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Gough Whitlam

By Steven Bailey 21 October 2014 47

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Edward Gough Whitlam was the 21st Prime Minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, and a genius of humanity. I think that perhaps the only person worthy of delivering Gough’s eulogy would be Gough himself, such was his colossal self-belief… and thank god for that self-belief.

His words will be remembered for their soaring eloquence, their fierce fight, and earthly consequence.

Many would consider that Gough was ahead of his time, but the fact is that he walked in perfect step and unison with the aspirations of a people, where perhaps so many other politicians were kept a step behind only because of a lack of imagination and bravery. Gough bravely imagined an Australia, and Australia bravely imagined with him.

His hard-fought reforms included the advance of Aboriginal land rights, the advance of universal health care, the advance of diplomatic relations with China, the advance of universal access to university, the advance of the end of conscription and withdrawal of forces from Vietnam; the advance of Australia fair.

Whitlam fought to remove injustices and discrimination against Australian women.  He fought for fair pay and conditions for women and undoubtedly improved the basis of equality upon which women could participate in society. Gough’s commitment to the women of our nation was perhaps not only guided by his sense of social justice but also by his heart. This commitment to Australian women was perhaps best embodied by his relationship with his wife Margaret Elaine Whitlam – a great political union and Australian love story. I think Malcolm Turnbull’s sentiments put it perfectly that if indeed Gough is in heaven, he is certainly there with Margret.

After the dismissal of his government in 1975 Whitlam was the Leader of the Opposition for two years, and he remained in parliament until 1978 – a rare act of public service from a former Prime Minister. He was not a man who allowed himself to be consumed by hatred, as many politicians can be, for he was the personification of optimism and hope.

Many people muse that Australia should only become a Republic with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, but as it was Gough’s dream for Australia to stand on her own two feet in the world, perhaps, once again, it is time.

I too have ridiculous self-belief, but I do know this: I am not worthy of writing about this great man. So perhaps I’ll speak to you, Gough. Gough, I hope my generation understands what you have done for our country. I don’t know whether you made the times or the times made you, probably both, but it certainly was time, and it still is time.

What’s Your opinion?


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Steven Bailey 8:49 pm 28 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

No Masquara, you are claiming that I am claiming that John misquoted me. It would be silly of me to make such a claim as it was City News that published exactly what we sent them.

Exactly. City News published your then position – “Affordable public transport for the ACT including light rail” which you have attempted to reverse out of, having seen that Canberrans are not in favour of light rail. That hardly indicates a commitment to your policy – it actually indicates that you are either disorganised, or you vacillate. A la PUP, though, what’s to stop you taking one of your vacillating positions to the next election, then failing on carry-through? Howzabout a clear, stated policy, Steven, ahead of any preference deals? Will the Sex Party continue to support charging all Canberrans a bazillion on light rail for a corridor of the inner north already well serviced by buses? Or will you not support said light rail? Couldn’t be clearer; your response could hardly be more obfuscatory! If you think PUP tactics will work in the ACT, think again.

Masquara, up until now I was convinced that the brain dead could not hyperventilate. I will continue to communicate with you in English regardless of your maniacal mistranslations.

Let me give you an example that might help: it is possible to enjoy reading books, this does not mean that one would necessarily enjoy reading all books. Another: it is possible to enjoy responding to comments on blogs, this does not mean that I enjoy responding to all commenters, excluding you of course.

I would like to see light rail in Canberra, this does not mean that I would like to see light rail at any cost. Do you understand this position?

Canberra is having an important debate at the moment; I am respecting that debate by listening to it. This position, two years before an election, is a reasonable one.

Of course, reason is only reasonable to the reasonable, so breath deep into that paper bag beside your computer as you consider your next literary hemorrhage.

I wait with bated breath.

Masquara 5:09 pm 28 Oct 14

Steven Bailey said :

No Masquara, you are claiming that I am claiming that John misquoted me. It would be silly of me to make such a claim as it was City News that published exactly what we sent them.

Exactly. City News published your then position – “Affordable public transport for the ACT including light rail” which you have attempted to reverse out of, having seen that Canberrans are not in favour of light rail. That hardly indicates a commitment to your policy – it actually indicates that you are either disorganised, or you vacillate. A la PUP, though, what’s to stop you taking one of your vacillating positions to the next election, then failing on carry-through? Howzabout a clear, stated policy, Steven, ahead of any preference deals? Will the Sex Party continue to support charging all Canberrans a bazillion on light rail for a corridor of the inner north already well serviced by buses? Or will you not support said light rail? Couldn’t be clearer; your response could hardly be more obfuscatory! If you think PUP tactics will work in the ACT, think again.

dungfungus 10:36 am 28 Oct 14

Steven Bailey said :

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion Masquara, and, quite frankly, you couldn’t be sure how you came to that conclusion either. My instinct is that our party, and many Canberrans alike, would like to see the project carried out at a reduced cost. We won’t have a formal position on light rail until we have considered all of the facts (which are not currently available), and consulted with our members and the community. We’re not going to play into the hands of other parties; that is the responsible thing for us to do.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like any accurate information to help you in your noble pursuit of informing the public.

Oh, so City News misreported you? Unlikely, given that they have quite a professional stable of journalists these days … here you go! Check out your own policies.

http://citynews.com.au/2014/sex-party-rides-2016-act-election/

We support affordable public transport for the ACT. Rather than playing a ‘yes/no’ game, we will put forth a considered response based on our own judgements. Many people would like to see light rail in Canberra but people are concerned that the current proposal is too expensive. It’s really that simple Masquara but please, ‘maintain your enthusiasm’.

So you’re claiming John Griffiths misquoted you. Righty-ho.

No Masquara, you are claiming that I am claiming that John misquoted me. It would be silly of me to make such a claim as it was City News that published exactly what we sent them. Just have a look at my previous comment – it is written in English. It makes sense. It should assuage your confusion. If it doesn’t there is little else I can do for you.

Gough Whitlam was always complaining that he was misquoted.

Steven Bailey 12:36 am 28 Oct 14

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion Masquara, and, quite frankly, you couldn’t be sure how you came to that conclusion either. My instinct is that our party, and many Canberrans alike, would like to see the project carried out at a reduced cost. We won’t have a formal position on light rail until we have considered all of the facts (which are not currently available), and consulted with our members and the community. We’re not going to play into the hands of other parties; that is the responsible thing for us to do.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like any accurate information to help you in your noble pursuit of informing the public.

Oh, so City News misreported you? Unlikely, given that they have quite a professional stable of journalists these days … here you go! Check out your own policies.

http://citynews.com.au/2014/sex-party-rides-2016-act-election/

We support affordable public transport for the ACT. Rather than playing a ‘yes/no’ game, we will put forth a considered response based on our own judgements. Many people would like to see light rail in Canberra but people are concerned that the current proposal is too expensive. It’s really that simple Masquara but please, ‘maintain your enthusiasm’.

So you’re claiming John Griffiths misquoted you. Righty-ho.

No Masquara, you are claiming that I am claiming that John misquoted me. It would be silly of me to make such a claim as it was City News that published exactly what we sent them. Just have a look at my previous comment – it is written in English. It makes sense. It should assuage your confusion. If it doesn’t there is little else I can do for you.

Masquara 8:49 pm 27 Oct 14

Steven Bailey said :

Masquara said :

Steven Bailey said :

I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion Masquara, and, quite frankly, you couldn’t be sure how you came to that conclusion either. My instinct is that our party, and many Canberrans alike, would like to see the project carried out at a reduced cost. We won’t have a formal position on light rail until we have considered all of the facts (which are not currently available), and consulted with our members and the community. We’re not going to play into the hands of other parties; that is the responsible thing for us to do.

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like any accurate information to help you in your noble pursuit of informing the public.

Oh, so City News misreported you? Unlikely, given that they have quite a professional stable of journalists these days … here you go! Check out your own policies.

http://citynews.com.au/2014/sex-party-rides-2016-act-election/

We support affordable public transport for the ACT. Rather than playing a ‘yes/no’ game, we will put forth a considered response based on our own judgements. Many people would like to see light rail in Canberra but people are concerned that the current proposal is too expensive. It’s really that simple Masquara but please, ‘maintain your enthusiasm’.

So you’re claiming John Griffiths misquoted you. Righty-ho.

Steven Bailey 8:43 pm 27 Oct 14

Mysteryman said :

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

miz said :

I quietly thank Gough almost every day. Medicare is the biggie, but I am also so grateful I was able to get divorced without fuss (no fault) and without my children having to go into orphanages; and for the fact that I actually receive the same pay as the man who does the same job as me, just to mention couple. There are so many things we assume to be ‘normal’ these days which did not exist then.

Medicare needs an overhaul. It is ironic that the only people who get totally free health care via Medicare are the ones that contribute nothing to it. These are the people that are screaming because the rest of Australia wants them to contribute a tiny co-payment every time they use bulk billing services. The rest of us have to pay a co-payment of about $40 each time we see a GP plus the levy on our income. This is not sustainable.

You’re right again Dungfungus. A fair society is unsustainable when the powers of greed are so strong.

Another meaningless comment.

If you find something meaningless, rather than concluding that it is meaningless it would always be safer for you to assume that you are just too stupid to understand it.

Dungfungus is right: your posts have been completely meaningless.

Yet I’m glad to know that you’ve been reading them.

Mysteryman 12:57 pm 27 Oct 14

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

Steven Bailey said :

dungfungus said :

miz said :

I quietly thank Gough almost every day. Medicare is the biggie, but I am also so grateful I was able to get divorced without fuss (no fault) and without my children having to go into orphanages; and for the fact that I actually receive the same pay as the man who does the same job as me, just to mention couple. There are so many things we assume to be ‘normal’ these days which did not exist then.

Medicare needs an overhaul. It is ironic that the only people who get totally free health care via Medicare are the ones that contribute nothing to it. These are the people that are screaming because the rest of Australia wants them to contribute a tiny co-payment every time they use bulk billing services. The rest of us have to pay a co-payment of about $40 each time we see a GP plus the levy on our income. This is not sustainable.

You’re right again Dungfungus. A fair society is unsustainable when the powers of greed are so strong.

Another meaningless comment.

If you find something meaningless, rather than concluding that it is meaningless it would always be safer for you to assume that you are just too stupid to understand it.

Dungfungus is right: your posts have been completely meaningless.

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