You don't have to be a true believer to recognise there are few in public life who make an idea sing the way Paul Keating does. And here, in this Sydney Writers Festival special event, he's in full stride speaking with the ABC's Kerry O'Brien.
Known as much for his acerbic tongue as for his economic reform, Paul Keating lives up to his reputation at this Sydney Writers' Festival Special Event. The anecdotes flow thick and fast, from reflections on an indignant childhood to the new domestic carbon tax, to the larger geopolitical stage and the opportunities missed by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
According to Keating, Obama should have had the sword out from Day One. Instead, he's been too concerned with sending all the customers away satisfied. Keating quotes one of his mentors, Jack Lang: "In political life, you need a decent stock of enemies".
In a wide-ranging conversation with the ABC's Kerry O'Brien, the loose focus is "After Words", Keating's new collection of post prime ministerial speeches. As you'll see, Keating is clearly enjoying being centre stage once again.
Paul Keating became Australia's 24th Prime Minister in 1991 after successfully challenging Bob Hawke for the Labor leadership, and won the so-called "unwinnable" election just over a year later. During office, he introduced compulsory superannuation, deregulated the financial sector and floated the Australian dollar. He was defeated at the 1996 election by his long-time nemesis John Howard, but remains an ebullient contributor to the Australian economic and political arenas. He has recently published a book, "After Words: Post-Prime Ministerial Speeches".
Kerry O'Brien is an Australian journalist based in Sydney. He is the former editor and longtime host of "The 7.30 Report" on the ABC and the present host of the current affairs show "Four Corners".
O'Brien has had roles as a general reporter, feature writer, political and foreign correspondent, interviewer and compere, and also served as press secretary to then Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
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|Paul Keating ex Prime Minister of Australia 1991 to 1996|