Talk:Paul Keating

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  • Wimps are out.
  • The accounts do show that Australia is in a recession. The most important thing about that is, is that this is the recession that Australia had to have.
    • Announcing Australia was in recession, late 1990
  • Economic racism.
    • On tariffs.
  • I only had one shot in the locker and I fired it.
    • After a failed leadership challenge against Bob Hawke.
  • Get a job. Do some work like the rest of us.
    • To a student protestor, 1995.
  • We're going to bolt it home.
    • Assessment of his chances at the 1996 election.
  • I like the Queen... and I think she liked me.
    • In response to the controversy caused when Keating placed his hand on Queen Elizabeth II's back during her 1992 Australian tour.
  • Like an Easter Island statue with an arse full of razor blades.
  • An abacus gone feral.
    • Description of John Hewson, then leader of the Australian Liberal Party (1993)
  • Hewson: I ask the Prime Minister: if you are so confident about your view of Fightback, why will you not call an early election?
    Keating: The answer is, mate, because I want to do you slowly. There has to be a bit of sport in this for all of us. In the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go. I want to see those ashen-faced performances; I want more of them. I want to be encouraged. I want to see you squirm out of this load of rubbish over a number of months. There will be no easy execution for you. You have perpetrated one of the great mischiefs on the Australian public with this thing, trying to rip away our social wage, trying to rip away the Australian values which we built in our society for over a century.
  • I was implying that the Honourable Member for Wentworth was like a lizard on a rock – alive, but looking dead.
    • On John Hewson.
  • This is the sort of little-boy, stamp your foot stuff which comes from a financial yuppie when you shoe him into parliament.
    • On John Hewson.
  • (His performance) is like being flogged with a warm lettuce.
    • On John Hewson
  • I'd put him in the same class as the rest of them: mediocrity.
    • On John Hewson
  • A soufflé doesn't rise twice.
    • On the second (1989) attempt by Andrew Peacock to gain the Liberal leadership.
  • I suppose that the honourable gentleman's hair, like his intellect, will recede into the darkness.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • The Leader of the Opposition is more to be pitied than despised, the poor old thing. The Liberal Party ought to put him down like a faithful dog because he is of no use to it and of no use to the nation.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • We're not interested in the views of painted, perfumed gigolos.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • It is the first time the Honourable Gentleman has got out from under the sunlamp.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • He, as Foreign Minister, was swanning around the United States of America with Shirley MacLaine or trying to crash one of Ted Kennedy's parties...and he was trying to play statesman...while he swanned around, and then he made a cowardly attack upon the former Prime Minister before slinking back into his cabinet.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • You've been in the dye pot again, Andrew.
    • On Andrew Peacock
  • [Most politicians have] brains like sparrows' nests - all shit and sticks.
    • As quoted by Peter Botsman in a column in The Australian, July 3 2002
  • What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him.
    • On John Howard.
  • The principal saboteur, the man with the cheap fistful of dollars.
    • On John Howard.
  • He's wound up like a thousand day clock.
    • On John Howard
  • I am not like the Leader of the Opposition. I did not slither out of the Cabinet room like a mangy maggot.
    • On John Howard.
  • He's like a shiver waiting for a spine to crawl up.
    • On John Howard.
  • Soon we will be at the stage where he will be offering us a free set of steak knives.
    • On John Howard's 1996 election campaign.
  • You boxhead you wouldn’t know. You are flat out counting past ten.
  • I'm not running a seminar for dullards on the other side.
    • On the Liberal Party
  • ...votes for coalition members who have always been cheats, cheats, cheats and will always be cheats, cheats, cheats and will always defend cheats, cheats, cheats..
    • On the Liberal Party
  • You were heard in silence, so some of you scumbags on the front bench should wait a minute until you hear the responses from me.
    • On the Liberal Party
  • The Leader of the Opposition hurls all sorts of abuse at me, and all through question time those pansies over there want retractions of the things we've said about them. They are a bunch of nobodies going nowhere.
  • You had an important place in Australian society on the ABC and you gave it up to be a pop star...with a big cheque...and now you're on to this sort of stuff. That shows what a 24 carat pissant you are, Richard, that's for sure.
    • To journalist Richard Carleton
  • ... you can't write a cheque for taste.
  • Sydney is the only place to live in Australia – the rest is camping out.
  • ...their existence is putrid. It is absolutely putrid.
    • On the National Party
  • Every now and then you have to flick the switch to vaudeville.
    • On leadership
  • Unfortunately I had to make him rich along with the rest of them.
  • When you change the government, you change the country. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/labor-laws-may-undo-howard/story-e6frg76o-1111114343651
    • Upon losing the 1996 election.
  • From this day onwards, Howard will wear his leadership like a crown of thorns, and in the parliament I'll do everything to crucify him.
    • On John Howard's stint as opposition leader, February 1986, doorstop at old Parliament House.
  • Where members opposite all come a gutser is in the fact that members on this side all think that we were born to rule you. It has been ingrained in me from childhood to think that my mission in life is to run you, and the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) thinks that his mission in life is to run you. In fact, the labour movement-that is, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the great industrial labour movement of Australia-thinks that its mission in life is to run you.
    • Speech to Commonwealth Parliament, 1988
  • A dog returning to his vomit (http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=(Dataset%3Aweblastweek,hansardr,noticer,webthisweek,dailyp,votes,journals,orderofbusiness,hansards,notices,websds)%20ParliamentNumber%3A%2233%22%20Context_Phrase%3A%22matter%20of%20public%20importance%22%20Electorate_Phrase%3A%22blaxland%22;rec=3)
    • An allusion to Proverbs 26:11, referring to Wilson Tuckey, 1990, after Tuckey repeatedly called out the name "Christine" in Parliament.
  • I would forbid him going going to the Senate, to account to this unrepresentative swill over there...
    • 1992 Parliamentary speech referring to the Senate, in contrast to the House of Representatives.
  • Don’t ask me any more questions about Mahathir. I couldn’t care less frankly whether he comes to Seattle or not next year. APEC is bigger than all of us – Australia, the United States, Malaysia, Mahathir – or any other recalcitrants.
    • Informal comment to the media at Seattle Airport, 22 November 1993.