So good to see Paul Keating back on the telly last night. It always is. Time for a trip down memory lane …

On ex-Prime Minister John Howard:

“But I will never get to the stage of wanting to lead the nation standing in front of the mirror each morning clipping the eyebrows here and clipping the eyebrows there with Janette and the kids: It’s like ‘Spot the eyebrows’.”

“… the brain-damaged Leader of the Opposition …”

“What we have got is a dead carcass, swinging in the breeze, but nobody will cut it down to replace him.”

On ex-Treasurer, Peter Costello:

“The thing about poor old Costello is he is all tip and no iceberg. He can throw a punch across the parliament but the bloke he should be throwing a punch to is Howard, but of course he doesn’t have the ticker for it.”

“He has now been treasurer for 11 years. The old coconut is still there araldited to the seat. The treasurer works on the smart quips but when it comes to staring down the prime minister in his office he always leaves disappointed. He never gets the sword out.”

And yesterday: “He’s a guy without imagination and he is a guy without courage … In national terms, to have such a nong — and he is, in policy terms he is a mouse — to have him back again speaks volumes about the Liberal Party.”

On former Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke:

“Now listen mate,” [to John Browne, Minister of Sport, who was proposing a 110 per cent tax deduction for contributions to a Sports Foundation] “you’re not getting 110 per cent. You can forget it. This is a f-cking Boulevard Hotel special, this is. The trouble is we are dealing with a sports junkie here [gesturing towards Bob Hawke]. I go out for a p-ss and they pull this one on me. Well that’s the last time I leave you two alone. From now on, I’m sticking to you two like sh-t to a blanket.”

On former Liberal Party Leader and Shadow Treasurer, Andrew Peacock:

“I suppose that the Honourable Gentleman’s hair, like his intellect, will recede into the darkness.”

“We’re not interested in the views of painted, perfumed gigolos.”

On Liberal, Ken Aldred:

“… the brain-damaged Honorable Member for Bruce made his first parliamentary contribution since being elected, by calling a quorum to silence me for three minutes.”

On Former Labour politician, Jim McClelland (over the phone):

“That you Jim? Paul Keating here. Just because you swallowed a f-cking dictionary when you were about 15 doesn’t give you the right to pour a bucket of sh-t over the rest of us.”

On the Press

“Laurie Oakes [is] a cane toad.”

“You (Richard Carleton) 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”

On NSW Minister for Housing, Frank Walker:

“I’m always being attacked by delegate Walker. He’s been attacking me ever since I used to touch him up in the [ALP] Youth Council 20 years ago.”

On the Liberal Party:

“Those opposite could not operate a tart shop”

“Mr Speaker can I have some protection from the clowns on the front bench ?”

“The Opposition crowd could not raffle a chook in a pub”

“These intellectual hoboes”

Want more? Download the legendary Red Symons Keating ‘Dessicated coconut’ ringtone. A Crikey classic!

Peter Fray

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