Paul Keating was warned in 1992 not to push republicanism, writes Paul Kelly in a book published in Spring , March of Patriots. He says that in September 1992, six months before the election, Keating's top aide, Don Russell, urged him to reassess the republic push.
In a memo to Mr. Keating, Don Russell wrote: "It is best if you make it clear that while you are not backing off one inch in your personal view that the symbols should change, such changes are not key issues at the moment."
Paul Kelly says Don Russell advised Paul Keating to say: "I suspect it will take the better part of a decade to resolve how a republic would actually work (and) there are much more important things I need to do at present with my energies and time."
Apart from establishing the Republic Advisory Committee under Malcolm Turnbull, and ensuring no one who wasn’t a paid up member of the politicians’ republic push was appointed to that from any of the states, Paul Keating effectively accepted his advice.
With near unanimous support from the Press Gallery he was able to persuade some Liberals that the end of the constitutional monarchy was nigh , and to jump on the republican bandwagon.
It was a marvellous wedge to drive through the parliamentary Liberal Party, but with little effect on the Liberal rank and file. As Lenin is said to have argued, the communists could always rely on “useful idiots” in the West – especially in the media and politics – who could be swayed to support Bolshevism.
So Mr.Keating was able to seduce some Liberals to the politicans’ republic – and even some Nationals when they had left politics. In the word’s attributed to Lenin, his enemies would even sell him the rope to hang them.