Quintessential Keating


Former Australian PM, Paul Keating, was in fine form last night on ABC’s 7.30 Report. Love him or hate him, he was (and still is) a visionary and a dying breed in the age of the 10-second sound byte media driven political scene that dominates today. The main theme of the interview was national savings and, more specifically, retirement income. The Keating Government set in place a system that would have ensured Australian baby-boomers had enough set aside for their old age (phased-in compulsory employer super contributions of 15%). The Howard-Costello administration abandoned this (at 9%) when it took office in 1996 and the greying population missed out on 2003-07 equities boom that would have given them sizeable nest eggs by now. What I miss most about Keating, though, are his insults. Peter Costello he referred to as a “nong” and a “slow-moving dope” and said that “in policy terms he’s a mouse”. ‘Onya Paul.