Friday, November 25, 2016

The Honorable Paul Keating at Kathlene Fitzpatrick Theatre, The University of Melbourne

Paul Keating at Kathlene Fitzpatrick Theatre. Photo: Julie Clarke (c) 2016
I was pleased this morning to be occupying one of the five hundred and six seats in the Kathlene Fitzpatrick Theatre at the University of Melbourne to hear The Honorable Paul Keating, 24th Prime Minister of Australia, in conversation with Troy Bramston, who was launching his recent book Paul Keating: The Big-Picture Leader. As I looked around the fully packed theatre I noticed academics, television personalities as well as Steve Bracks and Barry Jones.
Audience for Paul Keating in conversation. Photo: Julie Clarke (c) 2016

Paul Keating was witty, funny and insightful. He spoke of his political father and strong mother as well as the love and confidence he gained from his grandmother who thought he was just wonderful. He discussed power and responsibility and although agreed that he thought it strategic America have a presence in the pacific ocean he discouraged the idea that we continue to plead for America to hold our hand. I may be wrong but I think he was suggesting in regards to decisions made by Bob Hawke when Keating was his deputy, that Keating was certainly the puppet master. Keating has lost none of his wit and didn't hold back when it came to him talking briefly about Liberal Party politics and in particular about Robert Menzies. The discussion was lively and I almost bought the book though decided against doing so because the sales line was so long and I was happy enough that Paul Keating walked a few feet from me enabling me to take his photo.

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