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Transcript of Dr John Hewson MP doorstop Canberra



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Leader of the Opposition

25 August 1991 REF: TRANSCR\bmca

TRANSCRIPT OF DR JOHN HEWSON, MP DOORSTOP, CANBERRA SUNDAY, 25 AUGUST 1991

E & 0 E - PROOF COPY ONLY

SUBJECTS: Kerin on unemployment; independence of Baltic States; Democrats' disunity

Jrnlst:

Mr Kerin's comments this morning that unemployment could stay at the order of 8, 9 or 10 percent for another two years - a

pragmatic appraisal or an admission of failure?

Hewson:

Oh, admission of failure. Absolutely staggered that he can say that so soon after the Budget. And if he believes that, why

didn't he bring down a different Budget? It just doesn't make any sense to wait a week and say, look, I think unemployment's going to stick around 10 percent - and that won't please anybody.

Jrnlst:

Dr Hewson, the developments in the Soviet Union over the weekend - very welcome?

Hewson:

Oh yes, very rapid pace of change. Obviously very difficult to read, but I think it's time that the Australian Government recognised the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Jrnlst:

What about the Ukraine? They've already ...

Hewson:

Well, we're not sure how far it will go. But there will be

other pushes, obviously, for independent states and I think the opportunity is now arriving to look at those objectively and, in particular, with the three Baltic States, it's certainly time to

recognise their independence.

COVliV.OMXVEALTi I PARLIAMENTARY L iERARY MICAM

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600 Phone 77 4022

2

Jrnlst:

Just one other issue - the issue of the Democrats across the weekend. It's looking very bad for the Democrats, isn't it? They seem to be disintegrating.

Hewson:

The Democrats are being seen for what they've always been, really, just a disorganised rabble. How anyone could have voted for them in the past is beyond me. They ran on the claim, as

you know, of keeping "the bastards honest" and they don't really stand for anything. And the most recent example of that is

their inability to support free speech and oppose the Ad Ban outright. So it doesn't surprise me that there's internal dissension in the ranks of the Democrats. They've certainly lost their way, and as I say, they've been little more than a disorganised rabble now for quite some time.

Thank y o u .