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*rubs hands together* so how much caffeine am I going to dump into my garbage body today

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  • Gough Whitlam: introduces Medicare, allowing free access to healthcare for everyone
  • tone abet: wants to introduce $7 copayment to every GP visit
  • Gough: gives us our first advisor for women's issues
  • tone: supposedly is the minister for women, still not sure he realises they're human too
  • Gough: pulls troops out of Vietnam
  • tone: wants to send asylum seekers there
  • Gough: introduces free tertiary education
  • tone: wants to deregulate university fees
  • Gough: gets rid of the OBE and knighthoods, introduces the OA
  • tone: brings back knighthoods.
  • Gough: replaces God Save the Queen with Advance Australia Fair as our national anthem
  • tone: loudly ignores the line "for those who've come across the sea/we've boundless plains to share"
  • Gough: one of the finest PM's this nation has ever had
  • tone: wrong lizard. Possibly a dinosaur based on how outdated views are.
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If you want to know what a truly progressive government looks like…


Gough Whitlam, the 21st prime minister of Australia, died this morning at the age of 98. The manner in which he lost office, which was the culmination of the greatest political crisis in the history of this country, partly overshadows the rest of his legacy, but if you want to see what a truly progressive government looks like you only need to take a look at the list of his achievements.

Gough (pronounced “Goff”) was a towering figure, both intellectually and physically. He shook up this nation from decades of complacency, and our society still benefits from some of the changes that he made. One of his very first acts as prime minister, within the first day or so of winning the 1972 election and before the rest of his cabinet had been sworn in, was to recall all Australian troops from Vietnam. His was the first government to introduce universal health care in this country, and the first government in the world to introduce no fault divorce. He went to China before Nixon did, and recognised mainland China while most of the rest of the western world was still calling Taiwan “China”. He introduced the Racial Discrimination Act, and the Aboriginal Lands Rights Act. This is a famous picture of him symbolically returning the land of Wave Hill station to Vincent Lingiari of the Gurindji people:


Gough funded the arts, including the rebirth of the Australian film industry, which had been all but dead since the 1940s.  He abolished university fees in the 1970s, and I benefited personally from that. I got a free university education, until fees were reintroduced in my last year at university in the late 80s. A whole generation of people, including most of the conservative politicians currently trying to hike up the cost of a university education to the levels of what we see in the United States, benefited from the free university education that Gough gave them. A lot of those people - not the politicians, obviously - are still grateful for the education that many of them otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

The conservative establishment, not surprisingly, was incredibly hostile to Whitlam’s reforms, and in 1975 they seized their chance to do something about it when a government senator from Queensland died. The vacant senate position was filled by the nominee of the Queensland premier, the arch-conservative Joh Bjelke-Petersen. Joh’s (Gough and Joh are the only two Australian politicians I can think of who are routinely referred to by their first names. Probably because, like Gough, there was only one Joh. And I don’t just mean because their names were unique.) Joh’s nominee, Albert Field, was hostile to the government, which meant that the government lost their majority in the senate. The opposition then used its numbers in the senate to block the passage of supply bills (ie. money) and the government was on the verge of coming to a standstill.

The situation was broken by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, the official representative of the Queen as head of state. (Yes, she’s still our queen, more than a hundred years after we ceased to be a collection of British colonies. Don’t get me stated on that.) Kerr dismissed the Whitlam government from office and appointed the opposition leader as caretaker prime minister, using reserve powers in the Constitution that the queen herself would never have used. It remains one of the most controversial actions in the history of Australian politics, and the subject of many conspiracy theories, including that the CIA was somehow involved.

This was a shocking move. My father is old enough to remember the assassination of JFK. Like many people, he remembers where he was when he heard that JFK had been shot. He also remembers exactly where he was when he heard that the Whitlam government had been dismissed. That’s how shocking and unbelievable the news was at the time.

Gough was a great orator, and quick with a line. That day, he stood on the steps outside what was then parliament house and addressed the media and the nation, saying: “Well may we say God Save the Queen, because nothing will save the governor-general!”

But Gough didn’t win the election that followed a month later. He stayed on as opposition leader for two more years but didn’t serve in government again. He went on to be ambassador to UNESCO, to write books including books about his government and the dismissal, to be an elder statesman and to be… Gough.

His government was far from perfect, particularly when it came to financial management, which made him a very divisive figure, but also in other areas. My partner D still doesn’t like him because he condoned the Indonesian invasion of East Timor. But many of his achievements have long out-lasted the effects of those poorer decisions. Not many politicians leave such a positive legacy on their country. Even fewer politicians can claim to have transformed their country. Gough did that.

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our government is in a meme war

I can’t believe this is real

you know if someone had shown me this picture about 4 years ago i would have believed that it was some hamfisted attempt at satire or some sort of surreal distopian world but here we are 2014

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im aiming for the “shes a badass and cute as hell but I wouldn’t touch her without asking” look

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trying to decide on a title for my english essay


that works

i just got it back today


mission accomplished

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everything I like is either expensive, illegal or won’t text me back (via kxthleen)

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