Attending “Strengthening Our Rich History with Asia in a time of Trump” at the Melbourne Recital Centre tonight.
Featuring: Paul Keating in conversation with Nick Bisley and Alan Gyngell (La Trobe, Asia) as part of the ‘Ideas & Society Program’ of La Trobe University.
PK, former PM renown for his dry wit and memorable quips, including:
Banana Republic, All tip, no iceberg, & Arse end of the world et al.. regaled the audience with contemporary Australasian region specific analysis.
His speaking points, included:
On Aus/China relations-
The need for Aus Govt to be smart & clever about the realities of their geopolitical thrusts.
That if we act dumb, we’ll be treated dumb.
Globalisation over globalism is an important distinction.
As a nation we are seen by our allies as ‘un-led’ if you consider our official head of government is that Queen.
The symbolism & dependence on an irrelevant monarchy, hinders our sovereign potential
Nuclear genie emerged from its bottle in 1945, and we’ve not been able to put it back since
Trump- the ultimate corporate hack, running Presidency as if it were a business deal
On social media: in the age of ‘self expression, we’re left with ‘those twits on Twitter’
…and so much more.
I was genuinely impressed with his sharp sense of humour, and formidable recollection of Asian nation demographics.
The collective nostalgia for the Keating era , was REAL in the theatre tonight.
Later I managed to ask PK his views on how our government in negotiating a citizenship and Australian values agenda, underpinned by racist rhetoric- would manage credibility while engaging with Asia? PK replied this Govt lacks moral authority and would do well to act in a right way and not self righteously.
“They don’t get it. The lie of the monoculture. It’s reprehensible”