They don’t make them like Paul Keating anymore

8.30 pm is the absolute worst time in the 24 hour cycle for me, but of course it is prime TV time and last night we were treated to the first of four interviews of Paul Keating by Kerry O’Brien.


Are there any other politicians who could sustain our interest over four hours? I’d have to agree with Evan Williams: They don’t make them like Paul Keating anymore.

He’s right, the scheduling shows up the current mediocre lot now gathering in Canberra.

The 1990 Australian election was a close run thing. The ALP under Bob Hawke won by nine seats with 49.9% of the vote. Mark once told me Australia would have been a much better place now if Peacock had won. Peacock would have been a one-term time minister, followed by PJK for three terms, followed by some-one other than John Howard. We can but dream!

Elsewhere Keating was in fine form in the Remembrance Day address. He reworked the folly of the First World War in a way that enhances us all and makes us grow in spirit.

He made some fine speeches but was also the master of the one-line insult. Here too there was a rawness and honesty that shades the current lot, who often use one-liners thought up by their spinmeisters.