KEAT­ING HAS CHOICE WORDS FOR OLD FOES

The Courier-Mail - - STATE POLITICS - SARAH VOGLER

PAUL Keat­ing has re­turned to the elec­tion cam­paign scene for the loom­ing Queens­land poll, ral­ly­ing the La­bor faith­ful at a fundraiser in Ip­swich last night.

The last time the for­mer prime min­is­ter was here to help, was to as­sist em­bat­tled for­mer pre­mier Anna Bligh ahead of her drub­bing at the 2012 poll.

This time, La­bor hopes its el­der states­man’s ap­pear­ance will prove a good omen as it bat­tles to win the 47 seats it needs to re­tain gov­ern­ment.

Mr Keat­ing re­frained from com­ment­ing on the state of play in Queens­land, sav­ing his in­sults for La­bor ad­ver­saries of old as he de­liv­ered the Hay­den Oration – named in honour of for­mer La­bor leader and gov­er­nor-gen­eral Bill Hay­den.

The speech, at the Ip­swich cam­pus of the South­ern Queens­land Univer­sity last night, raised money for Ip­swich MP and As­sis­tant Min­is­ter Jen­nifer Howard’s cam­paign.

Mr Keat­ing de­scribed for­mer Lib­eral prime min­is­ter Sir Robert Men­zies as a “vac­u­ous dandy” and Bill McMa­hon as “in­ept”.

His test for iden­ti­fy­ing true po­lit­i­cal ef­fec­tive­ness? “The abil­ity to belt Lib­er­als and re­ally hurt them.”

Treated to a stand­ing ova­tion be­fore even ut­ter­ing a word, Mr Keat­ing used his speech to pay trib­ute to Mr Hay­den, who was in the au­di­ence to hear the high praise.

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