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December 3, 2010

“It’s my Austerlitz,” came the familiar voice, former Prime Minister E G Whitlam calling me on December 2, anniversary of Napoleon’s victory and Gough’s in 1972. Yes, he’s sharp as ever and the memory formidable.

I believe his reputation is in for an historic marking-up. Imagine what his oratory would have done selling the record of a government that had saved the country from a world downturn, rebuilt it’s schools, had a plan for health and had apologized to its indigenous people. He would have put the case for Labor. His eloquence would have been superior. The weight of the argument would have been with the ALP.

Gough’s qualities are now, I think, at a premium. See what I wrote under Books reviewing the latest biography about Gough’s zest for exposition in the parliament and at conference, about his dedication to THE SPEECH , his commitment to the bold reforming program and to social justice – for example, to sewering western Sydney and to lifting the funding of low income schools. And he was never boring.

One Comment
  1. December 3, 2010 1:19 pm

    I’ve just finished reading a comment on the ETS post from someone who is obviously even more cheesed off with the ALP than I am. Seriously though, Labor has given us some great leaders and this post about Gough reminds me of it as vividly as watching an early episode of the West Wing reminds one of the hope of civilised America.
    Is the ALP recoverable? There must be many like me who hope so but can’t see it in the distance. Federally they are uninspiring. At the State level in NSW…….Is there a messiah out there, or are they all just a bunch of very naughty boys.
    On the other hand I just told my secretary that I’d seen a picture of Bob Carr at Stalin’s desk. She thought it was a flash bar somewhere.

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