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Home » Australian Politics » Vale Edward Gough Whitlam, Its time! for the big election in the sky

Vale Edward Gough Whitlam, Its time! for the big election in the sky

nla.pic-vn3512828-vI met Gough once, shook his hand even, when I was a callow youth an in awe of those playing the game of politics, heck I even voted for the ALP in 1972 and in 1975 and during those years I loved listening to parliament on the radio where his dulcet tones and oratory cemented my love of our democracy. My politics have changed somewhat since then but you never lose the affection you feel for your first political love even when it has become clear that their feet were very much made of clay.

Gough certainly deserves respect for leading Labor out of the political wilderness in 1972 but he also deserves the critiques of his administrative failings and economic mismanagement he will undoubtedly be greatly deified in the next few days which is fine for a long life spendt serving the nation but lets just never forget that a good emperor knows to listen when the dedicated slave reminds him “that you are only a man, not a god” those who admired him need to remember that as well.

With respect comrades






  1. deknarf says:

    Gough gave me the opportunity to have a university education. For that I am forever grateful! We won’t see his like in the political arena again. Requeiscat un pace

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Me too Deknarf but that does not mean that we can’t be honest about his political legacy which is the sort of tone I was going for in this piece.

  3. deknarf says:

    He left a visionary policy legacy. It’s a pity that he didn’t have some decent men supporting him!

  4. Iain Hall says:

    Yes that is what I meant with my criticism of his administration, a better ability to manage both the party and the way they ministries were run would have enabled his generally admirable ambitions to have been better realised.

  5. deknarf says:

    Despite the difficulties he achieved a great deal in opening up Australia and dragging us out of the Menzies ‘warm and comfortable’ lethargy.
    As Keating pointed out Whitlam was an exclamation mark in Australia’s political history. It’s a shame that we appear to be reverting to our old pre-Gough ways.

  6. richard ryan says:

    UNLIKE Alan Jones, Gough Whitlam was never arrested in a London public toilet, snigger, snigger.

  7. richard ryan says:

    WHAT was Jones doing in a London public toilet?, other then having a piss.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    Late comment as I’ve been ‘out of the cyber world’ for the past week:

    Gough Whitlam was without doubt the PM who made the greatest impact on our nation. He recognised, led and directed the need for Australia to grow up and start governing for ALL the people. He was visionoary and a truly remarkable figure in our history. Medibank(care), education, aborigines, women’s rights, recognition of China and ending conscription were just a few of his achievements. And to think he did all that in under 3 years while facing a hostile Opposition that controlled the Senate forcing him to an election after just 18 months (which he won easily) and then, when that attempt failed, acting so deceitfully as to have him removed by a drunk GG !!!!

    As for his ‘economic management’, there’s no doubt that some of his ministers simply lacked the experience to manage the economy after spending 23 years in Opposition. However, the fact is that Gough could do little to avoid the impacts of the 1973 oil crisis and the onflowing impacts that had on inflation, wage demands and unemployment. If you reckon that’s not so I ask you to look at the record of Fraser and Howard (the dumbest Treasurer we’ve ever had) from 1975 – 1983. These two clowns (and the rest of the Liberal Party chumps) did worse than Gough and introduced stagflation (high inflation and no growth) culminating in 1981-2 in the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 30s … and there was no excuse for that one. In comparison to Fraser & Howard, Gough was an economic genius!

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