Gough Whitlam dies aged 98

Gough Whitlam dies aged 98; Family says 'loving and generous' father was 'source of inspiration'

Updated 

2 minutes agoTue 21 Oct 2014, 9:07am
VIDEO: An extraordinary life: Gough Whitlam remembered (ABC News)
RELATED STORY: Obituary: former PM Gough Whitlam dead at 98
MAP: Australia

Former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam has died.

Mr Whitlam led the country through a period of massive social change from 1972 to 1975 before his ousting by governor-general Sir John Kerr.

"Our father, Gough Whitlam, has died this morning at the age of 98," Mr Whitlam's family said in a statement.

"A loving and generous father, he was a source of inspiration to us and our families and for millions of Australians.

"There will be a private cremation and a public memorial service."

Mr Whitlam leaves a legacy of unprecedented and unmatched change in Australian politics.

Arguably, he was as much lauded for his reformist leadership and eloquence as he was lambasted for his autocratic style and profligacy.

But it is for being at the centre of Australia's most ferocious political storm, the "Dismissal", that Mr Whitlam will forever be remembered.

Mr Whitlam remained one of Australia's most towering figures despite being the country's only prime minister to be sacked, a touchstone moment in the nation's political history.

He led Labor to its first victory in 23 years at the December 1972 election on the back of the famous "It's Time" campaign before being sensationally sacked by Sir John on November 11, 1974.

His dismissal was prompted by a refusal by parliament's upper house, where his Labor Party did not hold a majority, to pass a budget bill until the government agreed to call a general election.

To end the impasse, Sir John took the unprecedented step of sacking Mr Whitlam and installing then opposition leader Malcolm Fraser as caretaker prime minister.

For the first, and so far only, time in Australian history, the head of state used his constitutional powers to dismiss the government of the day.

Malcolm Fraser was appointed caretaker PM while the country reeled from the episode.

Despite being in power for only three turbulent years, Mr Whitlam launched sweeping reforms of the nation's economic and cultural affairs, cementing his place as one of Australia's most revered leaders.

He stopped conscription, introduced free university education, recognised communist China, pulled troops from Vietnam, abolished the death penalty for federal crimes and reduced the voting age to 18

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-21/former-prime-minister-gough-whitlam-dies/5828836

A very sad day for Australia. An absolutely towering figure in Australian politics. Hopefully one day we will see another one like him.

R.I.P Gough. A life well lived.

RIP Gough.

 

Reunited with your beloved Margaret. 

Not your average politician - messages of hope over fear, giving back to the population, and unafraid to shake things up.

 

Made a genuine mark on this country.

 

RIP.

Nah, not that sad (not talking politically at all). If i make it to 98 i’ll consider it a pretty good outcome.

And be warned, im not letting this thread turn into a political shitfight. Be respectful.

Vale Gough Whitlam.

 

May you rest in peace.

Perhaps the greatest ever Prime Minister we have ever had. Achieved so much in such a short period. RIP.

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 

 

I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.

 

To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act

May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.

Has anyone noticed that each Prime Minister since EG Whitlam has been progressively poorer in terms of national vision and achievement?

 

So much so that the current and 7th successor is a scraping off the bottom of the dregs of a barrel. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1k-VXszb54

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 

 

I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.

 

To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act

May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.

 

I'm not sure about the Vietnam thing, isn't there some conjecture on that?

Anyway, your list is incomplete.  As is mine, but still...

 

  • amalgamated the various defence departments into a single agency
  • established the National Film and Television School in Sydney
  • replaced ‘God Save the Queen‘ as Australia‘s national anthem
  • established TAFE, Australian Film Commission, Australia Council, Consumer Affairs, Australian Heritage Commission
  • banned South African sporting teams while that country remained under an apartheid regime

Was he the one who shot down the UFO or am I thinking of Holt?

 

BTW I'm learning stuff in this thread.

 

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 

 

I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.

 

To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act

May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.

 

I'm not sure about the Vietnam thing, isn't there some conjecture on that?

Anyway, your list is incomplete.  As is mine, but still...

 

  • amalgamated the various defence departments into a single agency
  • established the National Film and Television School in Sydney
  • replaced ‘God Save the Queen‘ as Australia‘s national anthem
  • established TAFE, Australian Film Commission, Australia Council, Consumer Affairs, Australian Heritage Commission
  • banned South African sporting teams while that country remained under an apartheid regime

 

You can be sure. Gough and his two off-siders that ran the country alone for a short while, saved me and who knows how many more from the 50-50 lottery that was conscription to go to Vietnam. I will never forget the night of 2nd December 1972 and the spontaneous eruption of joy when the band stopped playing at the Council Club Hotel in Preston, to announce that Gough had won. I would have been in the next batch of cannon fodder. I slipped up by not naming my first born after him, who now won't let me do it as an after thought! By the way, can anyone tell me if that pub is still going? A lot of fond memories of that place when I was twenty.

I think, from memory, the off-siders were Lance Barnard and the great Lionel Murphy.

 

 

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 

 

I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.

 

To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act

May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.

 

I'm not sure about the Vietnam thing, isn't there some conjecture on that?

Anyway, your list is incomplete.  As is mine, but still...

 

  • amalgamated the various defence departments into a single agency
  • established the National Film and Television School in Sydney
  • replaced ‘God Save the Queen‘ as Australia‘s national anthem
  • established TAFE, Australian Film Commission, Australia Council, Consumer Affairs, Australian Heritage Commission
  • banned South African sporting teams while that country remained under an apartheid regime

 

You can be sure. Gough and his two off-siders that ran the country alone for a short while, saved me and who knows how many more from the 50-50 lottery that was conscription to go to Vietnam. I will never forget the night of 2nd December 1972 and the spontaneous eruption of joy when the band stopped playing at the Council Club Hotel in Preston, to announce that Gough had won. I would have been in the next batch of cannon fodder. I slipped up by not naming my first born after him, who now won't let me do it as an after thought! By the way, can anyone tell me if that pub is still going? A lot of fond memories of that place when I was twenty.

I think, from memory, the off-siders were Lance Barnard and the great Lionel Murphy.

 

I'm pretty sure it was Crean (snr) instead of Murphy.

 

And initially it was just Gough and Barnard - "Duumvirate"

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Whitlam_Ministry

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 
 
I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.
 
To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act
May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.
 
I'm not sure about the Vietnam thing, isn't there some conjecture on that?
Anyway, your list is incomplete.  As is mine, but still...
 
  • amalgamated the various defence departments into a single agency
  • established the National Film and Television School in Sydney
  • replaced ‘God Save the Queen‘ as Australia‘s national anthem
  • established TAFE, Australian Film Commission, Australia Council, Consumer Affairs, Australian Heritage Commission
  • banned South African sporting teams while that country remained under an apartheid regime
You can be sure. Gough and his two off-siders that ran the country alone for a short while, saved me and who knows how many more from the 50-50 lottery that was conscription to go to Vietnam. I will never forget the night of 2nd December 1972 and the spontaneous eruption of joy when the band stopped playing at the Council Club Hotel in Preston, to announce that Gough had won. I would have been in the next batch of cannon fodder. I slipped up by not naming my first born after him, who now won't let me do it as an after thought! By the way, can anyone tell me if that pub is still going? A lot of fond memories of that place when I was twenty.
I think, from memory, the off-siders were Lance Barnard and the great Lionel Murphy.
I'm pretty sure it was Crean (snr) instead of Murphy.
 
And initially it was just Gough and Barnard - "Duumvirate"
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Whitlam_Ministry

Nope it Lionel Murphy.

My first polical hero. I was age12 when he was electedand for a political event to have such an impact on a child said much for his presence. The advertising slogan of "It's Time" was revolutionary and the number of celebtities who appeared in the ad gave it legitimacy that no political ad has had since. 
 
I was fortunate to benefit from his free tertiary education policy. That would not have happened without Gough's reforms.
 
To think what he did in just three years is mind boggling.

  • stopped conscription
  • withdrew all military from Vietnam
  • recognised tge Peoples Republic of China
  • the first Australian PM to visit China
  • free universal health care (Medibank later revived by the Hawke government as Medicare)
  • no fault divorces
  • indigineous land rights (From little things big things grow)
  • introduced Legal Aid
  • abolished the death penalty for Commonwealth offences
  • reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. (remember that conscriptees were 19 and did have a vote though they could forcibly sent to fight for their country)
  • welfare payments for single mothers
  • Racial Discrimination Act
May be he tried to do too much too soon but he was a visionary often surrounded by ministers that lacked his intellect. Regardless his legacy is remarkable. Vale Gough.
 
I'm not sure about the Vietnam thing, isn't there some conjecture on that?
Anyway, your list is incomplete.  As is mine, but still...
 
  • amalgamated the various defence departments into a single agency
  • established the National Film and Television School in Sydney
  • replaced ‘God Save the Queen‘ as Australia‘s national anthem
  • established TAFE, Australian Film Commission, Australia Council, Consumer Affairs, Australian Heritage Commission
  • banned South African sporting teams while that country remained under an apartheid regime
You can be sure. Gough and his two off-siders that ran the country alone for a short while, saved me and who knows how many more from the 50-50 lottery that was conscription to go to Vietnam. I will never forget the night of 2nd December 1972 and the spontaneous eruption of joy when the band stopped playing at the Council Club Hotel in Preston, to announce that Gough had won. I would have been in the next batch of cannon fodder. I slipped up by not naming my first born after him, who now won't let me do it as an after thought! By the way, can anyone tell me if that pub is still going? A lot of fond memories of that place when I was twenty.
I think, from memory, the off-siders were Lance Barnard and the great Lionel Murphy.

I hear you Brother. I was ready to go to jail, as I refused to put my name in the lottery, but that great day saved many of us.
The list above is endless
Women's rights
Free University.
The pity is that successive governments of all flavours have done their best to destroy his legacy. I first met him in 1972 at his Election Launch at Festival Hall. I was sitting in the second row behind all the TV and Film stars. had this very bald bloke in front of me who turned out to be Bert Newton. He said that he never wore his wig when he was amongst friends ! Have lots of Whitlam stories, from when I worked for Minister in his Government, when I stop crying I will relate the funniest.

I can't say I like the way he went about things, but I loved the way he had a vision for the country. Our current political leaders have no big picture ideal and as such only live poll by poll with the sole view to get re-elected. Gough had the guts and drive to drag Australia out of the 1950's and into the modern age and put us on the world stage for largely the first time. 

 

Vale Gough Whitlam.

I can't say I like the way he went about things, but I loved the way he had a vision for the country. Our current political leaders have no big picture ideal and as such only live poll by poll with the sole view to get re-elected. Gough had the guts and drive to drag Australia out of the 1950's and into the modern age and put us on the world stage for largely the first time. 
 
Vale Gough Whitlam.


It was that long term vision that did him in, and I think turned people off the idea of having one.
He did more in 3 years that all the governments have done collectively since.

A very sad day. We lost a man that has shaped the way we live our lives more than any other politician.

He gave my Party hope and believe when we had none and showed that we can change Australia for the better.

May his memory inspire Labor leaders for years to come.