I'm speaking of course, of PJK, aka Paul Keating (though one could argue I suppose that his more lasting legacy has been his acts as Treasurer of floating the dollar, introducing compulsory superannuation, pushing the microeconomic reform agenda, and much more), who gave a great interview on 7.30 this week demolishing the NSW Labor establishment and reminded us once again of what Australia lost by dumping him as PM so prematurely in 1996.
Keating's astute observations on the issues of our day continue to provide a depth unseen amongst our current politicians or for that matter the media.
But he is of course particularly famous for his oratory, and we can at least take the occasion this week to recall some of his greatest moments, courtesy of The Punch.
My personal favourite remains the description of the Senate as unrepresentative swill (even more true today than ever before...). But The Punch offers a few goodies, gems such as “painted, perfumed gigolos” (on Andrew Peacock), or “all tip and no iceberg” (on Peter Costello), “24-carat pissant” (Richard Carleton) or “like being flogged with a warm lettuce” (John Hewson), and invites others to suggest their own favs.
Do go read and enjoy.
Interesting that the comments over there suggest that even many (though certainly not all, his principled stands made him a polarising personality) of the haters seem to have come to respect him.
And try to remember what it was like to have an intelligent and principled politician in power (even if you didn't actually like him), one who made politics actually entertaining and engaging...