Vale Gough Whitlam

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Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:34 am

One of the giants of Australian history.

Thanks, Gough.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by bayman on Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:56 pm

rip Gough

as a kid i liked his persona/character

apart from politics & both being Prime Ministers what did Malcolm Fraser & Gough Whitlam have in common ?
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Scrappy on Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:22 pm

bayman wrote:rip Gough

as a kid i liked his persona/character

apart from politics & both being Prime Ministers what did Malcolm Fraser & Gough Whitlam have in common ?

Fraser and Gough
Fast bowlers for England
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by bayman on Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:34 pm

no

these 2 men had something in common, not namesakes playing sport etc
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:05 pm

Watching The Power and the Passion, about the Whitkam years.

To those of us who lived through that era, you either thought Gough was a giant or was a threat to your way of life.

I think he made 103 promises in his 1972 election policy and kept them all. It was an exciting time and whether you loved him or loathed him, there is no diubt that he was far and away the most intelligent and intellectual Prime Minister we've ever had.

So many of the major things we now take for granted were instituted by Whitlam.

Our current leaders on both sides are political, moral and intellectual pygmies compared to him.

He changed Australia from an introverted colonial backwater to a vibrant, confident country.

Like most geniuses, he was flawed and naturally he was torn down by those whose vested interests he threatened.

Exciting and heady times, though.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Chambo Off To Work We Go on Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:18 am

Did any other Prime Minister or his election campaign have his own TV jingle?
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by firstblood on Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:32 am

Chambo Off To Work We Go wrote:Did any other Prime Minister or his election campaign have his own TV jingle?

They used a lot of popular television personalities to promote the jingle...
There's one i can't place a name to, i remember the face but can anyone tell me his name... you will see him pop up at about 56 - 58s into the clip.

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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Scrappy on Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:01 pm

Looks like Jimmy Hannan just b4 the one minute mark
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by testy on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:30 pm


Yes I agree with Scrappy it looks like Jimmy Hannan to me also.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by bayman on Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:31 pm

ok, no one seems to know, both Fraser & Whitlam were not known by their first name, it was John Malcolm Fraser & Edward Gough Whitlam
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by firstblood on Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:02 pm

testy wrote:
Yes I agree with Scrappy it looks like Jimmy Hannan to me also.
Yep, that's the name i was after... thank you. Very Happy
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:19 pm

Gough was asked what he would do when he died and met God.

"I shall, of course, treat him as an equal", he said.


It is a little known fact that the reason he didn't have the numbers in the Senate was because Liberal State Givernments replaced a Labor Senator who died with a 'stooge' and another Labor Senator who was appointed to the High Court with another 'stooge'.

The new Senators were named Patrick Field and Cleave Bunton.

Yes, no kidding, Cleaver Bunton.

Can't happen now.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by B J10 on Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:19 am

He must have been shaking his head at the current Labor party and Rudd/Gillard destroying the fabric he established.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by UncleHuey on Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:25 pm

B J10 wrote:He must have been shaking his head at the current Labor party and Rudd/Gillard destroying the fabric he established.

If you believe Andrew Bolt, they weren't that far from Gough. Lacked his grand vision but equally bad at delivering on budget and on time.
Fred Daly's book is also revealing - Gough, like Rudd, treated being PM as though it was a quasi dictatorship and did not feel the need to consult his colleagues before pushing his agenda. An inablilty to cost his proposals or do any sort of cost/benefit analysis also lead to a rapid and massive blowout in the budget that took years to recover from.

Gough was a visionary and a breath of fresh air, but he was hardly the paragon of virtue and politics that he has been held up to be. The fact he lost 2 elections by massive margins after his dismissal probably is a better indication of how he was viewed by the population at the time.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:47 pm

UncleHuey wrote:
B J10 wrote:He must have been shaking his head at the current Labor party and Rudd/Gillard destroying the fabric he established.

If you believe Andrew Bolt, they weren't that far from Gough. Lacked his grand vision but equally bad at delivering on budget and on time.
Fred Daly's book is also revealing - Gough, like Rudd, treated being PM as though it was a quasi dictatorship and did not feel the need to consult his colleagues before pushing his agenda. An inablilty to cost his proposals or do any sort of cost/benefit analysis also lead to a rapid and massive blowout in the budget that took years to recover from.

Gough was a visionary and a breath of fresh air, but he was hardly the paragon of virtue and politics that he has been held up to be. The fact he lost 2 elections by massive margins after his dismissal probably is a better indication of how he was viewed by the population at the time.  

Fair enough post, UH, but it might surprise many that the reality is far from the myth.

The economic problems the Whitlam Govt had mainly related to inflation, caused majorly by the oil crisis of the time, where the Arab States withheld petrol supplies and prices skyrocketed.  Whitlam can't escape criticism over his handling of the economy at all, but he did have to overcome that oil shock.

As for debt, believe it or not, he ran 3 surpluses and only one deficit and net debt throughout his term was ..............................zero.

I suppose just another reason not to believe the likes of Bolt or Murdoch hacks.

Proof of the debt and deficit ---

http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2355-zero-government-net-debt-and-budget-surplus-drivel

So there was no sudden and dramatic blowout and the next government didn't have to spend 5 minutes fixing anything.

What brought Whitlam down was the might of Murdoch and the conservative forces who never accepted Whitlam's win as being legitimate for some reason.

Sound familiar?
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Booney on Thu Oct 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Lee wrote:Gough was asked what he would do when he died and met God.

"I shall, of course, treat him as an equal", he said.


It is a little known fact that the reason he didn't have the numbers in the Senate was because Liberal State Givernments replaced a Labor Senator who died with a 'stooge' and another Labor Senator who was appointed to the High Court with another 'stooge'.

The new Senators were named Patrick Field and Cleave Bunton.

Yes, no kidding, Cleaver Bunton.

Can't happen now.

What about this cracking sledge from Gough :

To a punter heckling him on the campaign trail, when asked if he supported abortion.

“Let me make quite clear that I am for abortion and, in your case Sir, we should make it retrospective.”
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by UncleHuey on Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:17 pm

I take the "brought down by Murdock/ CIA/ Overseas big business" with a grain of salt.
What is interesting is that both Gough and Rudd/Gillard inherited both a budget surplus and no nett government debt and both turned it into a defecit and ongoing debt. What the article also fails to mention is that both governments also committed future governments to large, unfunded spending programs that are hard to unwind and costly to maintain.

I was at school when it happened and I can remember the teacher being outraged at it. She was more outraged when nobody in the class had any idea how the Australian system of government worked as it wasnt taught in schools.

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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:34 pm

UH, that is correct for Rudd (GFC also), but Whitlam left no debt at all and had 2 surplus budgets out of three.

This is a common error because of the 'rewriting of history' over the years.

With Whitlam's memorial service today, another question has come to a head.

Given that Julia Gillard's partner was the subject of so much publicity, why are the media totally silent about the absence of Margie Abbott for so long?

Tony campaigned with her and their daughters on family values, but Margie's nowhere to be sen now.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by bayman on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:40 pm

probably because she has her own work/life while the PM has his own very important job to do & i don't know of too many jobs where you take your partner to work with you
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by testy on Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:49 pm

Lee wrote:UH, that is correct for Rudd (GFC also), but Whitlam left no debt at all and had 2 surplus budgets out of three.  

This is a common error because of the 'rewriting of history' over the years.

With Whitlam's memorial service today, another question has come to a head.

Given that Julia Gillard's partner was the subject of so much publicity, why are the media totally silent about the absence of Margie Abbott for so long?

Tony campaigned with her and their daughters on family values, but Margie's nowhere to be sen now.

He was overseas (can't remember where) only 2 weeks ago and she was by his side.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:24 pm

Thanks Bayman & Testy.

Still wondering why Tony bunks at the Police Academy when he's in Canberra Wink
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Gingernuts on Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:09 am

A lot of talk about Noel Pearson's eulogy being one of the great speeches of our time.

I've read the transcript and I must say, it did resonate with me quite a lot, and I would consider myself someone who has no particular allegiance to any political party (although I find myself leaning towards Labor more and more these days).

Noel pays tribute to Whitlam while also pointing out the inherent flaws in the current political landscape - chiefly parties and politicians who's sole purpose seems to be getting re-elected, rather than having any genuine interest in reforming and improving the country.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Thu Nov 06, 2014 10:49 am

Good points, GN.

As someone who experienced the time, it's necessary to explain a little bit as to why it was such an exciting time to be young and politically aware.

Australia had been governed by the Coalition for 23 years. Bob Menzies was a fixture, a capable, but very patrician man, very attached to England, royalty and the trappings.

He governed capably, but nothing much happened, we rode on the sheep's back, families got thrown a dollar a week increase in 'child endowment' now and again and we did as we were told.

The Labor opposition was hopeless, the leader almost unelectable.

Then came the late 60's, the Vietnam War, anti-conscription and anti-war rallies. It was an exciting time, but lacking someone to give some vision.

Menzies retired, Holt drowned, Gorton came and went and Billy McMahon became PM. He was hopeless, but in the meantime Whitlam became Opposition Leader. He got a huge swing in 1969, but narrowly lost to Gorton.

Everyone knew he'd win in 1972, but suddenly there was this big bloke talking about what we could achieve, after 23 years of bugger-all change.

The rest is also history, but it was exciting and we haven't seen anything like it since.

Hence the accolades and the 'reverence'.

Certainly he was flawed, certainly his government was soundly defeated in 1975, but to have continued to govern then, he would have had to have won 3 elections in 3 years, against the might of the Governor-general and the Murdoch media.

The interesting thing is that Hawke and Keating later governed for 13 years and a lot of that was due to the lessons they learnt from Whitlam's mistake of not being economically aware enough.

It is a fallacy, though, that Whitlam left debt or deficits. he had a huge oil crisis to contend with.

Whether you are a critic or a supporter of him, ponder the size of the legend of a Prime Minister who only governed for 3 years.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Gingernuts on Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:34 am

Lee wrote: Everyone knew he'd win in 1972, but suddenly there was this big bloke talking about what we could achieve, after 23 years of bugger-all change.

The rest is also history, but it was exciting and we haven't seen anything like it since.

The silly thing is I think many people in Australia crave a leader with a message like that right now, and yet both parties are unwilling to step forth from their current malaise.

Thanks for the background Lee. As someone who wasn't alive for it it's very interesting reading.
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Re: Vale Gough Whitlam

Post by Lee on Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:42 am

Yes, I think you're right.

Both of our current leaders are uninspiring, IMO, too.

I'll try to find a list of what Whitlam did in his 3 years. It's astounding.

Like all men of vision, though, he certainly had his flaws and opposition, but to his believers, they were just part of the package.
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