Obama Campaign Begins Attack On Ryan

Within minutes of the first public appearance by Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, the Obama campaign unveiled a commercial attacking Ryan’s budget proposals.

For Australians, the attack is reminiscent of Keating Labor’s assault on John Hewson’s Fightback! policies in 1993.

[Read more…]

Paul Keating Speech At Launch Of ‘The China Choice’

Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating has delivered a speech in which he criticises United States policy towards China.

Paul Keating

The China ChoiceKeating said the United States could not expect to win a war against China on the Asian mainland. “I have long held the view that the future of Asian stability cannot be cast by a non-Asian power – especially by the application of US military force.”

“The failure of US wars in Korea, Vietnam and – outside Asia – in Iraq and Afghanistan, should lead the US to believe that war on the Asian mainland is unwinnable.”

Keating said the United States had missed its chance to shape a new world order around China and the other major developing countries.

Keating was speaking at The Lowy Institute at the launch of The China Choice, a new book by Hugh White, who argues that the US should aim to share power with China and give up its leadership role in Asia.

Keating also criticised President Barack Obama’s Australian announcement last November in which he launched a “pivot” to Asia accompanied by the rotation of US marine forces through Darwin.

  • Listen to Keating’s speech (27m)

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  • Download a copy of Keating’s speech (PDF)

Paul Keating’s Lowy Institute speech launching Hugh White’s The China Choice:

Hugh White does me an honour in asking me to launch his book The China Choice.

I believe the reason he asked me was not that he wanted a former Prime Minister to launch his book, but at least one who regarded his subject as central to Australia’s security and prosperity, indeed, central to one of the major, perhaps the major issue in international affairs.

As you would expect, Hugh has written The China Choice with great clarity and command of the issues and with his usual nuanced treatment of important threads of argument.

He has always been able to get to the nub of an issue with a great economy of words. The style is discursive, even conversational, but the poignancy and economy of words serve to hammer home the points. To rivet them. [Read more…]

Mabo Madness From 1993

With the 20th anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision approaching on June 3, it’s timely to remember the atmosphere of the times.

This is a Jeff Hook cartoon and an editorial from the Sunday Herald-Sun on June 6, 1993.

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.

  • Listen to ACTU President Ged Kearney introduce Paul Keating (7m)

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    Paul Keating [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.

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?”

The transcript of the interview is available here.

Paul Keating’s Letter To John Robertson

Keating's letter to Robertson

Paul Keating: Nothing But The Man

This is a two-part video of former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s speech at the Melbourne Writers Festival. He is introduced by the then editor of The Age, Andrew Jaspan.

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…]

Paul Keating: John Curtin’s World And Ours

This is the text of the John Curtin Memorial Lecture delivered by the former Prime Minister, Paul Keating.

It was given on the 57th anniversary of the death of Australia’s war-time leader.

Text of Paul Keating’s John Curtin Memorial Lecture.

John Curtin’s World And Ours

Paul KeatingEven if we are able to interrogate the people involved, even if we take part ourselves in the events we describe, the causes and consequences of human actions will always be wrapped in doubt and seen quite differently by different observers. Perhaps this is especially true of political actions, which play across so much broader an arena of human activity than most.

So those of us looking back from 2002 need to approach John Curtin with due caution.

Leaders are significant in history. There is more to history than the determinism of events; personalities do matter, the scope of their minds matters, their courage matters, their capacity to make people believe, matters. And leaders carry that singular burden, responsibility. Being trustee of the nation’s safety and its future directions, and the pressure that that involves, makes a leader’s thought processes different from other ministers or officials. [Read more…]