Farewell Fraser Friday

To mark the passing today of Malcolm Fraser, one of the giants of Australian politics in the last third of the 20th century, I have put together a short photo-essay.

Like many of the left, I do not forgive Fraser for engineering the dismissal of the Whitlam government. I do, however, have no hesitation in acknowledging the many good things he achieved, both during and after his political career. Despite the Dismissal, he earned my respect and admiration with his treatment of the boat people, the continuation of land rights for the first Australians, his work against apartheid, ceasing Australia’s participation in whaling, stopping sand mining on Fraser Island, to mention a few.

So vale, Malcolm Fraser, and thank you.

Portrait of Malcolm Fraser as a young boy, c. 1934

(Image Credit: National Archives of Australia)

A young Malcolm Fraser (back row on the right) in an undated photo

Wedding of Malcolm Fraser and Tamie Begg, Willaura, 9 December 1956

(Image Credit: National Archives of Australia)

Federal Member for Wannon (Vic) Malcolm Fraser, with wife Tamie Fraser at Sydney’s Mascot Airport on 11 January 1959

(Image Credit: Hugh Ross)

Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser with his wife Tamie and their hosts James Callaghan and Audrey Callaghan during a visit to Chequers in Buckinghamshire, 2nd June 1977

(Image Credit: Rob Taggart/Central Press/Getty Images)

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and wife Tamie in the 1980s

Tamie and Malcolm Fraser and their companions Grizzle and Choco in the garden at their Merricks property on the Mornington Peninsula

(Image Credit: Angela Wylie)

Malcolm Fraser and wife Tamie at the Australian Open tennis in January 2015

(Image Credit: AAP)

If Maestro CK Watt would be so kind as to run the raffle, and if youse will all help yourselves to beverages and comestibles as you feel inclined . . .

317 thoughts on “Farewell Fraser Friday

  1. What I did today

    Sunday dawned bright and fair, with the promise of a warm day.

    I collected my mother’s washing, and suggested to her that after an early lunch we should visit the State Rose Garden at Werribee Park.

    Then I did the family’s laundry, put it on the line, and played at The Pub.

    Shortly before me mum was due to arrive, I checked opening hours etc for the rose garden, and found on the site wtte “Warning: large festival in Werribee on Sunday 22 March is likely to cause long traffic delays.”

    Oh noes, not MORE traffic delays after the thrills of getting to and from the Arts Centre not once, but twice yesterday.

    So I decided we would head for the bush.

    For Talbot, more precisely, in the Central Goldfields.

    Why Talbot (pop. 296)? I hear you ask.

    Well, since moving into her flat me mum has had two paintings on the wall opposite the chair where she usually sits. One was by my grandmama – the last painting she ever did; the other was by grandmama’s art teacher, Caleb Vacchini, back in the 1930s.

    The other evening my mother started saying that she didn’t like Vacchini’s painting – that she had never liked it. Of course I asked why she had it on the wall, when she had lots of other things she could have in its place.

    After the usual discussion of “Do I really have other paintings?” I told her I’d bring one over the following day.

    So I dug out her Kenneth Jack linocut

    and she was delighted with it, so we made the exchange (her copy isn’t anything like as dark – much more muted olives, yellows, and greys).

    The subject of the work is the old town hall at Talbot.

    I thought it would be fun to have a look at it.

    Off we went. It took ages to get out of Melbourne, but once on the freeway it was a quick trip. We stopped at Clunes for coffee – and what a charming place it is.

    On to Talbot, and the town hall and the old shop in front (in the picture) look pretty much the same as all those years ago when Kenneth Jack did the original work.

    Then back to Melbourne via Maryborough, Castlemaine, the Calder Freeway and the Western Ring Road.

    A good afternoon.

  2. Let’s not forget the 1991 election too, where the Liberals got a “comfortable” 52.5-47.5 result, but still lost their majority.

    While this slew of 54-46 polls suggest that they’ll likely avoid repeating that, still, NSW Liberals like to live together so the marginal seats might not fall their way. And of course you never know what Abbott’s next disaster is going to be.

    I was about to type in exaggeration that his next brain fart would involve forcing young adults on Newstart into national service or the Green Army but going on past form that might be exactly what that clown is thinking of doing.

  3. One seat I’d like to keep an eye on next Saturday is Riverstone, John Aquilina’s old seat. It was one of the biggest swings to the Libs in 2011 and is now held on a margin of about 70-30. However, it’s also within the federal seat of Greenway which swung to Labor in 2013, so the result there might be as interesting as the north coast seats.

  4. The wheels are falling off the welfare card thing already.

    Who would ever have thought people might need some cash? Twiggy never ever thought of that, the over-entitled bastard. What happens when you use brain farts as policy? A complete balls-up, that’s what.

    Abbott government says Andrew Forrest welfare card will have to involve cash

    Tudge acknowledged the government would have to allow users of the card to withdraw some money, because a fully cashless version was impractical.

    “Andrew Forrest recommended a completely cashless card. We’re likely to proceed with at least an element of cash because we don’t live in a cashless society,” Tudge said on Sunday.

    “There are still are some things where you do need a bit of cash for … maybe it’s the kids’ tuck shop or purchasing a ticket on the bus


  5. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/21/france-population-europe-fertility-rate




  6. For some strange reason I can’t find any reference to this on their ABC.

    The annual March in March event attracted colourful parodies of politicians, mostly targeting the Liberal party with some expletive-laden messages directed at Abbott.

    “Is being an incompetent buffoon also a lifestyle choice?” read one banner at the Sydney rally.

    “Terrorists are threatening our way of life,” said another, alongside a picture of the prime minister.


  7. I just wonder –
    The March in March event was supposed to be non-party-political, with lots of mentions in the lead-up to the first march that Labor politcians would not be speaking for just that reason. But – at last year’s marches there was fund raising for the Greens and addresses from Greens politicians, leading to a fair bit of ‘Labor doesn’t care because they weren’t there’ whining, while today Christine Milne spoke at the Sydney march and was introduced as the ‘leader of the opposition’. Are these marches genuinely non-party, meant to be chances for all people to voice their disapproval of the government or are they surreptitious Greens recruiting and fund raising events? Just asking…..

  8. More for historical completeness than anything else, I note here that the HI At Work wars have been re-started in the last week.

    We have kicked some very important and thrilling goals in the last couple of days, but we don’t know whether it’s enough to win through.

    This week will see a “decision” made by a “decision maker”: the fourth decision maker in as many days, as we have managed to have the first three, including the very top officer of the entire organization HI works for, kicked off the case, in shame, for bias and conflict of interest. It is a farce.

    Fiona has helped us greatly and big hugs to her for her patience and proof-reading. And for just being herself. Others, whose name I could drop, but won’t, have also taken an interest, and provided good advice. They are watching, too.

    The union has agreed to fully fund a court case for unfair dismissal, if dismissal actually happens, and if we want to go further. They have told us it’s the most perfect test case they have seen in quite a while, and are eager to get going on it.

    So, we shall see what we shall see…

    Two things I have learned in the last week are: the value of friends, and that rottenness comes from the top.

  9. BB sorry to hear that HI bosses have restarted their actions in the past week. You would think they might lay off in election week because a change of government would mean a change of priorities.

    Best wishes for a successful outcome – don’t get hurt

  10. No chance of getting hurt. I am concerned that HI is a little fragile, underneath the flinty exterior.

    They know we’re onto them. Several senior officers of the department, used to clubbing together and supporting each other, have fled the scene, recusing themselves, or being recused from the case. Not because we bashed on doors or bullied them, but simply through the power of a couple of emails containing quotations from their own policies.

    A very powerful name in the legal profession has been dropped into all this, and he is casting an attentive eye on proceedings.

    It seems that the management rats are deserting the ship, leaving it to others to cop the blame, if and when blame comes calling.

    But stupid is stupid. They can still do stupid things. And probably will. Stupid is what stupid people do. So we have to prepare for that, morally and mentally

    And legally.

    It’s a power struggle, and a travesty of management. No-one has ever bucked their cosy little club like we have. But when the ship is sinking, when privatization looms and soon all jobs are up for “re-application”, the fewer poor sods on the lifeboat, the more underlings you can blame for your failures, the better the chance for the 1st class passengers who possess a well-developed – and ruthless – sense of entitlement to step onto the Carpathi with their feet bone dry.

    Or so the logic goes.

    We aim to test that logic, in our own modest way.

    One thing is certain… that if it does get to court, there are no more bosses, and no more bullies. We are all equals before the law, and that might well be where the real fun begins.

    I look forward to seeing their bony bums (and some decidedly not so bony) on hard corridor benches, outside No. 3 court, awaiting the Clerk’s call to give evidence.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. The scene is set, the armies have marshalled, but do these cowards have the guts to fire the first shot?

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