Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alastair Campbell's "hate lessons" from Paul Keating

In his new book The Alastair Campbell Diaries Prelude to Power 1994-1997, released in the UK on Thursday the man regarded as the mastermind behind Tony Blair says he travelled to Australia in 1995 to get some tips from then Labor Prime Minster Paul Keating on how to handle Rupert Murdoch and how to "hate" the Conservatives.

Keating was PM from 1991 to 1996 when he was defeated by John Howard who set about on a 10 year campaign to return Australia to the 1950's before he was finally booted from his own seat in 2007 by Labor's Kevin Rudd.
Paul Keating : 'hate lessons'

Keating's defeat in '96 sent him into a huge mental decline where he disappeared from public view for a  year. Not because he lost but he hated Howard so much. Keating's quips and put-downs in Parliament  were legendary. Parliamentary Question Time has been dull from the day he left.

On John Howard :

"What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him."  
"He's wound up like a thousand day clock..." 
"He has more hide than a team of elephants." 

On former Liberal leader the perma- tanned Andrew Peacock who was dating actress Shirley MacLaine:
"...what we have here is an intellectual rust bucket." 
"I suppose that the Honorable Gentleman's hair, like his intellect, will recede into the darkness." 
"It is the first time the Honorable Gentleman has got out from under the sunlamp."  

 On the Liberal Party when they were in Opposition:
"I'm not running a seminar for dullards on the other side."
"Those opposite could not operate a tart shop"
"These intellectual hobos"

Our favourite was during the 2007 General Election when the Murdoch media was getting stuck into Kevin Rudd on the campaign trail and printed a facile story about Rudd having lunch with 2 political  lobbyists  -the former premier of West Australia Brian Burke (who spent time in jail) and his partner Julian Grills .
"the Arthur Daley of WA politics"
The controversy raged for days ramped up by Murdoch's tabloids until it was defused by Keating  when he described Burke & Grills as the
" Arthur Daley and Terry of West Australia politics-no-one takes them seriously"

 He then went on to describe the flailing Howard as like a " little desiccated coconut under pressure and attacking anything he can get his hands on". 
 Howard lost the election 2 months later in a massive swing to Labor.
P.J Keating on the attack: