Paul Keating on Jack Lang on World War 1

Marilyn Lake’s essay ‘Fractured nation‘ brings to mind a remark made by the former Premier of New South Wales, JT Lang, to a young Paul Keating, later Prime Minister.

Lang was around during the buoyant days of Australian nationalism, the 1890s and the first 15 years of this [2oth] century. He was always dark on the First World War and all the personalities involved, and of course he knew it snuffed Australian nationalism out. He never attended an Anzac Day march in his life because he felt that the conservatives had taken the gesture of young Australians and made a conservative thing from it.

(Paul Keating quoted in Michael Gordon, A Question of Leadership: Paul Keating, Political Fighter, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 1993, p. 37)

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