Should these former PMs “get back in their box”? Some voters think so! 256



View Profile

The recent royal commission into trade unions has attracted the attention of several past Prime Ministers. Former Labor heavyweights Bob Hawke and Paul Keating have offered their thoughts, and there’s even been commentary from deposed leader Tony Abbott. However, some Aussie voters would like to see these former PMs get ‘back in their box’.

Bob Hawke was responsible for deregistering the Builders Labourers Federation back in 1986. Now he’s calling for Bill Shorten to stamp out union corruption too. “Bill is coming out now and saying more should be done”, Mr Hawke has told The Australian recently.

“The unions need to clean up their act and get their house in order”, Mr Hawke also said. “It just is appalling. I mean, I wouldn’t tolerate it. You know what I did with the Builders Labourers Federation – I would throw them out”.

Paul Keating has taken aim at Labor too, for what he sees as undue union influences. Mr Keating told The Australian, “the preponderance of trade union weight in the Labor Party’s councils is now too large, given organised labour’s influence in the current and contemporary labour market”.

“The party should be broader, freer, and whatever influence organised labour has should be such as to genuinely represent its weight in the broader economy, but not to distort the (party’s) processes”.

Meanwhile, Starts At Sixty recently brought you Tony Abbott’s thoughts on the royal commission into trade unions. His desire for self-recognition caught the ire of certain readers.

“All I’m interested in ensuring is that the good work of the Abbott government is acknowledged, the fine work of commissioner Dyson Heydon is respected and we have an appropriate national response to the commission’s report”, Mr Abbott said at the time.

All this political commentary has got some Australian voters rolling their eyes though. On Tony Abbott, one Facebook user wrote, “the memory of the ‘Abbott government’ will be drowned by the memory of the ex-PM refusing to accept the decision of his party and gracefully step back, continually spouting his philosophies and opinions, in many cases in opposition to the current government”.

Regarding Bob Hawke, a second Facebook user wrote, “who gives a flying fig what Hawke thinks? He’s still draining the Australian purse even though he’s not in politics anymore”. Whilst a third person added, “all these former PMs seem to think they have all the answers… Back in your box, Bob!”

There were people who defended these former PMs though. As one woman wrote online, “Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard are frequently heard speaking their minds, rightly or wrongly. I don’t agree that (those) opinions are any less valid… as is mine less valid than anyone else’s”. 

Where are your thoughts – do former Prime Ministers have a right to share their opinions? Or should they maintain a political backseat?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. For Gods sake two of them are still sucking on the public purse, if I were them I would shut my mouth just in case we the voters decide to stop the money and they may have to become silly old buggers living on a pension.

    14 REPLY
    • It would be nice if we the voters could stop the money, however we don’t have that power, these greedy mongrels control that so it will never happen.

    • They are all getting money from the public purse just one didnt make the grade and doesnt get as much as the others

    • All 3 of them are paid by taxpayers, the only difference is 2 are retired and one has just been deposed and is a backbencher

    • You Liberal voters are a joke , bet most of you voted for Abbott, here are 2 former ALP PM’s calling for the ALP to end union corruption and you are all knocking them !! you are not the sharpest tools in the shed !!

    • It’s never going to happen, they all look after each other no matter which side of politics. The tax payer doesn’t get a say in the matter.

    • Patricia which two are you refering to remember we have 6 former prime ministers trotting around and one of them is still in parliament. The press asks each and everyone of them for their pearls of wisdom.

    • Abbott is still getting taxpayer funds and has not done any political work for his electorate or the government since being kicked down the ladder. He doesn’t bother to attend parliament sitting days and is traversing around the world on our money giving lectures and running Australia down at every opportunity.

    • Oh and Patricia in case you dont remember all of them we have Hawke Keating Howard Rudd twice Gillard and of course last but not least Abbott.

    • Let them have their say after all it is a free country we don’t have to listen and who would when they bleed us dry and really do not live up to the standard of what I want running my country!!

    • Why listen to any of them about time they all shut up. Especially Keeting, he was the nastiest and rudest of all. We need to cut of any money to him as well.

  2. Hawke and Keating are both Elder Statesmen – their opinions are valuable and well worth hearing. As for the grub Howard and the execrable Sir Pository, the less heard, the better.

    6 REPLY
    • Not really – I’d have included Big Mal with Hawke and Keating, but he is sadly no longer with us..

    • Did lot damage to the working man, go chines (see the effect today , the secession we had to have. floating of the dollar? gee wiz. not much for the working man .oh gues we could add the button plan destruction of the Australian motor industry

    • Chortle loved your acidic comment Max, please keep posting. Sir Pository is a hoot. Must say I am grateful we didn’t have Abbot and Costello guiding us. Even the yanks would remember that.

    • Bud and lou now there was a comical duo. Always had me miffed that labor didn’t milk that to the max seeing Peter and Anthony were such great mates.

    • Abbott was put on the back bench for a reason, his big mouth and his constant bungles were doing damage to his party, but fortunately it has not shut him up because he is the ALP’s best assett

  3. All of them bitter, huge egos Hawke and Keating. Abbott the only one with humility at the moment but I’m sure there will be a book one day.

    3 REPLY
  4. Yes they definitely need to stay in their boxes, but then the press need to stop asking them for their opinions on anything as they are not required.

Leave a Reply

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