Julia Gillard makes surprising call saying this PM was our best ever 24



View Profile

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has surprised some and left many scratching their heads after declaring one of Australia’s little-known PMs was our best.

Ms Gillard said John Curtin was our best ever PM due his “sense of self” and “outlook on the world”.

Mr Curtin was a Labor politician and came into power in 1941 during the midst of World War 2.

He is, however, relatively unknown to many. While many people like the throw names around has to who was our best ever PM, Mr Curtin’s name isn’t usually in the ring.

Many claim John Howard was our best PM thanks to his strong leadership on the economy, while others say Gough Whitlam was the real MVP.

“What a nation does when faced with an existential threat is defining, and Curtin’s leadership was at the centre of Australia’s response,” said Ms Gillard wrote in an opinion piece in The Australian.

“I would hope a new generation would also come to understand Curtin as a man. His is a tale of achievement despite personal problems including alcoholism, depression and physical ill-health.

“Consequently, studying Curtin should inspire by reinforcing what can be achieved by imperfect human beings who need to face up to what seem to be insurmountable challenges.”

She also praised Mr Curtin for establishing diplomatic ties with China.

“For me, it meant strengthening our ­alliance by enabling US marines to train here whilst at the same time establishing and implementing new high-level diplomatic architecture with China. Curtin’s guidance continues to inform and bind us, as well as his preparedness to understand and respond to the ­realities of the world.”

Who do you think was Australia’s best prime minister? Do you agree with Julia?

Meagan Lawrence

  1. Curtin was indeed a brave, patriotic,resourceful, leader who broke our shackles with the UK.With Japanese troops on our doorstep,And our troops serving in the Middle east.The Churchill gov,sacrificed The Aus 8th division in a hopeless attempt to stave off the collapse of British forces in Singapore. Curtin Demanded the return of our troops to defend Aus from the threat of imminent invasion. Curtin was opposed by Australian conservative politicians. Notably Bob Menzies.as well as UK Gov’s initial refusal to return our troops.Curtin won the day & our Middle east troops assisted the besieged Australian Militia troops.to eventually defeat the Japanese in new Guinea. Definitely my Pick as our greatest PM

    1 REPLY
    • Sorry, but I think you are a little wrong about Curtin getting the troops home….If you take time to look, the Australian Troops, fighting in the middle east, told everyone straight that if they were not allowed to return and defend their Country (Australia), they would throw down their rifles and surrender to the enemy….THATS how it really happened. It had very little to do with Curtin.

  2. It’s probably little known, but after DDay when Aussie troops were on the way back to Australia, Curtin stood up to Churchill, who wanted our troops to be diverted to liberate Burma from the Japanese instead of defending our own country. Churchill was prepared to cede Australia and save oil rich Burma.

  3. Living in the past …. We are now 70+ years further on …… Howard would have to be number 1 …. 10 years in the job …. strengthened our economy, United the country.
    Curtin was short term albeit showed some strength.
    Chifley a ditherer
    Menzies long term, strong, and a very good performer.
    Hawke full of talk, Keating a bulltisher, Whitlam a joke, Rudd just a plain egotist idiot, Gillard no vision, no idea, no support.
    Abbott great ideas and policy, but not a salesman.

    5 REPLY
    • Menzies admittedly governed Australia in extraordinary times, after the war. But if you study Australian political history, it he who was responsible for the total unpreparedness of this country to defend itself against the Japanese in WW11. Curtin was responsible for saving Australia and forging our strong relationship with the United States.

    • do you really believe he noted Australia? You don’t get around much do you. Strengthened the economy? Sold off assets to make it look good .

    • So you vote Liberal, Bob. Hawke/Keating was best and set up Howard/Costello era, which they squandered.

  4. Yes he did some good things. Standing up to Churchill was a gutsy and necessary move but he was a socialist, perhaps even a communist, and he was totally at the behest of the unions, who were communist and anti-war effort. Strange how those affiliations and their outcomes are conveniently forgotten and/or omitted. He would not control the unions and let them run riot. He allowed them to strike continually at a time manufactured material was badly needed (a lot of women worked in those and they stood up to those unions quite a lot). They also sabotaged and robbed supply ships, meaning union members stole rations and materials meant for our soldiers and sabotaged the equipment to the point where it became useless and actually cost many Australian lives overseas. It got so bad that at times soldiers forced them off the docks at gunpoint with bayonets fixed, which is highly illegal but there was no other way. The best PM? No way! A good PM? Perhaps, maybe…. but I can see that only now, in an era where left wing governments rule and neo-marxism has made a resurgence, could a failed communist, and possibly our worst ever, ex-PM come out and say he was ‘our best ever PM’. Well, for me she has no credibility whatsoever.

    2 REPLY
    • Interestingly, you mention the use of troops on the wharves, in the same comment of no government control of unions. You are aware of who commands the Army? He was the only prime Minister who used troops to break a strike! If my information is correct, he also was in danger of losing the election until the votes from the troops overseas were counted, resulting in a massive surge of support —- something that had never been even imagined till then in Austalian electoral history. Not so much anti troops as you would suggest! How many of the other “great” leaders actually led during a REAL threat to our nation, not a situation concocted by our allies?

    • Trying to rewrite history, Mr De Visser? Get your facts straight before you show your ignorance.

  5. Being prime minister during the war killed Curtin. He was also a brilliant journalist. I am eternally grateful to Gough Whitlam for the reforms he instituted. Without free tertiary education there is no way I, or thousands of other mature age women, would have ever had the opportunity to complete a degree. Add Medicare and support for single parents to the list and he changed society for the better for ever.

    2 REPLY
    • Whitlam stopped Conscription, so he could obtain the votes of 18 year olds’.
      Our crime rate has increased exponentially since, as there’re too many bored blokes’ on the streets. Idle hands make for no good.

      BTW, when writing the word ‘Degree’, it starts with a capital letter!

      The word, in context you’ve written, is ‘forever’, not two words!
      Your University education, which you got free, because of my, & other Aussies’ Taxes’, didn’t teach you to SPELL!

      1 REPLY
      • Sorry Sharon but if you are going to start quoting reasons from the past at least get them right.
        Whitlam stopped conscription after he was elected. So saying that he did it to get the vote of 18 year olds is wrong. He abolished conscription because he and many others considered it wrong to conscript 18 year olds to fight what was basically an illegal and non declared war in Vietnam. The previous government had re introduced it because they could not get enough volunteers to meet the level of commitment they had promised.
        There are quite a few other things that have been kept quiet about that time including the fact that Australia had troops in Vietnam 12 months before the general public knew anything about it.
        Whilst I agree with National Service and I think you are right to say that bringing it back would help reduce the crime rate I would only support it if one of the conditions was that National Servicemen could only be sent overseas to fight if a state of war had been declared.

    • I absolutely agree. Gough was a statesman. So articulate, able to inspire, a true leader. And an educated and cultured man. He is the author of the Australia we have today. Come back Gough! We need you!

  6. I do agree with Julia Gillard that John Curtin was one of the best Prime Ministers. He got us through World War 2. A very clever man. Far better in war then Menzies and don’t even compare him with Howard.
    Why bring out the communist suggestion ? Our family knew him personally and never ever mentioned that. Various Prime Ministers were good in different ways.. Sad he died in office or we may have had other benefits provide by him.

  7. I do agree with Julia Gillard that John Curtin was one of the best Prime Ministers. He got us through World War 2. A very clever man. Far better in war then Menzies and don’t even compare him with Howard.
    Why bring out the communist suggestion ? Our family knew him personally and never ever mentioned that. Various Prime Ministers were good in different ways.. Sad he died in office or we may have had other benefits provide by him.

  8. This, coming from Australia’s WORST PM!
    What a joke!

    Never did, never will, believe ANYTHING she says!
    As for adding to her ‘coffers’ by buying the book, tell her she’s dreamin’……….

    1 REPLY
  9. “… relatively unknown to many”? What an extraordinary line. Anyone with the slightest awareness of twentieth century Australia must know of our war-time prime minister and the many difficult situations he faced.

  10. John Curtin – little known – hardly. He certainly was a great PM, but perhaps Chifley was even better.
    Although perhaps those Starts at 60 will think he is little known too.

  11. Here’s the official list of Best and Worst PMs of this country, ie:
    BEST – John Howard (by a country mile – his record as an economic manager is second to none).
    – Bob Menzies (formed the wonderful country we now enjoy – despite current Labor/Greens efforts to deny).
    – Bob Hawke (introduced many worthwhile policies for the country’s betterment).
    – John Curtin (guided us through the difficult time of WW2)
    WORST – Gough Whitlam (ran THE worst Government in our history – both corrupt and totally mismanaged).
    – Julia Gillard (Way out of her depth as PM – just mistake after mistake after mistake).
    – Kevin Rudd (a COMPLETE lunatic and total embarrassment for this country).
    Agree or disagree as you wish – BUT this is the official list !!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *