WHAT A SWELL PARTY THAT WAS

by Ross Sharp

A new post from Tongues at Groupthink

I was thirteen years old when Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister in 1972.

The first Whitlam ministry comprised two men, Whitlam and his deputy Lance Barnard.

For 14 days, these two men made roughly 40 decisions on how the country would be governed and dragged it kicking and screaming into the 20th century after a little too long in grey flannel suit and felt hat land …

The withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.
An inquiry into indigenous land rights.
Recognition of China.

Some progressive thinking took place, some innovation, some ideas, some big ideas, and you didn’t need to be an “adult” or particularly politically aware to sense something very, very different was going on. Of course, it all ended in tears a few short years later, but … c’est la guerre …

Most 13 year olds aren’t much interested in politics, and I was no exception. My major concerns and interests at that time were dealing with school, skipping school whenever I could (which was often until the day I got nabbed farting about in the storm water drains near the train tracks by the cops and escorted back to school), reading science fiction and pulling myself silly. That’s what 13 year old boys do, and anyone who says different is …

Continue reading this post over at Groupthink …

Advertisements