The Pearson Whitlam eulogy

As an Australian, take 18 minutes this morning to view the Noel Pearson eulogy to Gough Whitlam.

Houses and Holes
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  1. And the Prime Minister with that classical Roman mien, one who would have been as naturally garbed in a toga as a safari suit, stands imperiously with twinkling eyes and that slight self-mocking smile playing around his mouth, in turn infuriating his enemies and delighting his followers.

    There is no need for nostalgia and yearning for what might have been.

    The achievements of this old man are present in the institutions we today take for granted and played no small part in the progress of modern Australia.

    There is no need to regret three years was too short. Was any more time needed? The breadth and depth of the reforms secured in that short and tumultuous period were unprecedented, and will likely never again be repeated.

    The devil-may-care attitude to management as opposed to reform is unlikely to be seen again by governments whose priorities are to retain power rather than reform.

    • It was a wonderful eulogy……

      Yes a government and leader unambiguously committed to reform, rather than protecting backward looking vested niterests, would be nice

    • Since watching the documentaries on Gough since his death, I have been wondering (and it has been underlined by the overnight events) what might have been if Barak Obama took Gough’s tact rather than the “via usual political channels” option…

      The “crash through or crash out” option… seems to me that, even though at the time people felt Gough crashed out, in reality he did crash through…

      Sadly I feel that the only thing Barak has achieved is being elected, and that certainly is huge in my opinion, but he offered so much more and I strongly doubt that he would be truly satisfied with what he has achieved…

      Perhaps if he had a second chance, and if he learnt of the enduring achievements of Gough in his short time as PM, Barak would take a leaf out of his book…

      • Agreed, but Obama did have the affordable care act. Even if that is not most ideal, it was a monumental improvement.

      • Obamacare is a sell out to big pharma. More sell out to follow with the TPP. Notice how BO wants to bypass his own party men from debate via the trade promotion authority.

        Please don’t compare BO to Whitlam.

  2. I’ve long been a fan of Pearson. It comes as no surprise he has delivered a tribute fitting the occasion. An outsider paying his respects to a fellow outsider. More power to him.

  3. migtronixMEMBER

    Only those who have know discrimination truly know its evil, only those who have never known prejudice can discount the importance of the racial discrimination act

    Yup, never truer words. Pity parliament is filled to the gills with gutless nobodies….

    I met Noel a couple of time nearly 20 years ago (late 90s), top bloke.

    • Yes -Gough’s tremendous contributions & achievements were spelt out in full by a very top bloke – – 100%

      + I was old enough then to help vote Gough in

  4. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Twas pretty stirring stuff in Sydney yesterday and there were plenty of true believers from all works of life paying their respects outside Sydney’s Town Hall.

    Reading the papers is quite a contrast with the front page of the SMH featuring a picture of Gough and headline “The Greatest White Elder”. Rupert’s Daily Terror has a grinning picture of Abott under the Harbour Bridge title “Bradfield Airport”.

    Gough gets a look in the second page with.. “Gough, A man who changed the Nation”

    Damian Murphy in the SMH pointed out the Juxtaposition of Kate Blanchett’s speech where she concluded, “I was all but three when he passed by, but I will be grateful till the day I day.”

    This in contrast to how Australia was pre Gough, where Menzies said of the Queen in 1963… “I did see her passing by, and yet I love her till the day I die.”

  5. Must have been quite a few people squirming in their seats while he was talking about the effect of the Racial Discrimination Act.

  6. What an eloquent, articulate and powerfully delivered speech. It was a joy to see someone speak so well from the heart and with such oratory skill. Well done Noel Pearson and looking forward to more from you in the future.

    • But there IS a difference between a leader/reformer and a manager.

      Why does it now take 2 election cycles for minimal tinkering around the edges of taxation/education/social reform when Whitlam breezed through a shedload of the stuff in one. “Managing” the election cycle into a winnable position is why.

      I hope Abbott and future PMs will learn a lesson from the adulation Whitlam received despite the passage of time – Be bold or you will forever be forgotten and consigned to the dustbins of history, never mind how many elections you win.