February 15, 2008
Over at Margo Kingston's WebDiary, Ian MacDougall provides a comprehensive refutation of Keating's panegyric for late Indonesian dictator Soeharto. (You can tell it's Margo Kingston's site by the bizarre swerve the comments thread takes into discussing cruelty to animals.) Mr MacDougall introduces his rebuttal with an historical tidbit I was unaware of, quoting Andrew Fraser and Tony Koch:
As national president of the Australian Labor Party[, Tom Burns] ... played a key role, with Gough Whitlam, in reforming and modernising the party in the early 70s, to the extent that it took office federally in 1972.I guess Keating owing this first step in fulfilling his ambitions to the votes of dead people might partly explain his abiding affection for a mass killer.
Part of this effort was the skilful crafting of a report into alleged branch-stacking when Paul Keating was seeking pre-selection for the Sydney seat of Blaxland in 1968. Burns claimed that some of the so-called voters rested beneath tombstones in Bankstown Cemetery and that "it should never happen again", but allowed Keating to keep his pre-selection and launch his political career.