An audio history of Gough Whitlam

It’s Time

At least he asked permission, unlike some prime ministers.

Gough – The Whitlams

I’ve got a song about a man called Gough.

From Little Things Big Things Grow – Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly

The Native Title decision was due to the amazingness of Vincent Lingiari and the Wave Hill mob. But after decades of racism and genocide by the Australian Government, as evidenced by its disgusting behaviour, it was significant that Gough Whitlam, then Prime Minister, exchanged a handful of sand with Vincent Lingiari.

It’s Time from Keating

Not sung by Gough, but a demonstration of how Gough influenced those Labor prime ministers who followed him, and symbolic of his legacy. Under his government Australia gained Legal Aid, free university education, no-fault divorce and universal health care. His government abolished the death penalty for federal crimes, and conscription. He established the National Employment and Training Scheme, the Family Law Act, the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission, and Environment.

EDITED TO ADD

The beginning is the end, also from Keating, feat. the ghost of Gough 

(thanks to DanniP for the reminder)

Please add your other reminders in the comments.

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9 thoughts on “An audio history of Gough Whitlam

  1. Nearly as funny as watching Malcom Fraser telling us how much he always loved Gough is listening to all the lions of the Left heaping praise on his memory. Just to jog our memories: Gough came from the NSW Right and owed his rise mainly to the Ducker/Dougherty machine that ran the NSW branch. The Left cordially hated him and did everything it could to stop him becoming Leader. Once he was Leader he had to fight the Left every inch of the way to reform the party’s policies and structures. In 1968 he resigned to bring on a fight with the Left, which he very narrowly won. The single most important thing Gough did as Leader (strongly supported by Bob Hawke) was the overthrow of the Socialist Left regime that had run the Victorian ALP since 1955. Without the purge in Victoria, there would have been no Whitlam Government, no Medibank, none of the other landmark reforms for which he is now praised. Now we are being told that Whitlam would disagree with the position of the current ALP leadership on issues such as border protection. Given his attitude to Vietnamese boat arrivals after 1975 (on which I think he was wrong, by the way), I think that’s very unlikely. Despite his high-flying rhetoric, Whitlam was a pragmatic reformist in the NSW Labor Right tradition.

    1. Is that you, Mum?

      But while all of this is quite true, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that the Labor Right of the ’60s was still to the left of Labor today.

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