Ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating says Australia ‘has lost its way’ and claims Scott Morrison has given up sovereignty to the US with his controversial submarine deal in a withering takedown
- Paul Keating lashed Scott Morrison over lack of policies and strategic vision
- His main complaint was lost Australian sovereignty, US influence in our navy
- Keating, 77, claimed Australia is ‘lost’ and that its leaders treat politics as a game
- It is the 30th anniversary of Mr Keating becoming PM, he was PM for five years
Paul Keating has blasted Scott Morrison as a ‘pass through’ Prime Minister and claimed Australia has ‘lost its way’ and surrendered its authority to the United States.
On the 30th anniversary of becoming Prime Minister in 1991, the still outspoken 77-year-old said Australia’s leaders lacked vision and treated politics as ‘a game within a bubble’.
Keating has been a vocal critic of the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and he lashed out at Morrison over the ‘secret’ alliance with the UK and US, which has infuriated China.
Paul Keating (pictured centre) has blasted Scott Morrison as a ‘pass through’ Prime Minister and claimed Australia has ‘lost its way’ and surrendered its authority to the United States. Keating also let rip at Bill Shorten (pictured right)
Keating has been a vocal critic of the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and he lashed out at Morrison over the ‘secret’ alliance with the UK and US, which has infuriated China
Chinese state media warned Australia will become a ‘potential target for a nuclear strike’ after it acquires nuclear-powered submarines. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is pictured
‘Scott Morrison, a pass-through prime minister of no policy account, wilfully and secretly alienated the sovereignty of his own country to that of another state, the US, a country his limited strategic vision cannot see beyond,’ Mr Keating told The Australian.
Keating claimed the submarines acquired through the AUKUS deal delivers American control of the Australian navy.
In effect the submarines will effectively be a ‘unit of any US naval force’, he said.
Paul Keating slammed Scott Morrison as a ‘pass through Prime Minister’ with poor strategic vision
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating was denied a gala dinner celebration on the 30th anniversary of his rise to the office of Prime Minister
Keating said strengthening our alliance with the US in this way was a mistake because it has shown ‘little regard or respect’ for Australia’s sovereignty.
Australia entered into the surprise regional security pact with the US and the UK in September.
The AUKUS alliance includes building nuclear submarines in partnership with the United States but these will not be ready until the late 2030s.
Until they are ready, Australia is likely to lease nuclear submarines from the US.
Previously, Keating mocked the capability the nuclear subs would provide Australia.
‘Eight submarines against China when we get the submarines in 20 years’ time, it’ll be like throwing a handful of toothpicks at a mountain,’ he told the National Press Club in November.
Keating’s underlying complaint about the alliance is that he believes the US has the wrong approach in the Pacific, and that ‘running to’ the US makes Australia ‘a frightened country’.
He claimed the US wanted China, which has grown considerably in regional power, to remain a ‘strategic client’, which he called a ‘nonsense’ aim.
Instead the US should be a ‘conciliating and balancing’ player in our region, not a ‘framer and guarantor’.
Mr Keating was famous as PM and as treasurer in a double act with Bob Hawke
Chinese state media warned Australia will become a ‘potential target for a nuclear strike’ after it acquires nuclear-powered submarines.
Keating said Australia has ‘lost its way’ despite having the advantage of being an island continent.
‘We are at odds with our geography. We are the only nation in the world given an island continent and we have had choices about what we do with this great gift.’
The said the Labor party was ‘complicit’ in the deal with the US.
Keating also took aim at ex-Labor leader Bill Shorten, who lead his former party to two election defeats but appeared to endorse the current ALP leader.
He did not approve of Mr Shorten’s approach, of trying to ‘redistribute wealth’ from richer to poorer people.
Keating believes Anthony Albanese is returning to the policies that made he and Bob Hawke a formidable force – of making Australia aspirational.
It was also revealed the Labor party had decided against marking the 30th anniversary of Keating’s rise to the top job – on December 20, 1991 – with a gala dinner.
The party did hold celebratory 30th funcions to honour Bob Hawke and Gough Whitlam.