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Wednesday 21 Feb 2018 | 12:54 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 21 Feb 2018 | 12:54 | SYDNEY

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10 April 2008 12:23

We haven't yet marked John Button's passing here at The Interpreter, because as far as I know, he never played a prominent role in Australian foreign and trade policy (though he did reform Australia's car industry, so there's a trade element there). Still, I thought I'd share this anecdote from Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, which will tickle or enrage you, depending on your politics:

(Bob Hawke) declared that in discussions about the war in Kuwait, Keating had questioned the wisdom of joining in with the Americans, remarking, 'What have the Americans ever done for us?' And we had no peace until I had run to ground the happily retired John Button and begged and cajoled him, as one last contribution to the government, to confess the heresy had been his, not Keating's.

If this presents an unfair portrait of Button's foreign policy views, I welcome reader reactions to set me right.

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