Off the dial
From channelled Chandler to pure Paul Keating, here’s the former prime minister at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia annual dinner last night: “Often these days, people talk about reform as though you could dial it up if you only could remember the number or the prefix. Of course, before the 1980s, Australia never had reform. It couldn’t even conceive of what a reform program would have looked like, much less articulated it. Australia was a locked up and locked down little insulated economy long presided over by that vacuous dandy, the great god Ming. In the long Menzies torpor and with his modest successors, we gently slipped into an industrial backwater. Ever so quietly, mind you. No fuss. The kind of slipping we are seeing now. Quietly also, gently doing nothing other than genteel subsidence.” In case you had any doubts as to where PJK stood on Ming.