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Remembered Today:

EX AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTERS VIEW


macca172

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From "The Australian" 31 Oct 08

Ex PM Paul Keating is noted for his controversial views on many subjects, I'm confident this latest outburst will get him the publicity that he seems to always seek!

Macca

Keating rejects Gallipoli identity

Imre Salusinszky October 31, 2008

PAUL Keating has launched a stinging attack on the Anzac legend, rubbishing the notion that Australia's identity was redefined on the beaches of Gallipoli and vowing never to set foot on the sacred site.

While launching Churchill and Australia, a new book by renowned Labor Party speechwriter Graham Freudenberg, the former prime minister said: "The truth is that Gallipoli was shocking for us. Dragged into service by the imperial government in an ill-conceived and poorly executed campaign, we were cut to ribbons and dispatched -- and none of it in the defence of Australia.

"Without seeking to simplify the then bonds of empire and the implicit sense of obligation, or to diminish the bravery of our own men, we still go on as though the nation was born again or even was redeemed there. (It is) an utter and complete nonsense. For these reasons, I have never been to Gallipoli and I never will."

Political commentator and historian Gerard Henderson dismissed Mr Keating's view of the Anzac legend as simplistic.

"It is an ideological perspective that overlooks the human dimension and that it was a world war, and we were part of the world," Mr Henderson said.

Mr Keating sparked controversy last year when he contrasted his attachment to the "patriotic" Kokoda story with John Howard's loyalty to the "nationalist" Gallipoli myth, which he said had "fuelled the Australian conservative story for nine decades".

His remarks yesterday are bound to reignite the controversy, with the 90th anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice less than a fortnight away. Mr Freudenberg's book traces Winston Churchill's involvement with Australia from the Boer War, through two world wars to the Cold War.

Mr Keating was more generous towards Churchill than on previous occasions, when he accused Britain's World War II leader of abandoning the defence of Australia. "I was attracted to him for his braveness, sense of adventure, compulsion and moral clarity," Mr Keating said.

He added that the example of Churchill had inspired him to enter public life.

He could not resist another dig at Mr Howard, whom he accused of trying to outsource Australian foreign policy to the US, just as Australian leaders in the 20th century had done with Britain.

Freudenberg has written speeches for former Labor prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke and former NSW premiers Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth and Bob Carr.

In a reference to the plagiarism allegations surrounding Opposition Treasury spokeswoman Julie Bishop, after an essay written by one of her advisers turned out to contain unattributed borrowings, Freudenberg referred to the "shocking revelation that some politicians don't actually write their own speeches and articles".

He said Mr Whitlam had called him this week to say: "Comrade, you got out just in time." But Freudenberg said politicians had to take full responsibility for whatever a speech or article contained once they had put their names to it.

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Keating , well known for his arrogance , would beat his way to the head of the

line to visit the Peninsula if it was a Mecca for antique clocks and Italian wool suits.

Peter

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While launching a new book, the former prime minister said:

His disrespectful comments appear to me to be an attempt to draw attention to a book launch.

I for one will treat his comments with the contempt they deserve.

Do I need to add that I won't be rushing out to buy a copy!

At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them. Lest we forget.

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I alluded to this dill of an ex PM, on the Gallipoli thread - quietly watching the 7 o clock news, and when this twit had finished saying his bit, my husband spoke very forcibly to the TV, ...... off you idiot - such a shame it wasn't in person :o I was torn between shock, agreement and laughter, if it wasn't such a serious business.

Cheers

Shirley

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Shock jock who has always used insult to achieve a headline.

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Perhaps he should have stuck to pig farming ....

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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"The truth is that Gallipoli was shocking for us. Dragged into service by the imperial government in an ill-conceived and poorly executed campaign, we were cut to ribbons and dispatched -- and none of it in the defence of Australia."

Isn't there a bit of irony here? Mr.Keating seems pretty willing to praise the Defense of Kokoda. Do you think he is aware that our first casualties of the Great War were suffered in German New Guinea. I believe there was a ship called Emden operating not too far from our shores.

I understand Kokoda's importance, but when men sacrificed their lives in both these battles I think the ex-pm's comments and comparisons are a little distasteful.

Scott.

Glad to get that off my chest!

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Which is why I said perhaps he should stick to pig farming ... something he knows more about.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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I wonder if those would have been his sentiments had he actually had a relative who fought or died at Gallipoli.

It was an incredibly insensitive speech I thought and really quite contradictory........

On one hand he slangs off our involvement with Gallipoli - which was Churchill's great brain wave - and then goes to rabbit on about how he was "attracted to him [Churchill] for his braveness, sense of adventure, compulsion and moral clarity,"

Im disappointed that he didn't have the same respect for the 'braveness and sense of adventure' of the original Anzacs who fought and died at Gallipoli.

Boo to Mr Keating.

Elle

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Keating obviously failed history at school.

Australia was part of the British Empire hence we didn't 'command' our own forces. The boys joined the war for 'King and Country' and 'for the love of the Empire'.

Still believe he makes a better pig farmer.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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