Thursday, December 20, 2012

Those weren't the days

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating (1991-1996) was a larger than life figure, and well known for verbally abusing his political opponents and giving a shellacking to newspaper editors who published unfavourable stories about him. Just in time for Christmas,and offered in the spirit of what is supposed to be a season of peace and goodwill, comes the launch of a new IOS app, the Paul Keating insult generator.

I once received as a gift a copy of the Paul Keating Book of Insults, collated from his speeches and public statements, which in a reference to his famous "Banana Republic" speech of 1986, was published in a banana shape. On the right is a picture of said book. Presumably much of the content in the app is similar to that in the book, such as referring to then Opposition Leader John Howard, who led the Liberal opposition to victory over the Keating government at the 1996 Australian federal election, as "the greatest job and investment destroyer since the bubonic plague."

Fresh in my mind are his ruthless bucketing of his opponents during Parliament question time. Keating's  aggressive parliamentary tactics contributed to the perception in the electorate that politicians were too focused on childish name calling to care about their concerns during what were difficult economic times, and that he was out of touch with them.

No comments: