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Keating wants voters to skewer Dutton's "dark political heart"


Former prime minister Paul Keating wants voters to drive a stake through the “dark political heart” of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

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The 1990s Labor leader said he had never seen a public figure as mean as Dutton.

“Those electors in Dickson [in Queensland] have a chance to drive the political stake through his dark political heart … and I hope they do,” he told ABC Radio today.

Keating attacked what he said was the Liberal Party’s lack of a policy program as he backed Bill Shorten for victory at the polls on Saturday.

“What’s amazing about the Liberal Party (is) they’ve actually made a virtue of having no strategy,” he said.

He also blamed Liberal leadership changes for voter disillusionment.

“This is what happens when governments fail to have a program, fail to have imagination, fail to have vista, a panorama of where the country is going,” he said.

“And particularly when you see these internecine battles like the ones between Turnbull and Abbott and then Morrison replacing Turnbull. People get switched off by the internecine battles, the ideological confusion, the lack of clarity of policy and of course they drift to the minor parties.”

Scott Morrison was just “the guy next door” who would jump the fence and do a barbecue and pull on a baseball cap, Keating said.

“We need more than the guy next door,” he said.

But he also dialled back comments referring to Australia’s security agencies as “nutters”.

“I was sort of speaking in code to the foreign policy and security establishment,” he said of his earlier remarks.

“Important as it is that security agencies and intelligence should not be the currency of Australia’s foreign policy settings.”

Foreign policy should not be based on “dormitory chit-chat” but rather should be based on the tectonic plates of power in the world.

Keating also took a swipe at Senate candidate Clive Palmer, labelling him a politician for the wealthy and criticising his role in blocking legislated superannuation increases which would have added $100,000 to the funds of average workers since 2001.

“They are dogs these people, really. They have Pal for breakfast, they are D.O.G.S.”, he said.

The Coalition’s plan to introduce a five per cent deposit scheme for first-home buyers was a nervous reaction, Keating said.

There was a risk the deposit scheme would see prices rise rather than help those trying to get into the market, he warned.


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