Tony Abbott’s curious tribute to Bob Hawke

18 May, 2019, 04:23 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The NT News 
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While Mr Hawke won the 1983 election convincingly, the following year, he suffered the devastating blow of learning that one of his daughters was a heroin addict, giving a tearful press conference in which he said prime ministers were still husbands and fathers.

At the last election, 95% of Australians voted - a much higher proportion than the most recent U.S. (55%) and United Kingdom (69%) polls.

Shorten said yesterday that Hawke had given him his "blessing" when they last met at Hawke's home last week.

"We have lost a favorite son".

"Bob Hawke is a giant of Australian politics".

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued this message after news broke about Hawke's death last night.

While campaigning continues ahead of polls opening on Saturday, Morrison's last-minute pitch to voters has largely been overshadowed by the death of former prime minister Bob Hawke.

Robert James Lee Hawke was born in the agricultural community of Bordertown, South Australia, to a Congregationalist minister father. He started his political apprenticeship at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), having completed his legal education at the University of Western Australia.

Because of questions about his reported womanising and drinking - which earned him a world record for drinking a yard-glass of beer, about three pints, in the fastest time - he gave up the booze.

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Except, that is, for his tradition in his final years of chugging a beer on camera at sporting events to raucous cheers.

"There is absolutely no question that people are hugely frustrated by the revolving door of prime ministers", Wood, of the Grattan Institute, said. Australia is a better place because of him.

In 1976, while he was the head of the Labor Party, Hawke was targeted by Palestinian terrorists, along with several other supporters of Israel, in an unsuccessful assassination attempt.

"Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era", his wife and former biographer Blanche dAlpuget said in a statement.

Scott Morrison, the incumbent prime minister, extended his condolences to Hawke's family and paid tribute Thursday on social media. He still holds the highest approval rating of any Australian prime minister. In 1983 Mr Hawke led the party into office with a landslide election victory.

On the back of his success, Hawke called an early election and was again swept to power in 1984.

Voters quickly embraced Hawke and Labor won an unlikely landslide victory against the conservative government led by Malcolm Fraser, who had been in power for almost a decade, for Hawke to become Australia's 23rd prime minister. He was narrowly elected to a fourth term in 1990.

But as Australia plunged into recession, Hawke's enormous popularity began to wane and his rule as prime minister finally ended on December 20, 1991, when he was ousted by his own party. Hawke resigned from the Parliament in 1992 and retired from politics.

The Hawke government also supported the national Landcare movement, the concept of grassroots communities supporting sustainable development policies and repairing the natural environments in which they are based. In 1983, he oversaw the floating of Australia's currency and later set in motion the sale of several state-run industries - including airlines, banks and telecommunications companies - and curbed government subsidies to underperforming sectors.

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