Before Blair/Brown, there was Hawke/Keating.

Picture the scene: a charismatic immensely popular Labour party┬áleader leads his reformist, centrist party into power, having first agreed with his talented finance spokesperson that he’d step down after two terms in favour of him to succeed him. After two terms, he finds that he quite likes being prime minister. It all kicks off. Welcome to Australia, 1983.

Continuing on my latest dipping into the fascinating world of Aussie and Kiwi politics, the documentary below, “Labor in power”, tells the story of the battles of the Bob Hawke governments of 83,87,90 and the eventual strife over his successor. The documentary is very well done, primarily because both Hawke and Keating (prime minister when it was made) participated in the making, and give very open and at times pretty frank observations about the events of the era and more importantly, each other. As I watched it I couldn’t help thinking how spectacular a Blair/Brown doc would be if both participated to this degree.

Both men are on the camera so long that you get a real feel for them. Hawke’s charisma (he was leader of the Australian unions before he became an MP and was pretty much a political rock star from day one) comes through, as does Keating’s determination and frustration to do big things.

Additionally, Bob Hawke must have the most luxuriant hair of any politician this side of Mitt Romney! Definitely worth watching.