Keating by Kerry O’Brien

By Kerry O’Brien

Paul Keating is extensively credited because the leader architect of the main major interval of political and monetary reform in Australia's heritage. 20 years on, there's nonetheless no tale from the horse's mouth of the way all of it took place. No autobiography. No memoir. but he's the best story-teller of politics...This booklet of revelations fills the distance. Kerry O'Brien, the consummate interviewer who knew the entire gamers and lived the heritage, has spent many lengthy hours with Keating, teasing out the tales, checking out the thoughts and the assertions...What emerges is a treasure trove of anecdotes, insights, reflections and low admissions from probably the most enjoyed and hated political leaders we have now known-a guy who both led or was once the motive force via 13 years of work govt that modified the face of Australia...This is a guy who as top minister individually negotiated the sale of 1 / 4 of the government-owned Qantas in his personal workplace for 665 million, then thrilled in staring at the buyer's hand shake quite a bit that champagne spilt down his shirtsleeve. He tells of his grave second of doubt after making one of many riskiest calls of his political lifestyles, and the way he used an acupuncturist and a tv interviewer to grab the day...There are many tales of this type. the disclosing within tales or even glimpses of insecurities that compliment the wielding of energy, from a guy who had no worry gathering his percentage of enemies and ended up with good enough, yet whose parliamentary performances from 25 years in the past are watched avidly on YouTube this day by way of a iteration that was once both now not but born or in knee pants while he used to be at his peak...We'll by no means get an autobiography or a memoir from Keating. this can be nearly as good because it gets-funny, sweeping, indignant, inventive, mischievous, with conceitedness, a glimmer of humility and greater than a marginally of artistic insanity. Keating unplugged...

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In 1943, after public attacks on the Labor Premier in NSW, Bill McKell, and Labor Prime Minister John Curtin, Lang was expelled from the party, but turned up in the federal Parliament three years later with his own party, the Australian Labor (Non-Communist) Party. By the time the eighteen-year-old Paul Keating came knocking at the door of his Sydney city office in 1962, Jack Lang cut a lonely figure from the desk where he still put out a weekly political newspaper he’d started in the late 1930s.

That’s why he wears the second worst recession in Australian history more than anyone else engaged in public policy at the time. His response is classic Keating: I’ll take responsibility for the recession if you’ll also give me credit for the 20-plus years of continuous growth and low inflation that have followed. There is never one complete picture of any phase of political history. There are too many prisms. I hope this adds to the mosaic, and to the understanding of how one man came to power, and used it.

But the contest at branch level was severe. So you had this bitter intellectual tug of war, and overlaying it was the Cold War. It’s gone now, thank goodness, but the Split left an intolerance to moderate Catholic Labor members, and threaded through it all was the contest between Masons and Catholics that also permeated society. When I started work you would see job ads in a Sydney newspaper that said ‘Catholics need not apply’. It was still around in a big way. It always amused me why these roaring lions of the Left would end up in the Masonic Lodge, with all of its ceremony.

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