Paul Keating: Recalcitrant commentators slow to acknowledge vision.Keep reading .......
The Australian has misrepresented him and that he does not harbour any bitterness towards John Howard
March 09, 2006
"Everywhere former prime minister Paul Keating looks, he sees something to upset him: Sydney is ugly, John Howard is a philistine and it's just far too easy for uncouth business folk ('brigands who build things') to throw up a building and, heaven forfend, make a quid." - The Australian on former prime minister Keating's speech on urban renewal at the University of Sydney last Friday.
THE Australian's editorial on Monday ("The Bruckner did it", March 6) reminded me of the value of accompanying a speech with a press release. A press release is a useful device - it serves to distil a substantive speech down to two or three key points (never more than three) so its message can be made plain to even the dullest reporter.
It can describe what the speech is saying, and why, and, often more importantly, what it is not saying. That way, the reading public of what is laughably called our "serious press" stands an even chance of getting the gist of what the speaker actually said and, in fact, meant. Alas, last week I forgot the press release and for that I must suffer news reports and an editorial that are no more than a bitchy misrepresentation of everything I said at the Mayors' Design Forum in Sydney.
Underpinning the editorial are two mistaken but enduring notions. One, that anything I say about urban planning is too highbrow. Two, that any criticism I make of John Howard stems from my bitterness about his electoral success.
And I agree, Sydney is ugly.