Where exactly does Kevin Rudd fit into the traditions set by Australia's national leaders? In this lively session from the Perth Writers Festival, political journos and biographers Robert Macklin and Paul Kelly discuss the last generation of Lodge-livers, from blokey Bob Hawke and smooth-as-Zegna Paul Keating, to wannabe common men John Howard and Kevin Rudd.
How important is personality and background in forming the styles and policies of recent Australian Prime Ministers? And is little Kevin really the schoolyard victim, trying to fend off attack from the playground bully, Tony Abbott?
Paul Kelly is an Australian political journalist, and historian. He has worked in a variety of roles, and is currently "editor-at-large" for The Australian, an Australian national newspaper.
He has written several books on the political events of the 1970s and 1980s including the Australian constitutional crisis of 1975. His latest book, The March of Patriots, chronicles the creation of a modern Australia during the 1991-2007 era of Paul Keating and John Howard.
Robert Victor Macklin is an Australian author and journalist.
Macklin was born in 1941 and began his writing career for the Brisbane Courier Mail, later moving to The Age in Melbourne and then The Canberra Times in Canberra. In 1967 he became press secretary to Deputy Prime Minister John McEwen shortly before the death of Harold Holt when McEwen briefly became Prime Minister. In 1974 while working in the Philippines at the Asian Development Bank he began writing both fiction and non-fiction books, beginning with the novel The Queenslander. Awarded a Commonwealth Writer's Fellowship he returned to Australia in 1975 and wrote The Paper Castle (1978) and Juryman (1980), adapted by MGM to the film "Storyville" (1994) starring James Spader and Jason Robards.