I was not around in this country when Gough Whitlam and the then Labour government were dismissed in 1975 I came here some eight years later but this week I lamented that I was not.
In a country’s history there is usually one person who stands above other leaders by a country mile and whilst one would acknowledge like his counterparts of note he was not the perfect article he certainly had his flaws but Whitlam was one of those people.
He had conviction for a better and fairer Australia and was able to inspire thousands of people to believe it could happen; in my opinion our version of J.F. Kennedy, Gandhi and Winston Churchill.
He for a short time broke the stranglehold of an ultra-conservative government which seemed to want to keep the status quo of life here, he was responsible for major social reform which has been the fabric of our modern society and envied from afar ever since.
Believe it or not this is not a political statement for any party ( I have no political affiliations) just the observation that sometimes we need our leaders to be bold, Whitlam did that and the people followed, he was the” Pied Piper” of his time.
In another observation our erstwhile right wing commentators of the media have had real difficulty in acknowledging his achievements, almost choking on any sort of praise of his life. To a man they have trotted out their negative commentaries which leads me to think they could be nervous that people may be in the mood to seek a similar cycle of change in our national life.
In 2014 we struggle to find leaders who inspire us both in political and business circles, we talk a lot about qualities that we admire but mainly fail to reach our Holy Grail. My challenge to the upcoming generations is hope that some of that Whitlam magic finds its way to your door. Australia will be a much healthy place because of it.
Vale- Gough Whitlam