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FORTY YEARS ON November 14, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister 40 years ago on the 2 December 1992, although the campaign was officially launched at Bankstown on 13 November. That date was perilously close to 11 November, Remembrance Day.

I still think it was a catchy tune, and campaign songs were fun, so perhaps they should be revived. What might Julia and Tony have next year? The “It’s Time” refrain resonated with 23 years of Liberal/Country Party government, and the role of the Democratic Labor Party with its sectarian appeal that now seems lost in the mists of history. Still the campaign song is worth a run to mark the occasion and as an artifact of its time:

It is interesting now to read the platform proposed. Whatever the faults of the Whitlam Government, and the twenty three years in the wilderness did not help, it marked a step forward that was palpable. It is easy to forget about the end of conscription and participation in the Vietnam War, Papua New Guinean Independence, the opening with China, the abolition of the White Australia Policy, free university education and universal health insurance. They were brave, visionary and principled policy proposals, not confounded by focus groups and polls.

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