I went and watched the memorial for Gough at Federation Square. Not many there; either they didn’t know about it (there were no notices in the paper or on social media) or were happy to watch it on their computers (such is our modern age) or they just didn’t care! Either way, I was pleased to be there, with friends, watching it on the big screen in real time. I thought this man gave the best speech. It, unsurprisingly, was the most Whitlamesque.
Here it is, published in The Age. I know many prefer Noel Pearson but he is a little preachy for me. And at Gough’s memorial I preferred the partisans. Although I did like the Life of Brian bit.
I also liked Cate Blanchett’s contribution. Although the Little Fish analogy (or whatever it was) went on a bit. It’s a wonderful, heart-breaking film with fantastic performances from everyone, especially Cate, by the way and I hope everyone sees it. I loved her “I was but three line. And it was very appropriate that Gough’s recognition of culture was highlighted. In these days of government philistinism.
I also liked the ‘contemporary relevance’ (Graham’s words – remembering Gough’s insistence on same) of much of what was said. John Fawkner’s admonition to the current Federal ALP to make Labor electable, and worth electing amongst many others. The constant references to policies and actions that could/should be being implemented today was amazing. Demonstrating the enduring value of policies, a program based on principles rather than expediency.
Oh, and I did like the booing. Which became a bit of a five minute wonder on Twitter at least. People harrumphing that it was unseemly at a memorial service. When those attending are intent on undermining and destroying the very things being celebrated what would they expect? I was only sorry they didn’t boo the Governor General – for old time’s sake and because he wore a silly penguin suit to the Melbourne Cup (next it will be top hats!)