Sunday, June 10, 2007

That Paul Keating interview

Its now almost ancient history but I missed the original televised interview with Paul Keating and had to read transcripts. The YouTube recordings of Paul Keating in action are certainly worth watching (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

I’d be interested in comments on these from all sides of the political debate. It is a stirring interview and one of the best I’ve seen for quite a while.

Keating king-hits the Labor Party’s organizational wing, boring old lefty Julia Gillard and the trade unions. So, in that sense, it was a god-send for the Coalition.

But Keating does take a broad and generally accurate view of the economy on issues such as the role of exchange rate flexibility and of the decisive advantages of enterprise bargaining over national wage cases. His criticisms of the trade union movement are sound – they are dead institutions appropriate to another age and his view on labour markets seems sensible – totally free markets with (i) a minimum wage, conditions constraint and (ii) a guarantee of no positive discrimination against trade unions.

It is a pleasant change to see a politician open up and being honest and direct. And as an ex-PM Keating did more and is a country mile more interesting than, that wingeing old, do-nothing grandmother of Australian politics, Malcolm Fraser. Stick to your camellias Malcolm.