Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 18, 2019

Today’s the day, and it’s not just an election any more.

It’s the Robert James Lee Hawke Memorial Election.

Bob Hawke, former leader of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Prime Minister of this fair land from 1983 to 1991, died on Thursday.

There are those in the media and on the left (but I repeat myself) who think this will give Labor the push they need to gain government today. Forget about What Would Jesus Do – today it’s How Would Bob Vote?

Speaking on the Today show this morning, veteran political reporter Laurie Oakes said Mr Hawke’s legacy disproved the Liberal line of attack that Labor can’t run the economy.

Er, no. Hawke was PM thirty years ago. The Rudd-Gillard-Rudd disaster years are much more recent. And let’s not forget the part that current leader Bill Shorten played in all the leadership shenanigans, taking down one and then the other. Not exactly a certification for stability in government.

The fact is that Hawke was an anomaly in the Labor Party. When commercial pilots went on strike in 1989, Hawke ordered our Air Force to provide services until the strike ended. A strike busting trade union leader? Who’d have thunk?

Gough Whitlam – Australia’s Worst Prime Minister Ever, until recently – and his followers despised Hawke for not being left enough. That Hawke was no Whitlam was certainly true enough. The old joke was that Hawke was one of the best Liberal Prime Ministers Australia ever had. He sure as hell put Malcolm Fraser and Malcolm Turnbull to shame.

Hawke inspired a complex range of opinions. As seen here in the comments from the readers at Morning Mail.

This may raise a few eyebrows here at MM, but, although Hawke was as Labor as they come, I admired him in some ways. He was human and he admitted it. He was a genuine Aussie…

It was ironic (perhaps not the right word) that he used tactics against the pilots that no government ever went near to using against him when he orchestrated any number of industrial actions as leader of the ACTU…

Hawke used RAAF pilots to break the pilots strike; ; he didn’t hesitate going to war against Iraq alongside the USA and Britain. He was the consummate populist prime minister…

…I bet they carefully avoid showing any of the many pictures of Hawke partying with bikini girls and drinking like a fish in his younger days…

…I sometimes (not often) had a sort of sneaking approval of stuff he did politically for Australia. Of course, the rest of the time, I thought he was the biggest arsehole ever to come out of the Liebor movement.

Adios, Bob. Whether you’ve gone to Heaven or Hell, I expect you’ll have plenty of young women to ogle. But that’s all you’ll get – a look. In Heaven they’ll be too pure, and in Hell they’ll be too fast.

 

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