Articles on Paul Keating

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Bill Shorten must channel the abilities of his colleagues in parliament and the broader progressive movement if he is to lead the ALP back to government. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Brian Howe on what Bill Shorten must do to revitalise social democracy

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe says Bill Shorten must channel the abilities of his colleagues in parliament and the broader progressive movement if he is to lead the ALP back to government.
A scene from Heathers the Musical based on the 1988 film. Kurt Sneddon

Why do we find it so hard to move on from the 80s?

Eighties culture is big, from nostalgic TV dramas to tours by ageing pop stars. But it's time for a clear-eyed assessment of the decade, which prized excess and economic rationalism along with synth pop and big hair.
Hawke said his government passed more legislation in 1990 and 1991 than any other since federation. National Archives of Australia

Cabinet papers 1990: leadership scrutiny distracts from historic Hawke reforms

While the press at the time focused on what Keating called “the Punch and Judy show”, cabinet papers reveal that the fourth Hawke government was working at an astonishing pace at reforms still felt today.
In a new book, former prime minister Paul Keating makes it clear that, from a young age, he was interested in power and the gaining of it. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Book review: Keating, by Kerry O'Brien

Kerry O'Brien has provided the platform for Paul Keating to define his political career, explain what drove his reform agenda and cement his position as one of Australia's greatest leaders.
Ros Kelly was the first in a long line of federal ministers to address themselves to the question of Australia’s emissions target. AAP Image/Lee Besford

25 years ago the Australian government promised deep emissions cuts, and yet here we still are

When Australia's government first pledged to set an emission-reduction target, Jon Bon Jovi was riding high in the charts. The progress made in the 25 years since has hardly been a blaze of glory.
The revolution of the past three decades has not been kind to the people who have experienced the destruction of their industries, jobs and communities. AAP/Jessica Evans

The unmaking of the Australian working class – and their right to resist

Something similar to E.P. Thompson’s story of England in the first three decades of the 1800s has happened in Australia between the mid-1980s and today.
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of Anzac. AAP/Alan Porritt

A legend with class: labour and Anzac

There is a complicated story involving the Anzac legend and the left between the 1920s and the 1960s which historians have barely begun to untangle.
Journalist George Megalogenis takes an affectionate journey through the milieu of Australia’s economic reform in a new ABC documentary, Making Australia Great. ABC TV

Making Australia Great despite themselves: PMs stake rival claims

A line-up of former prime ministers stake their rival claims to making Australia great, in a new series by journalist George Megalogenis.
The cross-bench senators may call to mind Paul Keating’s charge of ‘unrepresentative swill’, but they also reflect and respond to the 21st-century world in ways that the major parties can’t. AAP/Alan Porritt

Don’t blame micro-parties or the Senate – update an archaic system

The Senate is not a root cause, but part of a long list of symptoms that indicate Australia's political system is increasingly unfit for purpose in the 21st century.
John Howard sealed his fate by going too far with WorkChoices, but he got the balance right and succeeded with the GST reform. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Why not listen to the people for a solution to the reform stalemate?

The distinction between the global and the local is collapsing under the pressure of climate change, economic restructuring, global migration and jihadism on the one hand and the populist and information…
Mercurial, visionary: Paul Keating was by far the most industrious treasurer Australia has ever had. National Archives of Australia: A6180, 15/2/93/25

Cabinet papers 1989: Keating’s Bringing Home the Bacon budget

A recent public poll showed that of Australia’s recent federal treasurers, Peter Costello and even John Howard were rated higher than Paul Keating. Joe Hockey was rated the worst. Today’s release of the…
The public response to the eulogies to Gough Whitlam testifies to the power of oratory that draws on and gives fresh life to memory. AAP/Alan Porritt

Memoria in Memoriam: Whitlam’s farewell invokes power of oratory

In a playful rhetorical flourish at the Sydney Town Hall on Wednesday, Indigenous leader Noel Pearson monumentalised Gough Whitlam’s prime ministerial legacy, Monty Python-style: What did the Romans ever…

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