Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Whitlam Industry spins away..again (yawn)

There's a political joke in the USA that sooths or torments the Democrats and their continuing rage about the Al Gore election defeat (rage maintenance is not unique to the Australian left). In response to a rage attack Republicans comment 'look - yes its true the Republicans have the White House but don't forget the Democrats have the West Wing..." a reference to the popular but fantasy world political drama 'West Wing' with its political correctness giving a cyber fix to raging Dems and the left wing media. In Australia we could say ' yes the Liberals have the Lodge (or Kirribili House) but don't forget Labor have Gough Whitlam'.

The Whitlam industry hits its annual overdrive as the aging 'ragers' self flagellate linking the 1975 removal of Australia's most incompetent Federal government with any contemporary political issues offending the sensibilities of the inner city left. For Australian's November is a set piece of predictable headlines - Melbourne Cup, Gough's latest repetitive interview and Lest We Forget Remembrance Day.

November 11, 1975 thankfully slides away as a irrelevant memory to many Australians and is now thankfully to become a museum oddity. 'Interesting times' appears to link the anti-terror laws with Gough's removal. I declined my invitation to the MCA 'bipartisan' event below.

“Dissident Voices” SPECIAL EVENT 6.30pm Friday 11 November 2005
In association with the exhibition Interesting Times: Focus on contemporary Australian art, the MCA presents a unique twilight event by 3 of Australia’s most radical writers/performers Ania Walwicz, Amanda Stewart & Ruark Lewis, alongside composer-musician Rainer Linz. This bipartisan event will commemorate ‘The Dismissal’ of the Whitlam Government 30 years ago in 4 very different and unexpected ways. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, Level 6 Admission: $12/$10 concessions/$8 MCA Members and AmbassadorsBookings essential as drinks will be served on the rooftop terrace 02 9245 2484 or education@mca.com.au

Meanwhile Piers Akerman takes the blow torch to the rewriting of the Whitlam legacy and the Telegraph's editorial echoes the view of most Australians:

"We're still several days away from the anniversary but there are few tributaries of this most heavily-explored part of our history which have not been given (another) going-over.
Not with any new insights or revelations, no forgotten morsel casting new light on the subject. Instead, it plays like a tragi-comedy of manners, where the same players assume the same roles and go through the same ritualised head-shaking at the day democracy died."
Read more here

It's Time to forget myth of Whitlam
AS THIS Friday's 30th anniversary of the dismissal of Gough Whitlam's dismal government on November 11 draws closer, a claque of self-indulgent old farts are engaging in an orgiastic welter of Whitlamophilia that overlooks some major truths....

Clearly, the rage was only to be maintained until polling day.
And for the bulk of Australian voters it was, as, angrily, they voted decisively to dump Labor four weeks later on December 13, when Malcolm Fraser and the Coalition swept into office with 91 seats to Labor's 36. Some rage indeed.
Obviously, it was not the rage that geriatrics who danced the twist to Little Pattie singing Labor's campaign song in the 1972 It's Time election hoped for.
Once again, Labor's inner urban branches had lost the plot as surely as the Whitlam government had lost office.
Thirty years on, all the indications are many of the same people and their indignant younger incarnations are still wedded to the same utopian fantasies that mesmerised the Whitlamites as they wandered the political landscape seeking a messiah to rekindle Labor's phantom Light on the Hill.

Read more here.

Piers reminds us of the appalling Loans Affair where the Whitlam government sought petro funds from the Iraq's Ba'athist connections - conveniently overlooked by the Whitlam industry just as the nod and wink to Indonesia over the East Timor invasionasion is conveniently side stepped by the inner city politically correct. John Howard addressing this national embarrassment will surely be judged by historians as one of his great legacies as Australia's second longest serving Prime Minister.

Regular eCouncillor readers will be disappointed if I agreed fully and totally with Piers Akerman and rest assured I will only go so far down his conservative path. One of my political heroes Malcolm Fraser does not escape the Pier's heated magnifying glass:

'Mr Fraser didn't present a great alternative, he lacked courage and had to be urged to act against what was patently a poor government, but his opposition would have been regarded with contempt if it had not taken steps to restore stability. '

Conservatives are not in the Fraser fan club but Liberals such as myself are proud of his actions on November 1975 as well as his post election progressive agenda such as legislation introducing Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory and Australia's unconditional acceptance of thousand Vietnamese boat people. As Fraser recently lamented his one regret in life is the Liberal party emerging as the Conservative party. His view is that Menzies wanted to found a progressive Liberal party and not a Conservative party. A view supported by many including speeches made by Menzies himself.


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