Twilight of the Gods
Tuesday 21 October 2014: Gough Whitlam has died. He was 98 years old.
Back in 1972 he was the Labor hero who defeated an entrenched political oligarchy not only in government but also in his own party.
He was Australia's most progressive prime minister for just three years before grinding to a halt in circumstances too outrageous to imagine, yet in its brief existence his government increased equal opportunity in this country more than any before - or since.
If anything formed my view of Australian politics it is how this mighty reformer was chewed up and spat our by our "constitutional monarchy" and "free market economy".
Forget Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. I realised Democracy and the democratic process of government as I knew it had only been assumptions.
I was a teenager on a tram making my way to a job interview when I saw a newspaper headline proclaiming the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government by John Kerr, the Governor-General.
Excuse me, who? The what? The fucking WHAT?
Was this independent 20th Century Australia or Ye Olde Fucking England?
Like many, I was shocked. How was such a thing possible?
But after 23 torpid years of "Liberal" dominance the born-to-rule spivs couldn't believe they had been banished to the Opposition benches and had plotted Whitlam's demise with the aid and abettal of the US government.
The loathsome Malcolm Fraser declared the Whitlam government the worst in Australian history, and the equally loathsome Reg "toe-cutter" Withers called it illegitimate and without mandate, repeating it like mantra, something anybody not terminally comatose should recognise as a tactic used by the even more loathsome Tony Abbott in sabotaging Julia Gillard.
Australia's greatest PM has finally passed on to the Great Beyond. At XenoxNews.com some of us have been so touched by this political giant that we have been inspired to verse. Here, one of the greatest exponents of the Aussie vernacular Poet Larryette expounds on his feelings for the great Gough Whitlam...