Ghislaines To The Great Man

TALENTED biographer Troy Bramston has written a new work on Bob Hawke and he promotes it in today’s Weekend Australian with three teaser articles. The book’s vanilla revelations do matter for the chronicles but, prima facie, are not very interesting. Secret letters between Hawke and Bill Hayden set out terms for the latter’s hari-kari as Labor Leader in February 1983. Hawke lied about being asked to commit ADF forces to the Gulf War in 1990. He asked to be asked. Whatever. These banalities don’t sell a book – nor will Bramston’s admirably conceived interviews about his subject with snooze-mobiles like John Major and Brian Mulroney. But sex…

It sells. What did Bob Hawke and Jeffrey Epstein have in common? Three things: disregard for the dignity of their prey, an island redoubt where they could escape scrutiny – in Hawke’s case, press-provided and metaphorical – and, third, reliable pimps. There is no suggestion, of course, that the former prime minister liked ’em young – not unlawfully young, anyway. With the Bobita Express given clearance to fly by the highest officials in the country, you do, nonetheless, have to ask what “steps” were taken – and by whom – to silence and control the cargo:

In the 1960s and 70s, some women threw themselves at Hawke, mesmerised by his charisma and power, while others phoned or wrote letters offering to have sex. Women were procured by party, union and business figures. Hawke also flatly propositioned women for sex. When rejected, he would often lash out with invective…

Hawke’s principal private secretary, Graham Evans, was alert to the risk of the prime minister being compromised by his infidelity, and raised it with Sir Geoffrey Yeend, the head of the Prime Minister’s Department. Steps were taken to ensure there was no risk to the government’s integrity.

Obviously, what Bramston and biographer-cum-mistress-cum-spouse Blanche d’Alpuget diagnose as Hawke’s “sex addiction” will move books. The aforementioned pseudo-affliction only exists as a class marker and a sad consolation to the cheated. In the same way the rich are eccentric while the poor are crazy, the powerful man is a sex addict, the everyman is a sleazeball. The ladies who loved Hawke – battered wives of a kind – needed to believe he couldn’t help himself. The self-deception allowed them to persevere even as the hard-drinking union boss had affairs and flings with women around Australia.

Love Hawke or loathe him, the fact that details have been divulged by the likes of Bill Kelty, former minister John Brown (whose mistress Hawke wanted to share) and head of the then PM’s security team, Roger Martindale, is a poorer reflection on their character than the randy man in the middle. The secrets of a friend you take to the grave. But I suspect Hawke saw most of the men around him as coat pullers and minnows. That’s probably one reason he was attractive to women. He was more interested in them than he was in blokey mateship. He played that so well because he saw through it so clearly. Men’s men are never in thrall to other men.

Yes, I liked Bob Hawke – despite his flaws, his ego and his uncritical acceptance of the subjectivism of the age. He loved Australia and was loyal to its allies; he was devoted to Israel and disdainful of extremists. When Tony Abbott was jeered on arrival at the memorial service for Gough Whitlam in 2014, it was Hawke who ignored the morons and welcomed the Prime Minister as honoured guest. I’m less interested in his sex life then I am in the toxic phenomenon of reporters keeping the public in the dark to protect favoured – meaning non-conservative – politicians. Just as the toadies of the American press kept quiet about Jack Kennedy’s dangerous liaisons, their Australian counterparts weren’t going to spoil the Hawke ascendancy, a privilege the media in 2022 still affords exclusively to Labor men. Perhaps Mr Bramston should write a book about that.

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31 Responses to Ghislaines To The Great Man

  1. Lee says:

    When Tony Abbott was jeered on arrival at the memorial service for Gough Whitlam in 2014, it was Hawke who ignored the morons and welcomed the Prime Minister as honoured guest.

    And what an absolutely undignified and partisan disgrace it was on the part of those morons, and at a memorial service of all things.
    Very good article, C.L., I find myself essentially in agreement with you, despite Hawke’s womanising.

  2. C.L. says:

    Lee, the worst part of that video is the ABC commentary.
    Go back and listen as they childishly score the arrivals and delight in the booing of Abbott. An absolute disgrace.

    I was very impressed by Hawke – obviously embarrassed – making a very public point of welcoming Abbott.

  3. Morsie says:

    I was told years ago by a well connected publisher that Hawke and Blanche were living as man and wife before teh change of leadership.Once this occurred , Blanche was moved out and hazel came back for the optics.
    I am sure everyone in teh press gallery knew but any reporting?

  4. C.L. says:

    Of course they knew.

  5. Lee says:

    Another adjective that well describes the crowd and ABC behaviour towards PM Abbott at Whitlam’s memorial service is “boorish.”
    Unfortunately, too many on the left these days think boorishness is something to be proud of.

  6. Ed Case says:

    Ralph Willis says he was surprised Hawke never “got his lights punched out” over his abuse of women who knocked him back.
    No mention of the minders who were always very close.
    Did Bramston interview Keating for the book?

  7. vlad redux says:

    Genuine men’s men keep men at a distance.

    That’s a little too subtle for me to understand, I’m afraid – unless there’s a typo?!

  8. C.L. says:

    I mean that men’s men (so-called) are never in thrall to their chums or reliant upon them for self-esteem.

  9. Petros says:

    Wasn’t Hawke on the board of some Chinese endeavour for some irrigation project to dam the Ord River or something like that?

  10. vlad redux says:

    Okay, thanks.

  11. Ed Case says:

    Put it this way:
    He didn’t leave an Estate valued at $60 million outta savings from his ten years in Parliament.

  12. Not Trampis says:

    Bob Hawke was a disgrace, He had no concept of what marriage was.
    any comparison of bob hawke and epstein is also a disgrace, Epstein preyed on children. Hawke only had sex with adults. they could agree or disagree.

  13. C.L. says:

    I specifically say Hawke did NOT have sex with minors. I am referring to Bramston’s serious charge (quoted) that women were PROCURED for Hawke by powerful people and that he was also protected by powerful people in government, business and the media.

    That’s not garden variety adultery.

    Bob Hawke was a disgrace, He had no concept of what marriage was.

    Right. Like Paul Keating. But he did good things as a leader – proving we have to separate a political leader’s private and public lives (alas). That’s why you’ve been praising Bill Clinton for years.

  14. C.L. says:

    If it was reported tomorrow that women were “procured” for Tony Abbott by Liberal Party staff and businessmen and that it was all covered up by senior public servants, security officials and News Corp, here’s what would happen: Labor, the ABC and feminists would demand an immediate Royal Commission.

  15. Ed Case says:

    Bob Hawke was a disgrace, He had no concept of what marriage was.

    The story I read, he was pressured to do the right thing by Hazel Masterman, though he wasn’t inclined to.
    So the marriage wasn’t entered into willingly by him.
    According to Bramston, he wasn’t even living with her when he beat Fraser.
    So, she’s got to bear at least some responsibility.
    IIRC, Chifley’s wife refused to live with him in The Lodge and I’m not sure about Abbott’s wife, but neither of them lived there.

  16. C.L. says:

    According to Latham (his Werriwa protege), Whitlam also had “secrets”:

    https://twitter.com/RealMarkLatham/status/1497313919383523331

  17. Lee says:

    Liberals are judged by very high standards indeed, particularly with regard to treatment of women or their affairs with them; Labor are held to almost no standards at all.
    Especially if you’re a recent former opposition leader.
    Also, imagine if a Labor woman had been subject to what Nicolle Flint was, before and after election.

  18. Ed Case says:

    Reading a couple of those extended replies, if Latham was really running a limited defence of Hawke’s reputation, he may have been well advised to let sleeping dogs lie.

  19. Entropy says:

    I recall a certain public servant who took all day to pick up the former PM from the airport. She is now a head of a department.

  20. C.L. says:

    No worries, Vlad.
    I re-wrote that bit. Thanks for the tip.

  21. Romanitas says:

    CL. That wonderful declaration that Hawke gave up drinking whilst PM is just more ALP rubbish. He had his own car keys and would regularly (2 or 3 times a week) escape from the Lodge and drive to the (name withheld) at Curtin to drink as fast as he could. He would then await his protection detail, ply them with drinks and then return to the Lodge. Whereupon he would ply his protection detail and his static detail with drinks and then send them all home in taxis, as they were all too intoxicated to drive. I admired Mr Hawke, but the lie that he was sober whilst PM is a ie. I cannot comment on the female aspect of this, but he was a man who had was prepared to set his own boundaries. Very amused when he was declared ‘Father of the the Year’.

  22. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Lee says:
    27 February, 2022 at 5:15 pm
    Liberals are judged by very high standards indeed, particularly with regard to treatment of women or their affairs with them; Labor are held to almost no standards at all.”

    Liberals allow themselves to be judged by “high standards”…..they allow the hypocrisy and double standards to run rampant. They could easily throw it back and they should throw it back. Back in 2014, the Liberals did the noble thing with the Bill Shorten rape allegation….but in hindsight….given the Porter affair, I would hope that next time the Liberals would not be so noble.

  23. Not Trampis says:

    That is utter garbage. you were deliberately conflating the two and you know it.

    Everybody knew Hawke was cheating on his wife so just what exactly kept silent. They were all adults. If some women like a man who had SMS and they were committing adultery then that was their problem.

    What is this thing with Keating. There was no better family man in parliament . He set aside the same time each week so his family could have dinner together. Every woman in the press gallery wanted to have sex with him yet none did.
    It was years after Anita left him that he eventually realised she was not coming back.

    The Liberals would have been in a lot of trouble attacking Bill Shorten in the middle of a police investigation that eventually came to the conclusion there was no case to answer

  24. Tom says:

    Thanks, CL. A rare beaut read that effortlessly rises above the cock-sucking fellation of Hawke from the shemale Canberra press gallery.

  25. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    Everybody knew Hawke was cheating on his wife so just what exactly kept silent.

    The number of different women with whom he was cheating? The involvement of Commonwealth public servants and security officials in facilitating and covering up the cheating?

    The Liberals would have been in a lot of trouble attacking Bill Shorten in the middle of a police investigation that eventually came to the conclusion there was no case to answer

    Labor (and Their ABC) did not get in a lot of trouble for attacking Cardinal Pell in the middle of a police investigation about which the High Court eventually came to the conclusion there was no case to answer.

    Do you see any parallels between Australia seeking an invitation to Vietnam and Hawke doing the same for the 1990 Gulf War? Whole rivers of ink have been spilled to excoriate the first, but you seem unconcerned about the second? Are you always such a hypocrite?

  26. Not Trampis says:

    How do you cover up cheating on someone everyone knows is cheating. It is absurd.
    I think you will find anything about Pell was done After the trial not before it otherwise both the Judge , the Victorian higher court and of course the high court would have said something.
    What in the hell is your last paragraph even about as no-ne has even brought that up.
    As it is I have no problems with either.

  27. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    How do you cover up cheating on someone everyone knows is cheating. It is absurd.

    I realise that this kind of thing is probably a bit out of your experience, but there is a difference between a Bob/Hazel/Blanche triangle and a Bob/Hazel/Blanche/anyone else Bob can lure into his bed menage a however many. There is also the point you ignored about senior public servants and security officials facilitating and concealing the actions of Lothario Bob.

    I think that you should read more of the history of the Pell case, particularly the work of Their ABC and Victorian state Labor. If that is too hard for you, stay silent rather that touting your ignorance.

    An extra subject too complex for your simple mind? perhaps you should have tried harder in kindy?

  28. Not Trampis says:

    Boofhead Hawke had a reputation for being an adulterer. He did it al the time. He was appalling. Just what were they keeping quiet.

    Deary me, Did the Judge make any statements regarding the ABC and the case. Indeed he could have had them prosecuted if that occurred.. Did the appeals court say anything or the high court.

    Nothing and why because it di not happen. your knowledge of the law is about as good as your knowledge of any other subject.

  29. Boambee John says:

    Non Mentis

    You regard it as reasonable that public officials, paid by the taxpayer, should cover up such behaviour? You seem to have somewhat loose ethics.

    I was not discussing the law, I was discussing public occurrences of which you seem to be completely ignorant. But then, you are generally rather ignorant, so you are simply confirming your status as a kindy reject.

  30. Buccaneer says:

    Women were procured for Tiger Woods, apparently a higher standard is expected of golfers than leaders of the alp, past and present. Imagine if the meeja found out that Josh Frydenberg had a penchant for enjoying ladies of the night. It would push out Ukraine and the current floods. Screams of modern slavery etc..

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