So I have been reading a lot of Paul Keating quotes in the last few days. Recollections of Bleeding Heart is being reissued in a 10 year anniversary edition on the the 31st of August - which is great, because I've been trying to get a copy of it over the last few months, and it's now going to be much more readily available again. Don Watson is actually speaking at a conference I'm going to for work mid-next month, which I'm very much looking forward to.
As to Keating quotes - there are some absolute corkers; he's someone who not only could shoot from the hip with a wit that could kill, but also knew how to pick his speechwriters - see great selections here and here. This article around the launch of the anniversary edition from Fairfax is well worth a read - one gets the feeling that it's a hard job staying on the good side of the man, he works almost entirely for what he considers an objective good, and sees his job as to destroy anyone that gets in the way, and drag the public along with him for their own wellbeing. Oddly admirable, really, compared to what we see from both sides of politics now.
There are so many key quotes of bald-faced, love of the game, "I will play to win and I will drink from your skull after I remove it from your shoulders" (that's me, not him... he never actually said that... as such - see below) moments over his leadership, and since, that you can't really boil it down to one quote. The Robertson letter is an eloquent example of recent years. And there are some other brilliant ones on Howard both before Howard became PM, and throughout his leadership (particularly as it became clear in 2007 that the guillotine was slowly rising).
But, I think, this has got to be a highpoint of parliamentary honesty from history:
Hewson: I ask the Prime Minister: if you are so confident about your view of Fightback, why will you not call an early election?
Keating: The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. I want to be encouraged. I want to see you squirm out of this load of rubbish over a number of months. There will be no easy execution for you. You have perpetrated one of the great mischiefs on the Australian public with this thing, trying to rip away our social wage, trying to rip away the Australian values which we built in our society for over a century.
How do you respond to that if you're Hewson?
Anyway, this is all a round about way of saying it inspired me to throw this together. T-shirts, posters anyone?
Update: Perhaps you would like a zero fucks given t-shirt, in either the original, or negative?