’s contemporary debate. It sheds light on the political battle which is carried on in the pubs and on the footpaths about who we are and what has become of us. For the protagonists and antagonists in academe are now surrogates in a broader political battle about Australia’s future. [Read more…]