Webdiary - Independent, Ethical, Accountable and Transparent
header_02 home about login header_06
sidebar-top content-top

The Dismissal and the legacy

John Miner

Webdiary columnist John Miner writes: "I'm a journalist who has worked as a press secretary to Labor Premiers in NSW and Victoria and was a senior adviser to PM Paul Keating. I have a communication consultancy in my home town of Newcastle, and am a founding member of The New Institute, which argues for a place in national debate for Australians who live beyond the capital cities." His IR power to the feds: the Australian people always say no is a good read after the rallies of last Tuesday. John's last piece for Webdiary was John Miner on Brogden's media and Cuming's case.

Coming soon to Webdiary: Linda Stanhope's review of The Great Crash, ex-NSW Solicitor General Michael Sexton's book on the Dismissal.

The Dismissal and the legacy

by John Miner

Remembrance Day 1975 is not about Gough Whitlam's being sacked as Prime Minister.

It's not about Malcolm Fraser, or those eminent figures who get trotted out on every anniversary of The Dismissal.

It's about my first vote being torn up.

My first vote, cast with care and deliberation (do you remember that unprecedentedly vast Senate voting paper in NSW?) on 18 May 1974, was effectively torn up by the unelected Governor-General.

I was hardly Robinson Crusoe. There were 823,576 more voters on the electoral roll for the 1974 election than there were at the 1972 election.

This was the result of the 1973 decision to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. So, not only all Australians who had turned 21 from December 1972 to the cut-off of the roll in 1974 had become eligible to vote - which was the normal thing - but so had everybody who had turned 20, 19 or, like me, 18.

You can't tell how many had died, moved, or otherwise fallen off the roll, so we know only that at least 823,000 were new voters. Even that number is about one voter in nine, an extraordinary percentage.

Neither is it possible to tell how many of those first-time voters chose Gough Whitlam's ALP and how many preferred the Coalition led by Bill Snedden and Doug Anthony. I would assume that more than half supported the party which had given them the vote and which still held considerable appeal among younger voters.

I felt on 11 November 1975 that my value as a citizen was nil - when I had been implicitly told, when the officer at Charlestown handed me the two ballot papers on that Saturday morning in May, 1974, that my country considered me sufficiently mature and important to the community to have a say in the election of its government.

There must be a couple of hundred thousand still with us who remember the experience.

Some of us have no respect for politics. Some don't trust politicians, some don't trust the system.

I do. I am a member of the Australian Labor Party. I have worked for three Labor Premiers and for the most recent Labor Prime Minister.

I believe the system we have works better than any other, at least in part because we don't have any other, so what are you going to do?

It works better, when you examine it, than many of its alienated critics like to say, and it works better than a lot of other systems.

It's wonderful to read that Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser have so much in common these days, agree on so many things, and don't hate each other. We shouldn't hate each other.

But Malcolm Fraser and the late John Kerr are responsible for breaking the Australian people's faith.

If, as is commonly said, people don't trust politicians, it could be the fault of many politicians; but if, as is equally apparent, they don't trust the political system, nobody bears more of the blame than the late John Kerr.

Decades of largely decent and relatively effective government have failed to repair the socio-political fabric. The mirror cracked from side to side, to quote Tennyson's poem, and the curse is come upon us - "us" being the largest single influx of first-time voters since women got the vote, the last of the baby-boomers, a highly significant bloc of Australians who have had a hard time believing for the past 30 years that we have a system that they can trust, and who have not hesitated to tell others that they shouldn't trust it either.

John Kerr is dead, Garfield Barwick is dead, Kep Enderby, Sir Frederick Wheeler, Jim Cairns, Rex Connor, Pat Field, Cleaver Bunton, Bill Snedden: so many dead, and so many more happy to be forgotten. What's the point of arguing again over what they did or didn't do?

The story was never theirs, really.

The Dismissal of the Prime Minister, the very term, has blinded political writers, students and analysts to the other event of 11 November: the tearing up of so many votes, the destruction of so many new voters' democratic illusions.

The tricorn symbolism of Kerr keeping Fraser in the kitchen while he met Whitlam; the proclamation on the steps of the House: these are irresistibly powerful symbols that cause us to forget that they are not democracy.

Democracy is what the rest of us had.

[ category: ]

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy


One footnote, part of why I felt doubly betrayed was not just that my vote was shredded but the Queen failed to do her duty (given we have been silly enough to retain this system) and she should have sacked "her representative" for over-stepping the bounds of the role without good reason.

Our democratic process failed and the monarchy failed to protect the citizens properly as well.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

After what I read in this story, Whitlam didn't deserve to be elected to the shoe shining committee, let alone to Parliament. Add the Khemlani loans affair to the mix, and we should maintain the rage. At a government that was not only incompetent, but corrupt and foolish as well.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Mr Miner, I'm afraid I do not share your view of the Dismissal. I admire the idealism of Mr Whitlam and the need to effectively implement and manage the numerous programmes that his government introduced. But neither he nor anyone in his government had a clue about how to implement such a broad social programme without bankrupting Australia.

Medicare, as implemented, was an invitation to the overservicing rorts of the 'society' doctors and get rich quick corporate medical centre fraudsters. Free University education primarily benefitted those who could best afford it. Little or nothing was done to open university places to the children of the working class or to native Australians.

At the time of the dismissal the government was victim of its own abuses and incompetencies and there were a raft of ministerial scandals. Fair enough, the Liberals under Fraser blocked supply in the Senate and that may not have been fair, but the courageous path for Mr Whitlam would have been to call an election and let the people decide. Fraser did exactly that and the voters of Australia expressed their view resoundingly. Democracy in action.

As far as making your individual vote meaningless, and presuming that you lived in Newcastle at the time, your vote was meaningless in any case. Newcastle has been a safe Labor seat since Federation with the consequence that all the votes of all Newcastle voters since Federation have been meaningless if other than Labor.

I live in the Federal Electorate of Mackeller, state electorate of Pittwater. The Labor Party no longer bother to field candidates much of the time, leaving all my Labor mates without a voice of any kind.

We do not have a democracy.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

John Miner's story is an aspect so overlooked in the Dismissal. You should take note Stuart Lord as on so many occasions we on the left must endure the taunt of how Howard has been elected by a majority and therefore has a mandate. Surely you apply that principal to even a Labor government and Gough's was legitimately elected to govern the country for 3 years.

It is me and all the others who voted for Whitlam and Labor who were dis-enfranchised by Fraser's grab for power. Think what you may about the Whitlam's government's stewardship, and I believed Whitlam changed this country for the better, but the time for voters to end his rule was at the next ballot and not the one artificiallly brought on by the Dismissal. Sadly it's the Coalition way though. If they can't get what they want legitimately they will grab it another way. That applies even more today with a dishonest PM who will tell whatever lie necessary to retain power. Howard ascended during Fraser's coup and it's shaped his actions ever since, truth is nothing, winning is all.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

By the way that reminds me Stuart Lord, that was about the time when the Bush family and the CIA were so far up Saddam they met his breakfast coming down.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Michael de Angelos You apply your train of thought, Michael, then you are saying that no matter what Whitlam did to get the Coalition blocking supply (and then going on to win the next election), he could do it because of his mandate - being elected.

If this is so, it means that the Coalition can enact any piece of legislation, etc, and you should put up with it, because the Coalition a mandate - because the Coalition has been elected at the ballot box. So if that is so, you can kiss it over IR, over Iraq, over Welfare to Work, over the terror bills, until the next election. When the shoe is on the other foot, do you want it to fit, Michael?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Stuart Lord,

How does the Khemlani loans affair and handling thereof compare with fitting up a high court judge? At least Whitlam had the good sense to sack Cairns and have Connor resign. Heffernan, note, is still around.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Whitlam cost Labor the last election the minute he threw his arms around Latham at the launch. The people are not stupid, they did not want Whitlam's hand on the tiller again. The best thing this silly old bugger can do is hand back his Gold Pass and save us all a lot of money.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

I believe that John Miner's knowledge, understandings and opinions, ("having worked for... the most recent Labor prime minister") would be invaluable on the imminent, one hopes, Mark Latham Diaries thread.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

For Michael, just an aside. Your last line I suspect is based on this line:

"Winning isn't everything. It's the ONLY thing".

Vince Lombardi, legendary US gridiron coach who changed sport world wide with his attitude, not altogether for the better I must say. Regardless, I think you have made an important point about Howard learning from the Fraser era. Fortunately even Malcolm detests Howard's ways and effect on Australia.

Malcolm had an interview on TV last week in which his comment about Howard's stewardship was words to the effect of, "he is leading Australia back into darker times." I doubt I have his exact words but that was rather strong in the context of that interview, and accurate. Must practice the forelock tug else ....

The Dismissal was, for me, a time of outrage and anger and had a fair bit to do with my attitude towards politics. I ignored it for 30 years basically rather than trying to maintain the rage.

At the time Fraser was the worst bastard of all for many of us and he did effectively cheat his way into government. I thought Gough's direction was good but they were rushing as they were afraid of not being re-elected. And then there was Rex and even that seemed OK at the time. In retrospect it was outrageous, the loans affair.

Having heard both combatants last week I have changed my view of it, but perhaps that is simply because Malcolm now seems like he is more Labor than Liberal. Really I don't know who was right and it doesn't really matter now, except for Howard and others accepting that winning IS the only thing.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

I was 12, at school in Canberra and heard the news over the radio as it happened. I felt furious without really knowing why.

I've often heard the argument that Whitlam losing the resultant election somehow validated the decision, but the whole episode just doesn't pass the smell test.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Without Whitlam this country would still be in the 1960s. The lack of appreciation of how much Australia has benefited from his, and those who worked with him, vision, fore-sight, and intelligence never fails to astound me.

The pace may have been to fast but the vision was never too grand. All the following PMs have gone back to catering to the lowest common denominators in our society and we are all the poorer for it.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

"All the following PMs have gone back to catering to the lowest common denominators in our society and we are all the poorer for it."

I would not say that they are catering to these people rather using their prejudices to enforce the Govt's agenda. It is easy for Howard to spread his doctrine of xenophobia and hate to those with little education, and from lower social economic groups, because these are the most likely to accept his rhetoric.

These are the very people who will be first and most affected.
It seems to me that Howard’s IR 'reforms' will alienate most of the people that actually support his 'War on Terror'. (Which is why I think the ALP are so vocal against the IR Bill, and so wishy washy on the anti-Terrorism Bill)

Has Howard unwittingly created his own wedge?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

On 11 Nov each year we should give thanks to Sir John Kerr for having the courage to save our nation from bankruptcy at the hands of the Whitlam Government. We should also give thanks that Whitlam was unable to raise funds from the Iraqi Government towards his election campaign as this would have compromised our nation and could have lead to a political party being indebted to a foreign government.

We should all move on from Whitlam. What happened happened because of his government's failings. Like Latham, Latham's coach should be flushed down the toilet of history.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

G. Edwards reckons: “The people are not stupid…” I’d like to think that that was true but enough of them voted to put back into power a known liar and war criminal who’s actions have cost the lives of ten of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention, of course, the ‘terrorist’ threat that we are now experiencing as a direct and explicit result of those actions.

If, as you assert, the people are not stupid what then are we to make of people that support known liars and war criminals?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

A. Mills"We should all move on from Whitlands" but give thanks each year to Kerr. Strange logic.

I don't see your point Stuart Lord. There is little we can do about the Coalition enacting legislation that takes us back a 100 years but talk about it, demonstrate, campaign and offer alternative policies. The problem with you and the Howard Lovers is that you don't seem to think we even have that right to do that.

All you are doing is demonstrating exactly what I've said about Howard-winning is everything and he intends to enjoy the spoils unfettered by constraints such as Parliamentary debate on important new legislation. Those like Howard on the right are ideologues who care nothing of traditional democratic values.

It's fitting that the one man who has done so much to divide and destroy freedoms, abuse the process of Parliament, take this country into an illegal war and use fear to rule found his career rise in an illegitimate government. You should indulge in hubris along with A. Mills as Howard's time is almost up and history will not treat him kindly.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Michael de Angelos I love it. 'History will not treat him kindly.'
It's not the electorate will not treat him kindly. I wonder why? Is it because you are resigned to the fact that he will retire rather than be voted out?
Or is it because you consider his removal at the next election a given?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Damian Lataan Well, if we take you at your word that our government is full of war criminals and liars, then it either has to be perhaps that the electorate is stupid, or that the opposition is so incompetent (Labor, Democrats, Greens) that they are seen as a worse alternative.

The reason you think the electorate is stupid is the reason so many of them don't like/support your sort of causes, Damien.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Stuart Lord, I think I may have mentioned the dumb and gullible before. I simply wonder why anyone would vote for a man that has proved himself to be a liar, taken this country to war for no reason, placed the lives of both Australian soldiers and civilians at risk, and been responsible for the death of tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. What does that tell you about those Australians? They are either just plain dumb or very gullible and taken in by his lies or they actually agree with him about attacking sovereign nations, and keeping refugees from coming to Australia, and whittling away at our freedoms, and are quite happy for him to lie if it achieves those fascist objectives. What does that make his supporters if they are not in the dumb and gullible category?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Don't play.
I stand by what I said. The Hayden budget got a good reception from business. I agree we don't know what would have happened but Fraser didn't do much and the country survived. Also bear in mind most of the ideologues had gone by then: Connor, Cairns, Murphy, Cameron was on the outer and the new blood was coming in.

That the public put their pocket in front of principle is something I have taken years to get over. The real rot set in when the Selfish Nation truly emerged in the "Fistful of Dollars" campaign in 1977. Fisted by dollars more like. As they soon found out it was as big a lie as "LAW" tax cuts.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Malcolm: "Thirdly, the excesses of the past were about to come to an abrupt halt."

Let's accept reality please. Conjecture about what may have happened is rather over the top. Perhaps you are better at astrology or fortune telling than you previously revealed? Any advice on tonight's Lotto?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

I think there are four discrete points to be made, Stuart Lord. First, the Whitlam Government had been to the people in 1974 and had a legitimate right to expect to govern for up to another 3 years (not a mandate but a Constitutional right to choose the time for an election). Secondly, the only reason that the Senate was able to delay supply was because Tom Lewis broke with convention and did not replace a Labour Senator with someone from the same party (while that had no immediate effect because the replacement voted to pass supply it gave that lunatic Bjelke-Petersen the precedent to appoint Albert Field whose vote was the only reason the Bill was delayed).

Thirdly, the excesses of the past were about to come to an abrupt halt. The lid had been put back on the biscuit tin and Hayden was about to deliver the first responsible Labour budget of the Whitlam term. It was even being hailed as responsible by the conservative press which was one of the reasons Fraser was getting panicky. Last, Whitlam had resolved to advise an election for half the Senate anyway. Kerr was bound to act on that advice. Supply had not yet run out and Kerr should have advised the State Governors that they were required to issue writs forthwith. There was some suggestion at the time that the States or some of them would advise against that but that would not have worked as it is a Federal Constitutional power the Governors exercise in issuing Senate writs not a State power.

That leaves aside the delicious rumour spread in Nation Review that Parliament was prorogued to prevent a certain question on the notice paper being answered. It involved the provision of certain "services" to certain visiting dignitaries to the Singapore Embassy. The story was that Fraser and Sinclair as junior Ministers had instructed the Ambassador to the Australian embassy to fix them up with a couple of girls for the night on the way through. There was no evidence that anyone lost his trousers.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Michael, "But Holt's reign was only brief ....."
Maybe flippers, mask, snorkel and a bus ticket to Portsea in JWH's Christmas stocking.
Did you see this one doing the rounds on the web:

The Australian Postal Service has created a stamp with a picture of John Howard to honour his achievements. In daily use, it has been shown that the stamp is not sticking to envelopes. This has enraged the Prime Minister who demanded a full investigation. After a month of testing, a special royal commission has made the following findings:
a. The stamp is in perfect order.
b. There is nothing wrong with the applied adhesive.
c. People are spitting on the wrong side.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Malcolm Exactly. Well said.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

I don't care how he goes Stuart Lord. Retirement, replaced by someone else in the Coalition or voted out, as long as he goes which he must eventually. I don't want revenge, just Howard gone, which must happen, and within a few short years at the most. And the reason why history will not treat him well as he is the only Australian Prime Minister who has told a string of blatant lies during his stewardship. People can rant and rave about the rights and wrongs of the Dismissal or individual PM's styles and policies but there hasn't been one that has deliberately set out to deceive so openly since Harold Holt lied about Vietnam. But Holt's reign was only brief, Howard's has been long and arduous and there is a lifetime for his lies to unravel. And that will be fun.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Malcolm B Duncan, re the Hayden budget. From memory did not the Fraser government pass this budget when elected after the dismissal? I could well be wrong but if this was so then why did the senate not pass the budget in the first place? Can someone let me know if my memory is correct or am I just a silly old bugger?

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Roy Cutts, classic!

Back in the 60s in West Oz the very famous cartoonist Paul Rigby loved to take the p*ss out of bureaucratic busybodies. To counter the Governmental killjoys, Riggers way was to portray them as Ebeneezer Scrooge* types wearing stove pipe trousers, long black morning coats and a bent out of shape tall top hat.

With their government issue operating manual in hand, they didn't miss a thing as they peered through powerful magnifying glasses.

So I am glad you could share your humor with us, before it gets outlawed and you/we get a visit from E Scrooge, Esq. (Why, it could soon be illegal to laugh at these jokes.)


* With grateful acknowledgement to Charles Dickens.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Roy Cutts, time to update your computer. I saw this joke for the first time years ago but it had Keating's name on it.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Hey Malcolm, who's playing? I only play with people who have demonstrated to me that they are here to play. And only to return what they dish out. If you have noticed those people have gone silent. That doesn't include you Malcolm.

You agree that we don't know what would have happened. That's obvious and cannot be disagreed with. Russell?

Yes a few had gone by then, but again, assuming the new blood would have been any different is impossible to prove as they didn't get the chance to be in government. That's again retrospective wish listing.

As to the public putting $ ahead of principles, when has that been any different? It has happened at nearly every election since the Dismissal hasn't it? I too lament that approach but it's what we deserve as a country as people vote for the $ and then complain about principle later. Not all but a majority do.

I too wish things had been different but they weren't. I wish today's elections were decided on issues of principle but which major Party offers other than bids in an auction sale? Latham tried it to some degree but ended up being told to compete in the bidding war, to his detriment.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

PS to last: There are two types of errors that one can make - to assume that something would not have happened and to assume that something would have happened. Usually the "best guess" as to what would have happened is best based on evidence. Malcolm's point was that the pollies and the assessment of the budget were not aligned, sadly the pollies won and we will indeed never know how that particular budget would have gone - but I do know that many around Whitlam had economics backgrounds and other appropriate backgrounds that certainly meant they had THOUGHT about it all ... boldy maybe, ambitiously for the country, definitely, dangerously ... not so in my view.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Ross C, yes? And your question is?

My concern with a lot of the "history" of that era, like Malcolm's is that there is a lot of selective perception, inattention to detail, and lack of knowledge of details and people. I knew a fair number around Whitlam... they were bright people, they had a vision FOR Australia, not for themselves... it all got lost through the things that have been discussed here.

That something happened neither makes it right nor something that everyone should "get over"... because we just might, somewhere along the line, avoid making the same kind of (societal) mistake again... but as this era shows, no guarantees... sadly.

If Malcolm can put a party together and make it work, go for it; he's got more sense than most of the sitting members by a long shot.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Stuart Lord: "because the Coalition has been elected at the ballot box. So if that is so, you can kiss it over IR, over Iraq, over Welfare to Work, over the terror bills, until the next election."

I don't remember voting on IR laws or terror bills. However, I do remember vigorous debate about Whitlam's agendas for change. There in lies the rub, Stuart. Whitlam was an open book compared to Howard.

But then it was a different era. Parliamentry rules about ministerial responsibility still applied; we still believed Australia was a 'moral' nation, which enjoyed a deservedly high reputation among its neighbours and that we would side with 'right', not 'might'.

Interestingly, Whitlam put paid to that notion with his decision to support the annexing of East Timor. So, maybe the lesson is not to trust any of them once they are elected to govt. All of which is a problem for me because I have just come to grips with abandoning my anarchist tendencies only to find they are more relevant than ever. Back to the drawing board. The good news is that I am still committed to non-violent social action, which is a blessing considering how angry I am at the actions of this 'lower than scum' government.

(Aside) Breathe deeply and repeat after me. This too shall pass.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Phil Moffat, Appropriation Bills and Budget bills are not necessarily the same. An Appropriation Bill is the necessary mechanism for authorising payment out of Consolidated Revenue for the ordinary working expenses of Government (like these days squandering $50M on stupid advertising campaigns although quaere whether an Appropriation can be made for the entity - if there is one - "The Australian Government").

Budget Bills contain specific measures relating to policy. See the detailed discussion in Chapter 11 of Twomey's new The Constitution of New South Wales, 2004, Federation Press, Sydney (at pp 530 & ff). Assuming, that is, that your local library has it or you have the $135 it is listed at for your own copy (and people wonder why lawyers charge so much).

The Approriation Bills 1975 were passed before the Lower House was prorogued so Whitlam did have both supply and a majority in the lower House. Kerr should have re-commissioned him to form a Government on Fraser's following convention and submitting his resignation.

Ross Chippendale, "Don't play," was in answer to your request for a prognostication about Lotto.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Ross Chippendale, my apologies if I have not set out for you sufficiently what I stand for. I thought I had but I will post another go for you on the Time to tear down thread in due course.

As to my ego, I do not apologise for it nor do I apologise for being "generally spot on" - it's the sort of thing that encourages ego but that reduces to an ego and the egg argument. Neither do I apologise for having a sense of humour. Something has to sustain those of us who do against those of us who don't (or think they have but don't). Above all, however, I believe in serving (and giving a few).

Yours aye.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Hey Russell, my question was basically what did you agree with when you wrote, "Exactly, well said." But it doesn't really matter mate as Malcolm had agreed his retrospective forecast was invalid which was all I was commenting on.

You and I seem to have a bit of tension and I know where it started. I think you do too. I'm afraid my moods change with the wind but I don't apologise for that. Some days I'll have one opinion, another day I'll see things differently. I'm human and that is actually permissable isn't it?

Rather I'd prefer to apologise to you for any bad feelings created as I do not deal with confrontation very well. This may seem contrary to some of my posts but they are in response to two particular people who have attacked, abused or treated me and others with disdain. I put my thoughts on the line and oppose those sort of people even though I sink to their level.

They don't seem to like it if someone targets them and highlights their actions. I have already asked Jay if he wanted to give that shit a miss and he chose to ignore the offer. What does that tell you? Have you seen Jay try to apologise to anyone or even complete a thread without resorting to labels and general abuse? Sure I could do the old Jesus stuff and turn the other cheek but life has taught me that the other cheek will be slapped as well and I don't stand for that these days.

I have no problem with what you and Malcolm felt at the time, if you noticed I probably felt worse and actually left Australia following that episode in Australia's history. I was very strongly in favour of the agenda that Gough had and still want those things today. I felt Latham may have started on that tack and thought he offered more than what others Labor has on display but he fell apart.

I have seen much of Malcolm's writing and generally I think he's spot on, and he even has a great sense of humour which many don't. If you noticed I was one of two people to ask him what he stood for and I have visited the link to his site but as yet there is nothing there. That may have changed in the last day or two. I am more than interested.

Regardless though Russell of whether I generally support somoeone else's views I believe I still have a valid right to point out where someone speculates on what might have happened, using it as some sort of evidence. The "What ifs" achieve nothing other than depress people. In fact using those sorts of arguments simply show holes in what was otherwise a solid argument.

In regard to events subsequent to the Dismissal I agree that speculation on what may have or may not have happened is fruitless. I have said though that I no longer have the rage from back then and hearing Fraser talk about it gave me a picture I wouldn't see back then.

Of course Fraser will defend his decision till the bitter end and so will Gough but there were a few too many errors/risks by members of Gough's government for all to feel secure.

My feelings on the Dismissal are simply that it was an outrage and shouldn't have been permitted but it was. The public then were stupid enough to vote for Fraser and that was that. That's it. Time has tempered my view as I have come to know more and more that no politician can be trusted as they answer mainly to their own egos first. A quality both Malcolm and Gough had and still have, in spades.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Ross Chippendale, my apologies, you were referring to the Party website. Ever tried to set up a political party - well I mean establish, actually? I'm seeing the designer tomorrow. I hope to fiddle with some things about its general look and it should have at least text up by Friday.

Being a cussed individual, I have had all sorts of trouble with petty bureaucrats at the ISP and Primus cutting the phone off today didn't help a lot. That's ok, I've finally decided to sue the bastards, I'll file the application tomorrow.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Malcolm B Duncan, this silly old bugger thanks you kindly for your informative reply.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Hey Malcolm, I think we've apologised to each other enough what? I only referred to egos re Gough and Mal. Our egos are permissable as it is what sustains us, that and a sense of humour without which there would only be tears. I'm afraid quite a few of my comments are intended humour but reading them with only a serious mind allows offence when none is intended. Perhaps I should put a warning similar to cigarettes? Something like, "Humour attempted. Be prepared to quell potential anger." Just as I totally misinterpreted your 'Don't play' comment. Very good advice by the way.

You are with a good ISP, TPG. That is their service is good until you need help, fortunately that hasn't been often. I've been with them for years and each time I've needed help they seem to disappear. Nothing like posting a message about some planned downtime after the problem has appeared and been fixed. Better than Big Pond etc though as they actually pretend to try and help which is worse.

No criticism re the web site. Just saying to Russell that I am keen to see your site and hopefully be a supporter. I have built a number of amateurish sites myself and it's a pain in the arse so I understand your frustrations.

re: The Dismissal and the legacy

Gough got a lot of support initially from young professionals, who wanted his reforms and vision - money for the arts, money for unmarried mothers, among many changes that reshaped the country and the vision.

Khemlani, Junie etc and apparently endless messes (media at work again?), meant that he was totally unlikely to be re elected at the next election. The ALP had blown it utterly. The coalition only had to wait a few months, but they didn't.

Irrespective of constitutional illegalities etc etc, the GG's actions made it obvious that we do not live in an democracy, as most of us understand it.
Neither party has done anything to change this situation.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
© 2005-2011, Webdiary Pty Ltd
Disclaimer: This site is home to many debates, and the views expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the site editors.
Contributors submit comments on their own responsibility: if you believe that a comment is incorrect or offensive in any way,
please submit a comment to that effect and we will make corrections or deletions as necessary.
Margo Kingston Photo © Elaine Campaner

Recent Comments

David Roffey: {whimper} in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Jenny Hume: So long mate in Not with a bang ... 13 weeks 5 days ago
Fiona Reynolds: Reds (under beds?) in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 18 hours ago
Justin Obodie: Why not, with a bang? in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 18 hours ago
Fiona Reynolds: Dear Albatross in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 18 hours ago
Justin Obodie: Bye bye - and thanks for all them fishies in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 19 hours ago
Michael Talbot-Wilson: Good luck in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 1 day ago
Fiona Reynolds: Goodnight and good luck in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 2 days ago
Margo Kingston: bye, babe in Not with a bang ... 14 weeks 6 days ago