In Federal Parliament on 8 February this year, Malcolm Turnbull raved, ranted, blustered and tried to sound tough! Turnbull was attacking Bill Shorten and used words to describe Shorten such as, “simpering sycophant”, “social climbing sycophant”, “parasite”, and “hypocrite”. The political posturing and pathetic pandering to those on the far right, whether in Parliament or not, was palpably apparent.
For many years, the Coalition, when in Opposition and Government, has praised Bob Hawke and Paul Keating as positive and visionary leaders when running this country from 1983 to 1996.
A recent authorised biography of Paul Keating, Paul Keating – the big picture leader, by Troy Bramston, includes a detailed history of Keating before he became Treasurer and subsequently, PM. Keating was “eager to learn”, “sought out those who could teach him new things”, and it enabled him to “grow as a politician”. Some of those whom he sought out, were Sir Laurence Hartnett, Managing Director of GMH, various managers at Hawker de Havilland, Ian McLennan, CEO of BHP, Sir John Bunting, Secretary of the PM’s Department and George H W Bush, then US Ambassador to the UN. (See Chapter 5.)
In Chapter 8, it states that as Shadow Minister for Minerals and Energy, Keating was “knocking on boardroom doors … to listen and to learn”, and that among other people, Keating met David Rockefeller of the Chase Manhattan Bank and Sir Mark Turner, Chairman of Rio Tinto Zinc.
Keating’s approach to his job seems eminently sensible, as does Shorten’s, and this approach would be wide spread throughout Parliament, ie for those Members and Senators serious about doing their jobs effectively. It’s called ‘networking’, Malcolm!
Turnbull was clearly trying to save his job, albeit in a puffed up, fabricated sort of way. He wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested in my opinions, but praising one Labor man and attacking another for doing the same thing makes Turnbull the hypocrite, not Shorten. As for “sycophant” and “parasite”, simply look at Turnbull vis-à-vis his own Government!