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Digging for a story - a grave tale of two Premiers

By Richard Tonkin
Created 27/05/2008 - 04:02

A living former South Australian Premier has been helping exhume a dead one.  A couple of people believed they were descended from illegitimate progeny of the late Mr Kingston, and needed the remains for tests.  The hale and hearty John Bannon said on ABC Radio yesterday morning that he and others participating in the project were assisting pro bono,pun not intended.  There are no sheep stations involved in the outcome, figuratively or literally, but merely a whim of curiosity.

Naturally the story was on the front page.  During the course of the morning it was suggested on ABC Adelaide radio that an Australian Story camera was present at the exhumation.

I believe in ghosts.  I think that some ephemeral visions are temporal replays, "movies" of long-ago events.  Many, though, are people still wandering around.  I've heard too many stories from otherwise extremely straightforward people to think anything else, not to mention a couple of encounters myself.

i wonder what I'd be thinking if I was watching somebody dig up my remains?

Personally, I reckon that any self-respecting ghost would be fully entitled to give these people a bloody thorough haunting.  Taking your head off, dragging your chains in the hallway.... be inventive!  Rumour has it that a former publicaness of one Adelaide hotel fell out of the shower tub when a phantom decided to join her.  Go for it!  Channel 7 news are doing background story tonight about getting DNA from human bones.  Their newly built studio probably has even less spirits in it than an alcopop bottle.   For now.

The Australian [1] has posted a version of the story as I've been writing.  It quotes ex-Premier Bannon, on being asked if the gravedigging might encourage future generations to posthumously peruse phillandering pollies, as quipping "No, but it might encourage more politicians to get cremated." 

There's an obvious ethical question at the back of this.  When should it be considered appropriate to exhume human remains for information? 


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