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Whitlam was a shocker: Humphries

By Kerces - 8 November 2005 25

As you may or may not know, this Friday, besides being Remembrance Day, is the thirtieth anniversary of the Great Dismissal Affair.

To celebrate, Gough Whitlam has rereleased (again) his book putting forward his side of the dismissal and the Old Parliament House will be holding special Dismissal Tours on the day and the weekend.

But Canberra’s own Liberal senator, Gary Humphries has decided to commemorate this major event of Australia’s political history by making sure we all remember that Gough Whitlam was no hero, but rather he was a “shocker”.

“In some respects, Mr Whitlam should be grateful for the dismissal because it has distracted people from what a shambles his government was,” Senator Humphries said.

“What’s often overlooked by Whitlam’s cheer-squad is that the people decided his fate the following month, producing at the time the worst result for the ALP in the post-war period. The ALP received only 44.3 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, a swing against it of 7.4 per cent.”

Well done Senator Humphries. Why couldn’t you just let Labor supporters remember things in their own way? After all, it’s not like they’re gloating or being obnoxious. Pity the same cannot be said about yourself.

What’s Your opinion?

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25 Responses to
Whitlam was a shocker: Humphries
bonfire 12:48 pm 09 Nov 05

joh apppointed a labor party member. the member he appointed just happened to hate gough!

absolute rat cunning bastardry of the highest order, but legal.

khemlani was a conman who managed to convince rex connor that he could arrange iraqi oil money to pay for the nationalising of australias resource industry.

the fact that connor went outside his dept and treasury and even paid this shyster any credence at all, was one of the reasons treasury started leaking to the liberals.

it was just lunacy – logically and financially.

when whitlam found out he put an end to it. but connor started talking to khemlani again, against whitlams express direction.

when teh media found out – well its all documented. it was a disaster and a key reason for the whole ‘dismissal’ process beginning.

colsim 12:08 pm 09 Nov 05

Can anyone explain the Khemlani loans affair to me – I’ve always heard it was a shocker but the detail eludes me.

Wasn’t the deal with the Senate that the QLD Labor senator who effectively held the balance of power died and Joh Bjelke-Petersen refused to follow the convention of appointing another senator from the same party which tipped the balance of power?

Funny if that happened today (not funny ha-ha of course).

bonfire 11:04 am 09 Nov 05

economically they were a disaster. thats why the sacked govt was not returned.

if you want to point the finger at anyone, forget US plots, kerr/fraser conspiring etc. just look at what a disaster the entire whitlam period had been. khemlani loans, connors nationalising of the rsource industry proposal – the list goes on. the blame belongs to whitlam.

they were inexperienced and needed to bed in that experience before embarking on their grand schemes.

fortunately the senate was able to put a brake on them through their actions. remember, they had already passed previous budgets.

one of the outcomes of this period was the birth of the democrats. a pragmatic edge to politics is what they brought to the table.

Thumper 10:56 am 09 Nov 05

Whitlam actually did a lot of good things for this country. For one he was progressive and probably dragged us forward to the rest of the Western World and his social reforms still form the cornerstone of our country today. that in itself is an achievement.

But its not revisionism to say that as a whole that he was a disaster. No matter how many great policies and ideas you have, a bankrupt country is not a good thing, and that was were it was all leading. That is a simple fact.

Apart from the fact that in 1975 no-one but the really true believers wanted him in power.

But as I said in my first post. Humphries is a goose and should just shut up. Or at least acknowledge that Whitlam did introduce a number of new ideas and ways of governing.

colsim 10:45 am 09 Nov 05

This ongoing revisionism of the Whitlam years is sad when it gets to the point that it’s held as common knowledge that they were a disaster.

Truth be told, Whitlam gave Australia the shaking that it needed and put in train an extraordinary number of social reforms that had we managed to keep would’ve made this country a much better place than it is today.

I’m not a student of economics (which is more black art than science anyways) so I can’t comment on the money side of things – though I do concede that some strange decisions appear to have been made but I think that there is more than meets the eye.

At the risk of being labelled a conspiracist (as I was by the CEC boys at Woden mall last week – in a separate incident), there is plenty to support a case that US interests came to play in the latter days of the Whitlam time, not to mention the hate campaign run by the Murdoch empire.

This is just the same as Downer’s pitiful attempts not so long ago to say that Curtin and Chifley were terrible PMs in the 40’s. (Which were rightly bitch slapped down)

bonfire 10:35 am 09 Nov 05

his free irish state idea is a canard for murderous intent.

its similar to the way murderers who blow themselves up in restaraunts full of families justify their actions.

its always for a higher cause.

Maelinar 8:49 am 09 Nov 05

Kimba is right, Ned Kelley holds more mystique than Whitlam for me, especially given that I spent my formative years overseas where Waltzing Matilda and Ned Kelley are about all you learn about Australian culture.

When you’re driving down the road and see a dilapidated old house, dad is more likely to say ‘hey see that house, Ned Kelley used to live there’ than ‘hey see that house, Gough Whitlam once lived there’.

Popular culture portrays him as a cute villain in a Robin Hood sense, although in truth he wasn’t such a good person at all.

So given that I don’t know Mr Whitlam from a bar of soap, Sr Humphries comments have gone straight over my head anyway.

Thumper 7:51 am 09 Nov 05

Actually, I didn’t know either of them….

kimba 6:26 pm 08 Nov 05

I think you are being a tad too hard on young Ned. I think he was more a freedom fighter than criminal. He wanted to form a Free-Irish state in North-East Victoria after all. I like him more then Gough anyway.

bonfire 5:07 pm 08 Nov 05

he was a psychopathic murderer, who if he hadnt hit upon the tin hat and chest armour, would be a footnote. clearly he had some brains. if he had focussed more on hard work and less on stealing horses, he could have been a legitimate historical figure and icon of respect, instead of a romantic loser.

Thumper 5:04 pm 08 Nov 05

Mr Kelly was, in all actuality, a pychopathic murderer.

Not a down trodden hero of the poor who was unfairly targeted by the police as legend would make out.

Still, as legends go, he’s pretty good.

kimba 5:01 pm 08 Nov 05

Yes it’s Ned Kelly’s anniversary!

Thumper 5:01 pm 08 Nov 05

Thank you Bonfire.

And that remembrance is on at the War Memorial. So at 11.00 kiddies, all be quiet in deference to the lives that our servicemen (ok, and women)gave to ensure this great country had a future.

A tad more important than some ancient spagetti selling ex PM or some wannabe senator for the democratic peoples republic of the ACT.

I was, however, commenting upon the post which i think Kerces has done an excellent job on.

bonfire 4:52 pm 08 Nov 05

can i just remind all that nov 11 is a special day for reasons other than whitlamesque revisionism

Thumper 4:18 pm 08 Nov 05

Yeah, its a bit rich from the bearded one who is only a humble senator.

Okay, everyone knows that Whitlam was a shocker and that the senate was going to block supply and that the subsequent election was disasterous for the true believers, and that fraser romped it in with a massive majority in both houses thus proving that the Australian public really had had enough of him,etc etc etc (read the folklore and it will say the exact opposite).

However, it was 30 years ago…

Time for gloating is over. Mr Humphries is just making himself look like a goose. He should show some respect and learn some humility.

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