Sunday, June 27, 2010

The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.

Early morning boat race. Sullivans Cove, June 2010.

Today's Sunday Top Five? How about my Top Five Australian Prime Ministers! Try and guess the theme...
John Curtin [ALP, 7 October 1941 – 5 July 1945]

Bob Hawke [ALP, 11 March 1983 – 20 December 1991]

Ben Chifley [ALP, 13 July 1945 – 19 December 1949]

Andrew Fisher [ALP, 13 November 1908 – 2 June 1909; 29 April 1910 – 24 June 1913; 17 September 1914 – 27 October 1915]

Chris Watson [ALP, 27 April – 18 August 1904]

Who's winning? The one on the left? Right? Middle? June 2010.

I'm pretty sure that boat in the middle is being steered by Andrew Peacock!

Unleash the spinnaker! (Is that legal?) June 2010.

Look! It's Bill Hayden!


Roddy said...

They are all Labour Prime Ministers. Do you give an answer if I am wrong?

Kris said...

Roddy, yes they are. Pat yourself on the back. I considered Alfred Deakin because of some of his reforms in the workplace, but just couldn't stick him in there.

Julie said...

What did Watson do in his 119 days? Did you consider Keating a better
Treasurer than PM?

Were you only considering their +ve contributions rather than their cock-ups? Otherwise why no EGW, purely for Medicare ...

Kris said...

Julie, Watson gets the nod for being the first Labor PM anywhere. According to Percival Serle, Watson "left a much greater impression on his time than this would suggest. He came at the right moment for his party, and nothing could have done it more good than the sincerity, courtesy and moderation which he always showed as a leader". It must also be remembered that he was only actually 37 (still the youngest ever PM).

I do think that Keating was a better Treasurer than PM, that said, much of what happened on his watch was well beyond his control. Moreover, most of the Howard boom was actually down to Keating's reforms. He did lack the kind of discipline to build support though, which harms his legacy.

I'm not a Whitlam fan. He showed poor judgement and progressed too much too quickly at the wrong time ('73 oil crisis etc). Hawke's Medicare was a significant improvement of Gough's Medibank, which was not embedded enough to resist Fraser's meddling. Plus, Gough just comes across as an egocentric tosser, without the humour that saves Keating.