Off the dial

The Australian - - INQUIRER -

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.

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