Hawke's prophetic warning on 'worldwide decline' of democracies

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 17/05/2019 14:00:00 A Current Affair Staff

A Current Affair

Commentators worldwide have been warning against the rise of autocracy and the weakness of democratic governments for some time - but Bob Hawke called it before all of them.

To commemorate the long-serving former prime minister on the day following his passing, A Current Affair aired an interview between Mr Hawke and host Tracy Grimshaw in 2014.

That interview took place after the death of Mr Hawke's Labor predecessor Gough Whitlam.

Bob Hawke wearing a suit and tie: Five years past, Bob Hawke warned that democratic leadership was in decline. © A Current AffairFive years past, Bob Hawke warned that democratic leadership was in decline.

Amid reflections on Mr Whitlam's legacy, Mr Hawke commented on the dearth of leadership in democracies, which no doubt rings even truer for many today.

"I think we're at a unique point in human history," he said.

"This is the first time since the end of the Second World War, where there isn't at least one outstanding political leader in the democracies. I mean, you name one.

"There's a definite worldwide decline in the quality of people in politics."

Gough Whitlam sitting on a bench: Hawke praised Gough Whitlam after the latter's death. © A Current AffairHawke praised Gough Whitlam after the latter's death.

He also said Mr Whitlam provided vital lessons for his own political career, including legitimising Mr Hawke's interest in Asia and China.

"I also learned from him the importance of getting the party in shape," he said.

"If you were going to optimise your chances of success in a Labor government, you had to utilise the factions, make them a positive influence."

17. toukokuuta 2019 17:00:00 Categories: 9News.com.au The Independent

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