Saturday, March 01, 2008

Albrechtsen vs. Keating

The Keating versus Albrechtsen stoush is here (Keating) and here (Albrechtsen). I grade it as close to a knockout to Albrechtsen but I cannot quite give her that glory given her snide remark about Gustav Mahler and my fading adulation for than neurotic meanie.

On the other hand accounting for Keating's attack on the recently-deceased Paddy McGuinness - he called him a 'fraud and a liar' on the eve of his funeral - I think Keating is close to down and out anyway.

How do you score the Keating/Albrechtsen encounter?

Keating is certainly an important figure in Australian politics though much of what he did (relaxing foreign exchange controls, moving towards exchange market flexibility) was part of a prevailing global economic reform agenda. He favoured labour market reform so long as he was leading his troops in the trade union movement and provided, of course, it did not go too far. These qualifications aside, Keating was an important force favouring more liberal economic policies.

But, Albrechtsen is right - Keating had contempt for ordinary Australians and their pursuits - and no politician should put themselves in that position. Keating could certainly hit his opponents with witty insults but seemed a rather frail character - I recall stories of him sitting at home in The Lodge listening to his Mahler records while Parliament met.

These days Keating is increasingly appearing to be a bitter, old man with an inordinate regard for his own importance. The Canberra Times takes a more neutral view - Jack Waterford clearly takes masochistic delight in seeing journalists subject to a stream of Keatingesque invective.

3 comments:

conrad said...

"though much of what he did (relaxing foreign exchange controls, moving towards exchange market flexibility) was part of a prevailing global economic reform agenda."

I think you are not giving him enough credit. So what if it was the prevailing agenda? He did it and that's worth a lot and more than many other politicians did. Individual governments do lots of things that go against prevailing agendas (for better or worse). You can look around your own workplace, for example, and see what going against the prevailing agenda does and what happens when you get it wrong.

Mr Denmore said...

I have to disagree with you Harry. I rate it as a knockout to Keating. But then I guess we all judge these debates from the perspective of our own prejudices. Albrechtson had it coming to her. She is an ugly, mean-spirited, shrewish bigot. She surfed the wave of reactionary boof-headed nationalism and f**k-you capitalism started by Howard. But now with the rest of that ugly gang, she has been washed ashore. Keating is stating the obvious - her time is up.

Anonymous said...

iI have to disagree with you Harry. I rate it as a knockout to Keating.

Oh yea. Suggesting that janet is as bad as Hitler in focusing on "cosmopolitan" people was sure a knockout. lol.

It's embarrassig for this country that we had such a low rent, uncouth person as PM.

Better not be famous and Keating dislikes you as he'll go after you past before the funeral.

Man's an embarrassment.