September 16

Out of Touch Politicians and Republicanism Continued

Another journalist argues that the applause of the elites is a sure indication that a politician is out of touch.

And in recent years, no Prime Minister demonstrated that he was more out of touch than the ultra republican, Paul Keating.

John Lyonns discusses this this in his perceptive essay on Paul Keating in The Bulletin on 24 August 2005.

He writes that the Keating prime ministership was marked by an inverse correlation: the more popular he became with journalists, the less popular he became with the public.

The press gallery hailed his secretly negotiated deal with the Soeharto regime in Indonesia while Australian families buckled under the legacy of 17% mortgage rates.

His famous comment, “this is the recession we had to have”, horrified families.

It was the rank and file Australians who were waiting with baseball bats for the election in 1976 – the same voters who trounced the republic in 1999.

Until next time,

David Flint


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Paul Keating


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