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What Laurie Oakes really thinks of the biggest names in Oz politics

Neil Mitchell

“He’s the best political journalist this country has seen, I reckon.”

High praise from Neil Mitchell, who chatted with retiring Nine News journalist Laurie Oakes in a fascinating, extensive interview about the past and future for Australian politics.


Below is a snapshot of what Laurie Oakes thought about…

Malcolm Turnbull

He’s a brilliant man. And I think he’s got the makings of a good Prime Minister, but he’s not a natural politician.

Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten has surprised me. He certainly dances rings around Malcolm Turnbull when it comes to political manoeuvres , and he’s showing a bit of guts.

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott I like a lot, you know. If you were going to pick a politician to have a feed or a beer with you’d pick Tony Abbott. He’s got ideas, but he changes them like he his changes his socks. He doesn’t stick to anything. He doesn’t really have an ideology.

Julia Gillard

I think if Julia had not become the Prime Minister in the way she did – if she waited a few years and learned more – I think she could’ve been a very, very good Prime Minister. She was a very good Deputy Prime Minister.

Kevin Rudd

He’s a wonk. He wants to do good. He’s a policy person. But he’s not a good people person.

Our best Prime Minister?

He couldn’t split Bob Hawke and John Howard.

Our worst Prime Minister?

Dear old Billy McMahon. He was appalling.

Neil Mitchell