Paul Keating Tugs The Forelock

AS I was saying last week, defence and national security were never his strongest suits. Forty years after Bob Menzies began building or renovating Australia’s regional partnerships – of little interest back then to a Labor Party led by Soviet apologist (and alleged spy) H.V. Evatt – Keating convinced himself that he invented “engagement with Asia” (whatever that is). Labor had a 75 years-standing contempt for Asians when he was elected to Parliament in 1969. On Gough Whitlam’s watch, there followed ten more years of anti-Vietnamese, anti-Japanese and anti-Cambodian malice by the time Keating became Federal Treasurer in 1983. Like all egotists late to a turn-out, he believes that only he can get a party started. History has never been his strong suit either.

Keating’s statement today about AUKUS includes his traditional vanilla animadversions about the imaginary misdeeds of Liberal governments against the national interest. None is more laughable than his gripe that Menzies “did Britain’s bidding.” From Beijing’s de facto ambassador to his own country, this is the pot calling the kettle Sambo. On the nuclear submarine deal, however, Keating’s old collars don’t match today’s cuffs. Take, for example, his condescending attack on Penny Wong. Its primary assertion is that “Labor’s traditional stance” is “autonomy unconstrained by any power, including that of the United States.” Sorry, that’s not what John Curtin emphasised when he went begging to Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, “free of any pangs”.

At the root of Keating’s antique geo-political fantasy are two obsessions. The first has been noted: loathing of the Liberal Party. He has never been willing to accept that post-war Labor history was dominated by treacherous, small-minded cretins who were effortlessly humiliated by Menzies. All the more amazing in that context is the similarity of Evatt’s defence of Molotov in 1955 to his own loyalty to Xi Jinping. While the wickedness of his vanquisher John Howard is obvious to him, he claims China “does not attack other states” and has only peaceful intentions. He doesn’t mention coronavirus, concentration camps for Muslims or the attempted extermination of Christianity. If Evatt was was mad, he was no madder than this.

His second obsession is an enthralment with proximity that makes him sound like an octogenarian mailman on a bicycle. The Morrison government’s policy of reinvigorated alliance with Britain and the United States will cause Australia “to lose its way in the neighbourhood of Asia,” he says, after “finding its own way around the region” in his day. The Anglosphere is the “domain of the Atlantic” and “a world away.” These are the maxims of a hillbilly.

The Chinese want to tidy up the east – but their real future is in the west. They want to rebuild the old silk road, the railways and highways up through the ‘Stan countries’, through Istanbul, up to the Baltic coast of Poland. What we’re going to see is a reasonably obvious economic colonisation of the 50-odd states between the western border of China up to at least western Europe.”

– Five years ago, Keating was thrilled about his CCP employer’s blueprints for conquest

Australia does business and diplomacy on a global scale. If China has no territorial ambitions and is no threat to any other nation, why would it care if we deploy submarines in conjunction with our allies? Keating can’t say. He staggers between denying the existence of aggression and warning that China is unstoppable. By far the dumbest argument, however, is the pseudo-axiom that in a major war “land beats water every time.” This would have been reassuring to Ali Pasha prior to the Battle of Lepanto. More importantly, it’s the Bankstown Bonaparte doing what he does best: punching a straw man tethered to a chair. Nobody is planning to invade China. Relax, Paul. Your fee records at the China Development Bank won’t fall into the wrong hands.

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9 Responses to Paul Keating Tugs The Forelock

  1. Ivan Denisovich says:

    History has never been his strong suit either.


    So the man Keating describes as a “woeful coward” committed Australian forces to the war against Nazi Germany.

    The first Australian forces arrived in the Middle East in early 1940 and the 7th division of the Second Australian Imperial Force was there by mid-1940.

    And what about Curtin’s ALP? Well, as Keating acknowledged in his speech, Curtin and Labor opposed the 2nd AIF going to the Middle East to do battle with the Axis powers. According to Keating’s logic, it was a “woeful coward” (Menzies) who went to war against Hitler.

    And it was a nationalist hero (Curtin) who declined to militarily support the Allies, led by Britain, in the early years of the war. At this time, the US was neutral and the Soviet Union (which became Russia) was in a no-war pact with Germany up to June 1941.

    In simple terminology, Menzies wanted to fight Hitler in 1940 and 1941 but Curtin did not want to commit Australian forces to this conflict.

    While piling on the abuse against Menzies, Keating criticised the former prime minister for (allegedly) saying that the Curtin cabinet was “scum”.

    As Edwards documents, Menzies was reported by the American consul in Melbourne as having said that Curtin “is a reasonably safe, solid man” while criticising Evatt and Eddie Ward as “positively menaces to Australia”. In fact, Evatt and Ward caused more problems for Curtin during the war than Menzies did.

    To Keating, Menzies’ fondness for Britain was a personality fault. This overlooks the fact that this view was common in Australia before and after World War II.

    For example, on September 22, 1938 Curtin proudly described Australia as “an outpost of the British race”.

    The Labor Party’s line when Keating was a teenager was that Lyons and Menzies left Australia all but defenceless when hostilities broke out in 1939.

    More mythology. Researching her book Menzies at War (New­South, 2014), Anne Henderson came across a document in an unpublished manuscript written by Frederick Shedden.

    Shedden was secretary of the Department of Defence during the war. Curtin once told Shedden that he was his “right and left hand and head too”. In his manuscript, Shedden wrote that Curtin’s wartime planning could not have been “immediately effective but for the foundations laid by the defence programs of the preceding” UAP governments headed by Lyons and Menzies.

    According to Shedden, “Curtin generously acknowledged the inheritance he had received”.

    Menzies ceased being prime minister on August 29, 1941 — four months before Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor and the beginning of the Pacific War. This brought the US into the conflict in the Pacific region.

    In his speech, Keating depicted Menzies and his colleagues as potential surrender monkeys to Japan while praising Curtin as being Winston Churchill-like in his willingness to fight the Nazis.

    This is just barracking posing as history.

    Keating is either a complete ignoramus or shameless revisionist. Take your pick. Either way, he should be ignored.

  2. C.L. says:

    Thanks for that, Ivan. Very interesting.
    Roosevelt thought Curtin was a coward.
    He described his “pangs” speech as “smacking of panic.”

  3. Not Trampis says:

    that was complete bollocks.
    the reason the ALP did not want troops going to Europe was because they were fearful of Japan and its intentions here. Pig Iron Bob and all that.
    Just what cretins did he best. After all on proper electoral boundaries he would have lost in both 1954 and 1961, He won on commo preferences in Killen’s seat in 61!!
    It was only 1938 Menzies was visibly impressed by Germany. Those clean factories were the way of the future. Fortunately Germany could never win a world war.

    Keating forgets ANZUS means a US war is also our war. This new alliance simply cements this.

    Curtin a coward. another piece of fiction

  4. Not Trampis says:

    the idea Menzies was a coward was unfair. It came from a very bitter Earl Page who was leader of the country party. Menzies withdrew from the reserves when WW1 started I think. The family did not want all the sons fighting in the war and it was Menzies that did not. All families were entitled to do this.

  5. JC says:

    More and more Keating resembles Joe Hiden. Keating is our Hiden.

    1. Grabbing money from hostile foreign sources . √
    2. Comments on international issues always wrong .√
    3. Hasn’t been right about anything for 50 years. √

  6. Rex Anger says:

    the reason the ALP did not want troops going to Europe was because they were fearful of Japan and its intentions here. Pig Iron Bob and all that.

    I seem to recall that the ALP had adopted a strict ‘Hands Off Germany’ position, based on the fact its Communist-sympathising Unions had been told to play nice with the Fasicsts. Remember the Molotov-Robbentrop Pact of 1938, Homer Paxton?

    I also seem to recall the ALP and its Union handlers being vehemently and violently opposed to the war as a result. MP Eddie Ward went so far as to call AIF troops ‘4 bob-a-day Murderers.’

    But of course such behavioir betrays a deep concern for Japanese strategic moves doesn’t it, you ahistorical berk?

  7. Not Trampis says:

    there have been quite a few biographies written on curtin. If you can read try it.

    There was a reason wharfies did not want to export pig iron to japan. cogitate on it. Japan is a lot closer to us than germany.

    Eddie Ward was never influential in ALP policy. Page was country party leader when he alleged Menzies was a coward. He never spoke for the country party then. Ward never even got to any leadership group.

    In 1938 Menzies returned from Germany enthralled by how its economy was going.
    Are you alleging because of this he was a nazi

    you really should read before calling people names

  8. Shy Ted says:

    He’s only 3rd in the debt-incurring treasurer stakes behind Swan and Frydemburgers. He’s jealous. But his daughter did go to Epstein Island so there is that.

  9. Rex Anger says:

    Eddie Ward was never influential in ALP policy.

    Lolwut, Homer?

    His carry-on certainly seemed to animate the militant unionists in their impeding of Australia’s war effort. And he certainly broke Curtin.

    Just what are you trying to say? Or are you just being your usual moronic troll self again?

    You ahistorical berk.

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