Thursday, September 08, 2011

Recollections of a bleeding heart...

Tonight I went to hear Don Watson give the 2011 National Biography Award Lecture, about his biography of former Prime Minister Paul Keating "Recollections of a Bleeding Heart", which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. The book is based on diaries kept during Watson's time as Keating's speechwriter and advisor. I haven't read it yet, but after tonight, I'd definitely recommend it.

Some points that I jotted down during his talk.

  • Vsion doesn't win elections, the current Australia is one without a vision or narrative,
  • Polls tie you to the immediate and the present, not what the future can be,
  • With the defeat of Keating, Australian politics lost "language"
  • Governing is about leading and changing public opinion, not just listening to polls; we have lost the language of change and leadership
  • speech-writers - the work of the author & speaker, the author writes the words and convictions of the speaker (and the speaker brings life to these words)
  • speech writing is about the putting people into the story of the nation

Ater tonight, I am missing Keating, would love see more people with his vision in politics; and I'm missing Watson too, would love to have more people like him working and writing for our politicians.

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