Topic: local news
In sympathy with the lead article running in the crikey.com.au ezine today here we suggest Paul Keating does indeed get busy again with Indigenous empowerment projects:
At Crikey, we love Paul Keating. We love him for floating the dollar. We love the way he and Hawke and Walshie bashed the economy into something fit for the twenty first century. But we worry about old Paul. Hanging out with Jack Lang was pretty cool. Tuning into Jack Lang isn’t.
We've been mulling over Paul Keating's psychology these last 24 hours. The political consequence of going the bash on his own team is obvious - humour for the enemies of the ALP, and gnawing self doubt for the ALP Family when confidence and morale is a premium.
So the question becomes twofold 1. why did PK do it? and 2. is it true?
The answers to both we suspect, confusingly are related. We keep having images of Glen Milne going the swing at Crikey staff. Glen was so embarrassed professionally he quit drinking so it seems. Milne's work has revived in quality and quantity in the press. Well done.
Then there is our own experience: Alcoholic father and grandfather. We went tea total 12 months back, and feel great for it too. Just stay away from my coffee. My work has revived similarly along with my mood.
Then there is Bill Leak accused by his ex girlfriend of being "a cruel bastard". Bill is on the wagon too, hearing tunes in his head and drawing inspired cartoons about Kevin Ruddy/Tintin and double backflips with bellyflop. That's revival. Beautiful stuff.
Paul Keating after a life long of fine reds? The odd Glenfiddich double malt, 21 years? We wonder. We know how these secrets run their course.
Because this is where the truth question kicks in. Or rather, how true is more like it? Gary Grey ex federal ALP ex Woodside now candidate, David Epstein et al are "no value" people says Keating?
07/06/2007 The former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, speaks with Tony Jones about the political climate in the lead-up to the federal election.
We in the law know a categorical exageration when we see it and how evidence in such terms is bound to be misconceived. Never ever, 100%, Black and White, Pure Certainty. These absolutes are not the real world. When a witness goes that way you can tell they are leaning into the answer.
So it's safe to say these senior ALP folks do really "have value". It's probably safe to say they are not quite A1 quality as per the Keating sledges, as Rudd would say and hope, this side of a near election contest. But similarly that they have the potential, as likely we all do.
But it's even more likely, Keating is a genius gone sour, compares his huge talent (or perhaps more accurately the memory of such talent) with lesser mortals, and wounds them cruelly projecting his own ugliness (read drink?) rather than lift them up or take them with him. After all Paul, politics is essentially about popularity no matter how right or good, a cruel and unfair master at the best of times.
Mandela says - 'a leader lets the most nimble go forward and find the path' and 'a leader's duty is to keep the group together, those in front and those straggling behind'.
These comments say so very much. That a good leader humbly acknowledges the skill and wit of his 'followers' even beyond his own, is not threatened by their abilities, and understands the deep truth that we are all limited human beings and no one can be it, and do it, all.
It also says - not all can be as gifted or "keep up" with the genius or ability of the leader or his closest helpers. Yet a real leader works at, and keeps an eye to the whole group's cohesion and well being, even the slow ones. And why do that if you are concerned with victory first and foremost? Why not just cut 'em loose as PK implies?
Because everyone at some time in their life is bound to be straggling, when before they were leading. First and last depending on the snapshot. Even Paul Keating. That's life. We all intuitively know it. So if you are a compassionate leader who cares for the stragglers even the fast ones feel better and safer for it, and love you for that too, and work above and beyond the call of duty. Love, Paul, not obedience per se. They reach for their A1 quality and even achieve it. Becasue we all know one day that could be, will be, me if bad luck strikes.
But it's not all bad luck. In many ways where you finish up at the end of life's journey, leading, stone mother last, or in the middle is a personal choice: Such as faith in the great deceiver, alcohol, or not. This nasty drug takes you up but always leaves you further down than when you started until you end up gasping for credibility in the dangerous white water rapids of a Tony Jones Lateline hazard.
We will now go and see if Rudd has been swallowed by the same rapids, as those poor victims of the floodwaters yesterday, and Paul Keating the day before has already been (even if he thinks not):
08/06/2007 Labor Leader Kevin Rudd has defended his party against suggestions from former prime minister Paul Keating that its members are not capable of winning the election.
It's almost as if Keating is being "defeatist" to quote Gillard, that if he lost against Howard in 1996 everyone else must too or be seen as better than the great PK. But who is to say they are not greater? We will see in due course. Because no one knows. Not John Howard, not Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd, Grey, Epstein, the gaggle of commentators and definitely not this writer.