Friday, February 17, 2006

Kerry Packer vs Essington Lewis

The argument about Kerry Packer's state funeral today has been done to death. When I think of Australian businessmen I think of Essington Lewis, managing director of BHP from 1925, whose life was brilliantly chronicled by Geoffrey Blainey in The Steel Master. Lewis was a hammer of the unions and an industrial tyrant, but he gave indispensable service to Australia as Director of Munitions 1939-45 and worked very closely with the Labor government. A note pasted inside his spectacle case said: 'Oh Lord, help me to keep my big mouth shut till I know what I am talking about'. Could anyway seriously claim that Packer made a similar contribution to Australia, or that in a similar national crisis he would have similar contribution to Australia as Lewis did during the war? Lewis’ motto of ‘I am work’ would hardly fit a polo player. Perhaps the transition from Lewis to Packer echoes that from Menzies to Howard.


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Bring Back EP at LP said...

A very sound comment.


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