When Bob Hawke suggested his 1983
campaign should centre around national reconciliation – Bringing
Australia Together – Neville Wran responded that “if those greedy
bastards out there wanted spiritualism, they’d join the f**king Hare

Is that what they mean by “the vision thing?” Whatever. It’s why pollies have speechwriters.

Graham Freudenberg is one of the very best, and yesterday a very
high-powered list of his former clients – prime ministers Gough
Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, and NSW premiers Barrie Unsworth,
Bob Carr and Nifty himself – turned out for the launch of his memoirs, A Figure of Speech.

all know about Keating’s way with words – “The c**t in the cakeshop”
and his phone call to Diamond Jim, for example. I refuse to believe
that Unsworth could carry a speech beyond the opening “Brothers…”
Whitlam and Carr could easily write their own – getting them to stop is
the difficult part. And we’ve already discussed Wran.

But isn’t such public acknowledgement for a speechwriter
interesting. Of course Freudenberg deserves it. And perhaps the men who
mouthed his words deserve some acknowledgement , too, for fronting up
in public and saying to the bloke: “Thanks for making us sound so good.”