/ 11 November 2021

Keating takes a swipe

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

Former PM Paul Keating has long been a passionate advocate for Australia’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific. And when it comes to the Morrison Government’s recent endeavours with our neighbours, he gives them negative-10 desiccated coconuts out of 10. In his first appearance at the National Press Club in 26 years to discuss Australia’s strategic framework, he said that Oz is “at odds with its geography”. Of particular concern to him is the current friction with China because it is “simply too big and too central to be ostracised.” Efforts by the US to contain China’s ambitions “would make a cat laugh,” he said. And we ought to keep out of the argy-bargy over Taiwan because it’s “not a vital Australian interest”. As for our old ally Britain – it’s like “an old theme park sliding into the Atlantic compared to modern China.” And its leader Boris Johnson is an “old coconut head”. Which leaves one question: what is it with Keating and coconuts?

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