Aussie politics!

An excerpt from the lead story of Wednesday’s Melbourne Age’s website ( for you Poms probably the Victorian equivalent of the Times or the Guardian) which no doubt graced the front page of its’ broadsheet version.

Good to see Australian public affairs are still characterised by such reserve and diplomacy.

Latham insult sparks new row
By Louise Dodson
June 26 2002

Labor frontbencher Mark Latham has again landed in hot water after describing Prime Minister John Howard as an “arse-licker” who “kissed some bums” on his recent visit to Washington.

His comments have outraged the Federal Government and disturbed some of his colleagues, who worry that it will focus attention on Mr Latham’s behaviour rather than Labor’s criticism of the Coalition’s policies.

It also undermines Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s strategy of focusing on policy rather than politics and his attempts to demonstrate that Labor wants to clean up parliamentary standards.

“There is a character flaw in this guy - he always goes a bit too far, which causes people to turn off what he is actually saying,” a Labor frontbencher said in response to Mr Latham’s comments during a lunch with The Bulletin’s Maxine McKew.

But another frontbencher, Carmen Lawrence, defended Mr Latham’s sentiments.

“It isn’t a word I would use, but the sentiment is about right,” she said.

“Everyone I have spoken to is deeply offended by Mr Howard’s sycophancy in the United States. He appeared like a little boy with George Bush … it was really embarrassing.”

The manager of government business, Tony Abbott, called on Mr Crean to demand that Mr Latham retract the comments, saying such language had no place in Australian politics.

“This is an extraordinary unprecedented and reprehensible attack on the Prime Minister from a very senior Labor frontbencher,” Mr Abbott said.

A spokesman for Mr Howard said the Prime Minister would not dignify the comments with a response.

What do you expect from Labor politicians, most of whom came up through the ranks of the unions? Paul Keating, it has to be said, was much more eloquent.

Question time in Parliament - like feeding time at the zoo.

Funny that more Labor pollies have made it to Rhoads scholarships…

3q - did you mean roads scholarships?

Paul Keating was, and still is on occasions, an embarrassment to most Australians. After all the Prime Minister of a country calling a member of the oppostition ‘Pigs Vomit’ is not something that suggests eloquence.

Paul Keating an embarrassment? Floating the dollar, deregulating the Australian finance industry, moving ahead on indigenous peoples rights and land issues, increasing engagement with Asia??? WTF?! Are you serious? Even the Libs take their hats off to him on issues… better than the current PM by a long shot.

Paul Keating was a witty PM with the gift of the gab. He didn’t shirk, and called a spade a spade with no sugarcoating whatsoever. Obviously you’ve picked one bad example and are chosing to ignore some of his better one’s. But one thing he is/was not, and that’s an ‘arse licker’, something that more than just the beforementioned labour MP thinks of our current PM. By the way, I am impartial, and have votes with all three major parties - Labour, Liberal (when idependant) and the Coalition in all my three elegable federal elections.

In my mind, Paul Keating was the best PM that Australia has had for decades and it is a shame that our current PM has undone all the good things that Keating did in order to get Australia moving. Now look at Australia, yes it may have an interesting economy now but it is a backwater and is regarded as a rascist joke to the rest of the world.

How about Howard cutting back on Asian language learning in schools - what sort of signal does that show to the people we should be doing most of our trade with? What about Howard’s ideas about agreeing with the US with all things relating to the military and not caring about the thoughts of our local region? (I dare say that our neighbours are thinking that Australia is fastly becoming another US state when instead we should be focussing our efforts in our own region) What about Howard’s policies about illegal immigrants (read the Tampa situation). I’m sick of trying to explain to people here in Taiwan that not all Australias are rascists and that it is only the government.

I admit, Keating did do some dodgy dealings, but at least he had the guts, the gall and the attitude of doing things for the future of Australia instead of taking it back 50 years!

My 5 cents worth (plus GST)

Yeah, Australia is so racsist. Like the Taiwanese people in my office who openly say “I don’t like black people.” In my last office we watched the opening ceremony for Olympics - most were horrified that we had put aboriginals in the ceremony. “They are so primitive, they look bad for Australia” was one comment.

Australia is the most multicultural place in the region, and if Singaporeans still have a hang up about Pauline (who was 99% media hype, and now a spent force) they should get over it. Most of them are so busy hating the Malaysians anyway.

Paul was the master of the comeback though. This one about the Gucci Lib is a corker:

" I was implying that the Honorable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock - alive, but looking dead. "

Some of Paul’s better ones :

On the Press:
“…Fucking animals.”

On former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke:
“Now listen mate,” [to John Browne, Minister of Sport, who was proposing a 110 per cent tax deduction for contributions to a Sports Foundation] "you’re not getting 110 per cent. You can forget it. This is a fucking Boulevard Hotel special, this is. The trouble is we are dealing with a sports junkie here [gesturing towards Bob Hawke]. I go out for a piss and they pull this one on me. Well that’s the last time I leave you two alone. From now on, I’m sticking to you two like shit to a blanket.

On Wilson “Iron Bar” Tuckey (Liberal politician):
“…You stupid foul-mouthed grub.”

“Shut up! Sit down and shut up, you pig!”

“You boxhead you wouldn’t know. You are flat out counting past ten.”

“You (Richard Carleton) had an important place in Australian society on the ABC and you gave it up to be a pop star…with a big cheque…and now you’re on to this sort of stuff. That shows what a 24 carat pissant you are, Richard, that’s for sure”

In conversation with a journalist:

Reporter: You don’t talk to ordinary people!

Keating: “Who says I don’t ? Who says I don’t ? I mean I see as many people as perhaps anyone in public life could…”

Reporter: How long is it since you’ve been to Fyshwick Markets ?

Keating: “Not long, not long. In fact if you get down to woollies at Manuka on Saturday I’d probably run over you with a trolley as I did a journo recently.”

On Former Labour politician, Jim McClelland (over the phone):

“That you Jim? Paul Keating here. Just because you swallowed a f***ing dictionary when you were about 15 doesn’t give you the right to pour a bucket of shit over the rest of us.”

On Mike Codd:

“Codd will be lucky to get a job cleaning shithouses if I ever become Prime Minister.”

On Fund Managers:

“It must get right up their nose, quaffing down the red wine at these fashionable eateries in Bent Street and Collins Street, with the Prime Minister calling them donkeys - but donkeys they are.”

On NSW Minister for Housing, Frank Walker:

“I’m always being attacked by delegate Walker. He’s been attacking me ever since I used to touch him up in the [ALP] Youth Council 20 years ago.”

To a Uni student protesting about fees:

“Go and get a job!”

On former Liberal and Opposition Leader (now Prime Minister), John Howard :
“What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him.”

“But I will never get to the stage of wanting to lead the nation standing in front of the mirror each morning clipping the eyebrows here and clipping the eyebrows there with Janette and the kids: It’s like ‘Spot the eyebrows’.”

“I am not like the Leader of the Opposition. I did not slither out of the Cabinet room like a mangy maggot…”

“He has more hide than a team of elephants.”

“I do not want to hear any mealymouthed talk from the Member for Benelong.”

“Come in sucker.”

During Great Debate '96: “You’re so rude!”

On Former Leader of the Opposition, John Hewson:
(His performance) is like being flogged with a warm lettuce.

I was implying that the Honorable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock - alive, but looking dead.

“…if this gutless spiv, and I refer to him as a gutless spiv…”

“I suppose tha the Honourable Gentleman’s hair, like his intellect, will recede into th darkness.”

“You’ve been in the dye pot again, Andrew.”

“The Leader of the Opposition is more to be pitied than despised, the poor old thing.” “The Liberal Party ought to put him down like a faithful dog because he is of no use to it and of no use to the nation.”

“We’re not interested in the views of painted, perfumed gigolos.”

“It is the first time the Honourable Gentleman has got out from under the sunlamp.”

“Bib and Bub. The Leader of the Opposition and his Deputy.”

On Former National Party Leader, Ian Sinclair:
“…this piece of vermin, the leader of the National Party.”

“What we have as a leader of the National Party is a political carcass with a coat and tie on.”