Former prime minister Paul Keating says ‘It’s time to cut the tag’

Former Australian prime minister Paul Keating says it’s time for Australia to cut ties with the United States after the

Former Australian prime minister Paul Keating says it’s time for Australia to cut ties with the United States after the controversial election of Donald Trump as the next president.

Keating was appearing on the ABC’s 7.30 program and told host Leigh Sales Australia was a “better society” than the US and no longer needed to rely on its relationship with the US.

“We’ve had more or less a tag-along foreign policy, tagging along to the United States. It’s time to cut the tag. Time to get out of it,” Keating says.

The former PM, who served between 1991 and 1996, says Australia’s focus should now be on building stronger relationships with Asia.

“We’d actually be more useful to the United States… if we were doing these things,” Keatings says.

While Keating says he would not have voted for Trump and he didn’t agree with America’s decision, he did highlight some of the “interesting things” Trump said throughout his campaign.

“Trump says, ‘Can’t we have a better relationship with Russia?’ Not a bad idea.

“He says, ‘Can’t we get along better with China?’ Not a bad idea. There [are] two reasonable ideas there.”

Yet while Keating is all for moving away from the strong ties Australia has with the US, former prime minister John Howard disagreed.

Also speaking with 7.30, Howard said Australia’s alliance with the US would remain strong under Trump’s presidency.

“I, in the long run, am pretty confident that the historical warmth of the relationship will continue. I don’t believe the new administration is going to walk away from old allies,” Howard says.

Howard pointed to the benefits Australia could reap from American investment in defence.

Do you agree with Paul Keating — is it time for Australia to build strong relationships with other nations in order to progress? Or is John Howard’s approach of maintaining the relationship with the US a good idea? Share your thoughts with us.

  1. P Worrall  

    Our part of the world is Asia.Obviously many of us bury our head in the sand and refuse to accept that!. America has led us along a path that has alienated our neighbors.We need to grow up and leave the nest before it’s to late

  2. Guy Flavell  

    Sorry Paul, but you’re dead wrong with this one. Our defense budget would need to increase
    tenfold if we cut our ties with the USA. Who do you think is our main ‘protector’ in this region of the World. It’s inconceivable for us to contemplate aggression from China, Nth Korea or
    perhaps even Indonesia without the defense backing of the USA.
    Your off the cuff comments like this are extremely dangerous and should be totally ignored and denounced by ALL Australians.

    • facebook_elda.quinton  

      The only reason America pays any attention to our part of the world is because of what happened during WWII when Japan invaded Hawaii. They would be completely ignoring us if that hadn’t happened.

  3. Marnie  

    Couldn’t agree more, Guy!
    Sick of this idiot being asked for his ‘views’.
    He’s more of a ‘has been’ than krudd, IMO.
    He’s dangerous, as you say, & should be never heard or seen again.

    • Kezzaroo  

      Marnie, in reply to your critique of Paul Keating, I must have the right to reply:
      If it wasn’t for ‘this idiot’, there would be no employer (or personal) contribution superannuation in anyone’s funds.
      If it wasn’t ‘for this idiot’, there would be no privatising of the banking system, bringing about competition within that system.
      If it wasn’t ‘for this idiot’, there would be no floating of the AU$, again in Australia’s favour.
      If it wasn’t ‘for this idiot’, we wouldn’t be trading in Asia, instead of the ‘dear old Motherland’ etc.
      If it wasn’t ‘for this idiot’, Medicare would not be kept alive & flourishing (unlike JWH who tried his best – & every damn coalition party afterwards – to dismantle Medicare – another ‘socialist’ forward-thinking idea from Gough Whitlam, and I am sure you have probably taken advantage of)!
      This was one of the most visionary Treasurer & Prime Ministers we have ever had. Your throw-away lines are disgraceful!

  4. Louise  

    WHY does the media keep trotting out, asking for this, yet another failed labor PM, for his view, on any given subject?

    He’s well & truly passed his ‘use by’ date! Period!

    Leave him in the backwoods, where he belongs, never to be foisted upon this Country’s populace, in any way. Again.

    One has only got to look at the outfit he wore to lunch, when krudd left the Lodge, to know all that needs to be known about him!

    • Kezzaroo  

      Louise, read my reply to “Marnie’ – the same goes to you…

  5. Mary Prince  

    No we should not sever ties…its not all about Donald Trump!

  6. Greg Hills  

    If you listen or read what he actually said, he didn’t really say sever ties completely.
    All he stated was something we should have been embarking on years ago.
    That is, that we need our own identity on Foreign Policy (no, that does not mean sever any alliances), and mist definitely, we should be more active and involved in South East Asia.
    The region is our back yard, and the potential markets there for us are enormous.

  7. Maureem  

    Don’t think Paul has this right, I had a good laugh as I always did. Love his quick wit.

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