In late December 2018, the former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke gave an interview with The Courier-Mail newspaper saying that he wouldn’t be alive for the 2019 general elections. And in a rare case of a politician sticking to promises made during campaign season, he has now died a mere two days before Australia went to the polls.
Hawke seems like a character out of time in 2019: a hard-drinking politician who governed from the centre. However, he brought political stability to a country that traditionally treats “leader” as an interim role, serving as PM from 1983 to 1981. His impact is still felt today: he introduced free universal medical care, removed “God Save the Queen” as national anthem and, as it was the 1980s, deregulated the finance industry.
In his retirement he was regularly seen at cricket matches and was known to entertain crowds with the occasional rendition of “Waltzing Matilda”. Unsurprisingly, such a public declaration of ill-health put a number of DDP teams on notice – his death sends Day In The Death into third place with their joker still to come. New favourites?