Monday, October 31, 2011

Prime Ministers, Book Launches and Slapped Faces

Last Monday Sue Pieters-Hawke launched her book Hazel: My Mother's Story at the SH Erwin Gallery and it was a fairly quiet affair.
Hazel & Bob in happier days

There was none of the fanfare that accompanied the launch of the book her step-mother Blanche d'Alpuget authored -Hawke, The Prime Minister about Sue's dad, former Prime Minster Bob Hawke who is still regarded as the most popular leader Australia has ever had.

The current PM Julia Gillard did the honours for Blanche's tome in front of a number of notable guests like actors Geoffrey Rush and Rhys Muldoon and former Midnight Oil front man Peter Garrett who is now the Minister for Education.

Last June it was alleged that Blanche and Sue had encountered each other in the Qantas's exclusive Chairman's Lounge at Brisbane Airport and each had slapped the other's face before being separated by authorities. Both denied the claim but witnesses say the incident was fairly heated although it's claimed the two have since made up.
Blanche, Julia & Bob

Despite this neither Bob Hawke nor Blanche attended Sue's book launch which Pieters-Hawke has written in retaliation to d'Alpuget's impliction that Hazel only stayed married to Hawke while he was PM so she could stay in The Lodge at Canberra and enjoy her role as first lady. 

Sue Pieters-Hawke's book covers Hazel's life from a schoolgirl in Perth, her life with Bob -''the love of her life'' - her career in welfare, life at The Lodge and her sad decline into Alzheimer's disease in 2001.
Meanwhile the man who deposed Bob Hawke in a party room coup, former PM  Paul Keating launched his own book After Words on Sunday.
Keating, who was dubbed The Lizard of Oz by the British media in 1992 who accused him of manhandling HM The Queen has likened Australia to "a child clasping at the Queen's coat-tails, waving an embarrassing little flag' in a Daily Telegraph report.


Not to be left out, former PM Kevin Rudd, himself deposed 2 years ago by Julia Gillard has been entertaining a crowd at a function following a meeting of Foreign Ministers at the CHOGM conference in Perth. The audience demanded Rudd break into song but he informed them "I sing like a cow".
(What does a cow sound like when it sings?)