Former PM, the Honourable Paul Keating, whose partnership with Hawke when he was Treasurer transformed Australia, admitted the pair had ‘private skirmishes’ over the years, saying ‘egos inevitably clash’.
But, ‘in the end, it was trust that held Bob and me together’.
“We both loved the game of political dodgems off with the spirit, banging our way around the course, often trying to sell the near impossible. “Of course, we were sometimes wary of particular dodgems but always exhilarated by the wild ride that generally followed.
“Much of the very late focus on my relationship with Bob was on the termination of cooperation between us and his displacement by me as leader.
“Any cursory observation of those events generally fails to comprehend the very high level of friendship and cooperation between us for those eight-and-a-half years, a long time in so hot a policy hot house and in policy terms, it lasted right to the end.
“Between us, Bob and I won five elections successively, not far short of four American presidential terms in a row.
“None of us could be on the stage for long, invariably most of us get carried out. “What matters is the value of the legacy, its quality and its endurance. On both counts, Bob Hawke well earned five-star rank and 24 carat stars at that.”