Tag Archives: gough whitlam

Opinion: Gough Whitlam: Farewell to a reformer

Gough_Whitlam_bust by WikiTownsvillian

I’m an avid consumer of the politics of other countries, including that of Australia which borrows so much from our Westminster system yet, viewing its Parliamentary proceedings on-line, some might say its politics are even more robust than our own.
I first became interested in Australian politics at around the time of the original coup when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister after ousting her own Party colleague Kevin Rudd.
Three years and three days later, of course, Mr Rudd got his own back when he took back the crown, albeit to shortly thereafter lose it again when his Labor Party lost the 2013 election.
Since then I’ve read up on a number of other former Prime Minister’s down under, from Bob Hawke to Paul Keating, from Robert Menzies to John Howard. Each, of course, led in their own style and according to their own philosophies and beliefs. But none were as mythologised as the Grand Old Man who has passed away today: E Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st Prime Minister.
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Five of the best political adverts: It’s Time

This week we’re running a series featuring five of the most effective political adverts. Today it’s the turn of Australian politics and an early 1970s musical classic:

Yesterday’s Lyndon B. Johnson Daisy Girl advert was a one-off, but by contrast one of the most effective TV advertisements in Australian political history was part of a well-planned wider campaign. After 23 years of Liberal Party rule, Gough Whitlam’s Labor party in 1972 used the slogan “It’s time“ to sum up its argument that it was time for a change. This theme was reflected widely in the Labor Party’s activities and also in the classic TV advert.

Looking more like the sort of pop video that subsequently became popular, the advert featured an Australian rock singer, Alison McCallum, singing a song about how it was time to change, intercut with stills of Gough Whitlam’s background and a supporting singing chorus of Australian celebrities. It worked far better than that might make it sound!

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