I don’t remember too much about Paul Keating. I do remember his arrogance, which many argue was the driving force behind his 1996 election loss. Nobody likes an arrogant politician. But I will say this about him: he was a brilliant economist and outside of politics a straight forward, normal bloke. No pretenses. You got what you saw. He had a lot going for him and his legacy is being widely hailed.
John Howard, well, I remember too much about him. What sticks in my mind the most was that he was a mean-spirited, lying little prick. I’m being honest here. But I will say one thing about him: he had some dignity. There was no way that he would have allowed his senior ministers to stand under “Ditch the Witch”signs at public rallies. He would have been silently appalled at the behavior we’ve seen from Abbott et al on that occasion.
I worked under Kevin Rudd and he was a hard task-master, verging on being a control freak. And he had difficulty grasping the concept that not everyone was as brilliant as him. But he was only doing what he thought was best – in the long run – for society’s battlers. He also had the strength to stand firm and stand by his convictions. A couple of his political decisions were monumental stuff-ups but all in all, he did try very hard to understand and deal with other people. And he listened to them.
Julia Gillard should be ashamed of whoever headed up her public relations department. She, personally, gave the impression that she was above all the criticism that she and her government faced. However, there was no way that she was above it. It was a misconception. But I’ll give her lots of credit where it’s due: she had guts and she had dignity. And having also worked for her I can vouch that she worked diligently to improve the lives of all Australians.
Tony Abbott. Well, he has nothing at all going for him. He has nothing in the bank. He is devoid of any of the good human qualities that the above are remembered for.