Sunday, June 7, 2009

Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser is a Prime Minister. I know that.

I sometimes get him confused with Menzies. But I think I have it straight in my head now.

Fraser is the Liberal PM who took over after the Whitlam dismissal.

That's about all I know.

I guess I shall go and learn more....

Lord Wiki says he was born on 21 May 1930.

Birthday website time!

He's a Taurus in astrology, and a 3 in numerology. A 3 in numerology is the social expressive one. I forgot what a Taurus is. Let me go see.

This astrology website says They are stable, balanced, conservative good, law-abiding citizens and lovers of peace, possessing all the best qualities of the bourgeoisie. As they have a sense of material values and physical possessions, respect for property and a horror of falling into debt, they will do everything in their power to maintain the security of the status quo and be somewhat hostile to change.

I'm not sure if that's positive or negative really. It doesn't sound quite like the type of person I'd get along with very well. But it doesn't sound like a bad person. I guess to me it sounds like someone who doesn't like to think outside of the box.

Let's move onto Fraser.

He has Jewish ancestors. His maternal grandfather was a Jew. It seems though that Fraser didn't embrace this aspect of his heritage.

He was born in a suburb in Melbourne called Toorak. I guess it's a fairly affluent area. Lord Wiki says there's a shopping area there that's supposed to be similar to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

Wow. Here's something I didn't know. Daniel Radcliffe's family owns a house there. I wonder if they bought it after he became famous....or before? I know Radcliffe has an Australian connection. He had a crush on some Australian girl he met briefly. How do I know this? When I first started my blog and would google it, I'd see my blog listed and then the article about Radcliffe's crush under it.

Well, it's not there anymore when I google "The Girl Who Wished She Was Australian", but I found the article anyway.

As a child Fraser lived in Denilquin New South Wales. I've never heard of it before. Lord Wiki says it's close to the Victoria border.

I'm looking at Google Maps now. It's about four hours north of Melbourne, and about two hours west of Albury.

Later he moved to Nareen which is in western Victoria. It's about five hours from Melbourne.

Lord Wiki says he went to Geelong Grammar school. I guess he did the boarding school thing?

For University Fraser went to Oxford. He studied politics, economics, and philosophy.

When Fraser was about twenty-four, he tried to get the seat of Wannon for the Liberal party. He lost.

A year later he tried again and won. Lord Wiki says he was the youngest member of the House of Representatives. Was he the youngest person so far (from at that time) or the youngest currently (again, from that time)?

When he was twenty-six he got married to a woman named Tammie Beggs.

I'm bored. Are you?

Maybe I'm not in the mood for politics.

I'll keep going. Maybe I'll find something that excites me. I'm sure the dismissal is exciting. It's just that I don't know if I'm in the mood for it.

Am I being difficult?

In 1966, Holt appointed Fraser as Minister for the Army. So for about nine years, Fraser was in Parliament without having any fancy Minister roles.

When Gorton was in power, Fraser got the job of Minister for Education and Science. He also was the Minister of Defense. This wasn't very easy because it was Vietnam war time.

In March 1971, Fraser resigned! Ah! Drama!

It was in protest towards John Gorton. Did I write about that on my Gorton entry? I don't remember. I kind of remember Gorton not getting along with Fraser. Or was that someone else?

Lord Wiki says it was Fraser's protest that led to Gorton's downfall. And this is what put McMahon in power.

Interesting.

Once McMahon was in power, Fraser returned to his role as Minister for Education and Science.

When Labor came into power, Fraser became a member of the Opposition.

Okay. Now Lord Wiki explains Fraser's roll in the dismissal. It goes way over my head. And that's sad because I read a whole book about the dismissal. Yeah, but the book went way over my head as well.

I know from the book, and Lord Wiki, that it had something to do with the budget.

Despite the fact that I don't quite understand the details, I know enough to form an opinion. I think the whole thing stinks. I would not be at all happy if all of a sudden, someone came along, pushed Obama out of the White House, and replaced him with a Republican.

The thing is though. I guess if the people didn't want Fraser there they could have eventually voted him out. Right?

I don't know.

Okay. Now I'm getting into what he did as Prime Minister. I hope I understand some of it.
He dismantled some of the Labor programs. One of these was the Ministry for the Media. What is that, and why did Fraser get rid of it? Well, I can't easily find any information. Maybe I'll run into something later.

He made changes to Australia's universal medical care. I'm not sure what these changes were. Lord Wiki though says that when Fraser was part of the Opposition, he opposed the program. But later as Prime Minister, he decided to keep it.

Fraser fixed some inflation issues. I guess that's good. But unemployment was high during his Ministry...not so good.

Lord Wiki says Fraser was less conservative then people suspected he'd be. John Howard was not too pleased with this.

In terms of foreign policy, Fraser supported campaigning against Apartheid in South Africa. There was a South African plane that wanted to refuel in Australia on their way to New Zealand. Fraser refused to give them permission.

Ah! That was in 1981. In 1977, a South African boat team was allowed to pass through. They got permission, and that information was suppressed. Well, I guess eventually it got out. Why did things change? Did Fraser have a true change of heart? Maybe in 1977, he didn't think or care much about Apartheid. Maybe by 1981 he did. Or was it just about getting into public favor?

Lord Wiki says Fraser had a huge roll in putting Robert Mugabe into power in Zimbabwe. Yikes. Isn't that the guy who a lot of people don't love?

I guess that might have been an oops on Fraser's part. He might have meant well though.

He supported Indonesia's annexation of East Timor. I forgot what that was all about, but Lord Wiki says this wasn't a really great time for East Timor. Many East Timorese people died as a result of the occupation.

So why did Australia support it during Fraser's time?

Oh okay. It was about Communism. Basically, Australia and America feared if the East Timorese were left to their own devices, they'd end up becoming Communist.

You know Communism might kill people, but it seems that a lot of people also die in the fight against Communism.

Lord Wiki says Fraser supported multiculturalism. That's good.

He inflicted the ABC with budget cuts. It seems this is because they had a left wing bias. Yikes.
In 1982, there was a recession and a scandal over tax issues. This made it hard for Fraser to remain in power. In 1983, Fraser lost the election to Bob Hawke. He resigned from Parliament.
Liberals began blaming the Fraser years for all their problems. Fraser didn't like all this nasty talk about himself. He began to distance himself from the party.

Now Lord Wiki talks about Fraser's retirement.

Fraser kept himself busy. Lord Wiki lists some things he was involved with. I'm too lazy right now to list them all, but some of them might come up later.

One day Fraser was found in a seedy Melbourne hotel not wearing any pants. Some people think he had been with a prostitute. His wife believes he was the victim of a practical joke. I think he was kidnapped by aliens and they forgot to put his pants back on after the anal probe.

Oh this is interesting.

Fraser was critical of the Howard Government. For example, he opposed the way the asylum-Seekers were treated. Anyway, despite their differences in the past, he and Whitlam kind of worked together.

Well, I don't know if they worked together exactly. But they shared some of the same viewpoints.
Actually the more I read, the more I like this Fraser guy. He crossed over to my side. He became a leftie. Awesome!

I'm done with Lord Wiki, and now I'm excited about Fraser.

I like reading about people who have crossed over to the other side. Although to be honest, I probably do like it more when they cross over to MY side.

I'm now on the National Archives of Australia Prime Minister Website. Let's see what interesting things they have to say.

After the dismissal, there was an election a month later. This website says Fraser won by the largest federal election landslide ever. That's so interesting. Why? I would think people would feel angry about the dismissal and vote against the Liberal party. But maybe it's like what happened with Bush and Gore in 2000. Bush shouldn't have won. Something was very much not right there. Yet he won again in 2004. He had 9/11 on his side though. Without it, would he have had such luck?

During his backbench years, Menzies was the Prime Minister. Maybe after writing this post, I'll stop getting the two of those guys confused with each other. Menzies...Fraser. Yeah, those names look so much alike,don't they.

Sometimes I wonder about myself.

He was a grazier when he won the seat of Wannon. Grazier. That's farming, isn't it? Okay yeah. It is.
Fraser's grandfather had been in politics. I wonder if it was the Jewish grandfather.
Fraser lived with his parents until he was ten. Then he went to boarding school at Tutor House Primary School. This information is different from Lord Wiki's. I kind of trust this one more, but you never know.

Actually, I just checked. Lord Wiki doesn't really mention what primary school Fraser went to. So, it's not like he actually lied or passed on wrong information.

Fraser and his family moved to Canberra. At first they lived there only during Parliamentary sessions, but later moved there full-time.

You know....I like Canberra. I miss it there.

I miss Australia in general.

Jack and I were looking at our trip photos this morning.

Canberra was kind of boring sometimes, but in a nice way. I can't really explain it. I guess I just liked the average not-really-touristy stuff we did. I remember grocery shopping, walking around the mall looking for a charger for Jack's Nintendo D.S., hanging up the laundry.......

The Fraser government set up an anti-whaling inquiry. He supported saving the whales. Cool.
It seems he did a lot to help Vietnamese refugees.Under his Ministry,the government began to set up migrant resources. This included language lessons and TV for different language groups.

In 1982, Fraser's leadership was challenged by the Peacock guy. Around that time he was in the hospital for a back injury. Maybe that's part of his excuse about why he lost to Hawke.

Fraser and his wife ended up having four kids. I wonder if any of them are in politics.

After he resigned from Parliament, Fraser involved himself with United Nation programs regarding South Africa and Apartheid.

In 1987, Fraser formed an organization called CARE Australia. Well, he didn't start the whole organization. CARE already existed. I think he just started the Australia division of it.

The organization is a way for Australians to help people outside of Australia.

I just learned that Fraser happens to be on that overwhelming biography site. I guess I'll spend the most of the rest of my time hanging out here. This site is so detailed and informative, there's really no reason to go elsewhere.

His early childhood took place during the Great Depression. I'm sure that was fun.

His grandfather came from Canada. The Jewish one? Before that, the ancestors were in Scotland. So Fraser has Scottish roots.

He says his mother came from New Zealand.

He has an older sister.

He went to boarding school when he was eight.

He says travel was difficult and expensive so during his childhood there wasn't much visiting of other properties.

It seems he didn't have a lot of playmates.

So, we're back to that subject again: socialization and the idea that children need constant interaction with peers. It's been on my mind lately because we have only one set of friends in Fort Worth and we haven't seen them in awhile. Jack hasn't played with a friend in over a month...maybe two months.
He sees his cousins almost every weekend though. We usually spend the whole weekend with them so he probably has more than enough time playing with children. But he spends less time playing with other children than someone who has siblings and goes to school. That makes me question and doubt. I need to keep telling myself that it doesn't matter whether or not Jack gets exactly what other kids are getting. What matters is that he gets what he needs. And yes. I think he does.

The interviewer mentions Fraser's lack of childhood friends and asks if he was lonely. He says, I don't think so. I don't think, you know, if you haven't known another existence you don't really know. If you haven't known something else, you don't know what you may be missing.
 
Jack does know what he's missing because he DOES play with other children. But he seems happy either way. I mean I think he'd be upset if he NEVER got to play with any kids. I think he'd start asking us to bring some back into his life. But he seems satisfied with the amount of child to child interaction that he currently receives.

Fraser was into shooting as a child. I guess he was good at that. I wonder how his experiences would influence his feelings on gun control.

There's a cute story....

As a young child, Fraser would ride around the property on a pony. One day his father told him to never go out in the area alone because he might get lost. But Fraser had already done so and had not gotten lost. That must have made him feel pretty good about himself.

He talks about boarding school. He didn't seem to love it. I think basically he missed his family and his home.

I was always looking to the stage when I could leave school, because I thought then you'd be free. There are other sorts of constraints. But I never liked the discipline or the straightjacket that schools and boarding schools put you in. You accept it but, you don't have to, you don't have to love it.

He wanted to be free.

That's how Jack is. He wants that freedom. Sometimes I worry it's because he's homeschooled; that I've warped him into this person who expects freedom. But look. Fraser wasn't homeschooled and he feels the same way. I do too and I was never homeschooled. I love waking up and being able to choose what I get to do each day. And I know that's a huge luxury that not everyone can have. But I'm grateful I have it. And I'm grateful I can give it to Jack.

Jack doesn't even really like taking classes. He stopped taking them last summer when he had his separation issues. But even now that the separation issue is over, he's still not interested.
A part of me thinks maybe I have messed him up and he's never going to be able to accept being in a situation where he feels he's forced to do or not do something. Another part of me thinks maybe this is just in our nature. Maybe some of us just need more freedom than others. And maybe our types will work hard to make sure we find ourselves in situations where we can be free. If not though....if we have to work in a profession that doesn't provide the freedom we desire, it's still better than school. At least you get paid. I think it's easier to give up some freedom if you're going to get something in return. It's harder when there's no reasoning behind it outside of you're a child and you have to go to school because that is that.Fraser did end up having some friends at school. He says he keeps in touch with some of them still.

He compares his life at school with the one he knew at home. School was very organized. Fraser didn't have much time to do what he wanted to do. At home, he had all the freedom.
From what I'm reading, it seems he liked his peerless and free childhood better than his friend-filled highly programmed childhood.

I think that's how Jack is probably. He likes having friends, but I don't think he likes being in a situation that's highly structured. I want him to go to extracurricular classes so he can meet other children. But the question is how much time in these classes do the kids have to actually play and talk with each other? I think Jack prefers being with kids in a more free situation. If it's a choice between being free or having more friends, I think Jack would pick the former.

At Melbourne Grammar, Fraser chose not to be a boarder. He said his parents had a flat there. Did they live there with him, or did he live alone?

He doesn't have many good things to say about Melbourne Grammar. He pretty much says the school is good for children who excel at academics and sport. He says, If you're one of the duller variety, I think they used to just, in many ways, wash their hands of you. The people who weren't so good academically got the worst teachers and-or I thought they were the worst. I don't suppose I saw all that much of them, but in many ways the duller kids needed the best teachers.

That is so true. I really agree with him here. When I was in high school, I had this really great biology teacher. Then they moved her to the gifted classes. Why? It doesn't make much sense. I don't want to say gifted kids can do well with a bad teacher. But why should gifted kids need the better teachers?
It seems Fraser's mother lived in the flat when he was going to school. So, he'd come home to her. I guess the father stayed back to the other place. What other place? I forgot. I'm not in the mood to go back and refresh my memory.

His sister ended up moving to Rome. He says they never came back. Wow.

I'm already tired of this and I'm only on page 2. I guess I'm going to start skimming......

This is sort of interesting. He talks about how he got into politics. It seems he had no previous interest in it. His friends suggested he try to get the seat of Wannon. They talked back and forth about it,and he finally decided to give it a try. Fraser says....and I threw my hat into the ring and shortly after I'd done that I thought well to hell with it. No point throwing your hat into the ring and not winning. So I started to work at it, and won.

He talks about politics and how there's combat. The interviewer asks if Fraser enjoyed that. Fraser answers,  Combat with a political enemy, yes. Combat with your own people is quite a - the sort of combat I ended up having with John Gorton was not something that I think anyone would really enjoy. I'm sure he didn't and I didn't.

I don't like combat. I don't tolerate it very well. I get very stressed about it and my body doesn't seem to react well to stress. The problem is I have my viewpoints, and I'm the type of person who feels the need to speak up.

It's hard though. Sometimes I think I want to highly limit my interactions with people so I can avoid this combat stuff. There's a part of me that wants to HIDE and be a peaceful hermit. I guess I feel there's no true middle way. If I'm out there I feel I have to speak up and be honest. If that becomes too risky for me, then I feel it's best to retreat.

I don't know.

Fraser gives his views on abortion. He's anti-abortion, but not completely. He says he supports it if the mother's health is in danger. But he feels since there's contraception that's easily available, abortion doesn't need to be. I think he makes a good point, and I agree with him in a way. The issue is though once a mother is pregnant with an unwanted child, does it help to say well, you should have used a condom. What's done is done. And does a child need to come into a world where he's unwanted, or where his mother is not able to take care of him?

It would probably help reduce abortions though if we had more readily available contraception. What if they had bins of free condoms at the grocery store? Better yet, what if there were free condoms in both the female and male public toilets? People could easily pick them up without being embarrassed and without having to spend any money. Would this cut down abortions? Maybe.

OR you could just teach teenagers to ignore their raging hormones and not have sex at all.
Yeah, I'm sure that works quite well.

The interviewer asks if he learned to shut up when he should.

Fraser replies, Well when should I? No, I don't think I ever did. You know, as Prime Minister I probably, I learned to exercise political tact, but if you had to do something you had to do it. If there was a course of action that should be pursued, you weren't deterred from that simply because it was going to alienate somebody or a group or whatever. And if you're a prime minister, all the more in my view, you had to take that view, because if you weren't prepared to stand for a principle or an idea, who else would.

Amen to that, Fraser! You're awesome. THANK YOU.

But it IS hard sometimes.

I'm kind of just skimming here. From what I'm getting, Fraser and Gorton were at one time friends. Then disagreements in politics pulled them apart. They never patched things up.

That's hard too.

He talks about how you have to have a thick-skin in politics. You have to learn how to not care what people, you don't respect, think of you.

I feel one of the most difficult thing is finding yourself at odds with someone you previously were friends with and/or respected. Enemies are easier to deal with when they enter your life as enemies.

There are people in our wedding album that my family is no longer friends with. And it goes beyond just simply growing apart. There's something sad about it.

Well, I guess it's kind of like divorce. Here I am talking about wedding albums with friends we're no longer friends with. How harder it must be to look at a wedding album and see that your current enemy was once the person you were madly in love with.

Life is very complicated sometimes.

My feeling?

It's much better when enemies turn into friends....rather than vice-versa.

I'm getting really tired of reading this interview.

It's overwhelming.

I'm kind of just reading bits here and there. He reminds me a little bit of Keating in that he has negative things to say about most people. I guess that makes him a lot like Mark Latham as well.
There's something a bit abrasive about Fraser....at least in this interview. But for some reason I feel I can tolerate him more than I can Latham and Keating.

Fraser regrets the new Parliament building. Interesting... He says the old Parliament building had a lot of history to it, and was adequate. I probably agree with him there.

All right. I'm going to stop. Well, at least I'm going to stop reading the interview.

I'm looking at Google News now. Anything exciting?

Here's something. A construction tycoon named Sir John Holland has recently died. One of his first big projects was building a woolshed on Fraser's family's property.

You know....I was going to look at other sites. But I feel stupid doing that. The interview has so much information. I should stop being lazy and read more of it.

I'm going to go back and read SOME of the stuff I skipped before.

The interviewer points out that he doesn't seem very fond of any of his Liberal Leader predecessors. Fraser argues that this isn't true. He says he did make a speech against Gorton. Yes. But he says, but I wouldn't have ever said anything other than praise for Harold Holt. I don't think I've ever said anything critical about Billy McMahon.

That kind of reminds me of conversations I had with my parents when I was young. I'd complain about someone--venting like we all need to do sometimes. And then they'd say something like You don't like ANYONE.If I'm reading this right, Fraser DOES/did support the dismissal. He felt it had to be done. This stuff though goes over my head.

About the Whitlam government, Fraser says, I mean it was a government out of Alice in Wonderland or something worse. It was a parody of a government.

I think an Alice in Wonderland Government might actually be fun. Or maybe not.

Fraser gives his explanation of why Whitlam's government was so popular.
....And suddenly you have Gough as Father Christmas coming along and saying, 'We're a great wealthy nation, you can have everything you want all at once'. So whether it was childcare centres or more money for schools, or preschools, or a great deal more money for the arts, or more money for everything. 'If you want more money, it doesn't matter, we'll print it if we haven't got it', and so those people on the Labor Left and those people who supported the Labor causes all felt well, this is the millennium, this is Utopia, Gough's giving us everything we want, everything those wretched Liberals denied us all those years, just because of their pure unadulterated meanness. But it was the Liberal Party that built up the social welfare safety net.

I think that's very interesting. I'm not educated enough about all this to know if Fraser is right or not. I'd love to know what you guys think about it.

The interviewer asks what Fraser's ideal society would be. That's a good question to ask a politician. Well, maybe it's a good question to ask anybody. I wonder if Andrew Denton ever used that one.

Fraser answers....
But really one in which individuals, groups, families, whatever can work out their own lives and their own futures with minimum interference from authority, minimum interference from government, except that which is necessary to maintain an even balance, equity, justice, fairness within society. One which is egalitarian but at the same time one that does not stifle individual initiative.

I like that. I agree with it. And I'm pretty sure most people would agree as well. The question is where do you draw the lines? We all have different ideas of how much interference is okay and how much is too much.

You know I was just thinking that his attitudes in this interview don't really match what Lord Wiki told me about Fraser making that big viewpoint change. Well, I just looked and saw that the interview was done in 1994! I guess his changes came after that.

I need to find some stuff that's more current.

Here's an ABC interview from 2005. Maybe this will help.

Well, he still agrees with the dismissal here. When asked if the dismissal caused a trauma, Fraser says, There was one sort of trauma in having an election forced. There would have been another sort of trauma in having that government stay in power another six or seven months.

The article doesn't give me much though.

Anything else out there?

Oh well. I'm not going to find it.

It's way past lunch time. Jack and I are both starving.

I've had enough of Fraser for now.

Wait.

One more thing.

I guess Fraser changed his mind about Robert Mugabe.

This article says he thinks South Africa should turn of Zimbabwe's electricity.

Well, maybe I change my mind about there being one more thing.

I'm going to read this last article and then I'm out of here.

The article talks about Fraser's change. It says, As the man who overthrew Gough Whitlam to become prime minister three decades ago, Fraser was hated by Labor followers and lampooned as a rigid, stony-faced conservative. These days he is routinely described as a “leftist” and has become the nation’s elder statesman of human rights activism.

What changed more....Fraser, or how people perceived him?

Fraser believes he has been fairly consistent. Some people disagree with that.

I don't know. I'm sure he HAS changed somewhat. We all change.

But maybe it's more about the party itself changing. I think the Liberal party has become much more on the right this past decade or so. Maybe the party in the past was a better match for Fraser's viewpoints. And now it's not a good match.

6 comments:

Andrew said...

Fraser certainly did change once he was out of politics. I recall that rather than particularly support Mugabe, he supported independence for Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Mugabe just happened to be the one to lead.

Fraser's mother lived in a flat in South Yarra in the nineties, near Melbourne Grammar. I wonder if it was the same flat he stayed in when he was at school.

Ariane said...

Fraser's an interesting character. I think his daughter is involved in one of the international charities? Something like that.

I think Fraser, like Keating and Latham, could have belonged to either party. I completely disagree with the right wing position on debt, which is where the dismissal came from. And I also completely disagree with the communist phobia that allowed East Timor to be terrorised for 25 years. I wonder whether Fraser's position on those things would have been different if he'd joined the Labor party.

He's definitely changed his focus from economics to humanitarian issues. I guess maybe that's why he looks like he's changed a lot to the outside world, but feels less like he has himself. Nevertheless, there was no excuse for the decisions made about East Timor. Mugabe is a different matter, maybe it wasn't obvious he was going to turn into an evil dictator. Maybe the options for running the country were extremely limited. I don't know enough about it.

But you know, anyone that criticised Howard gets kudos from me. :)

matt said...

Hi Dina glad to have you back, i missed your blog.
I like Fraser but don't always agree with him. I think he is a true Liberal, by that i mean a conservative who looks after the individual but is prepared to stick up for the little guy.
As for the Whitlam dismissal i think Fraser is as much to blame as Kerr. The Liberals kept blocking the supply bill in the Senate (the unwritten law was you always passed the supply bill) which meant that Whitlam had no money to govern. So with no money to govern, Whitlam was a lame duck, so Kerr sacked him. Now with a new election called it means we are without a PM until after the new election but Kerr instated Fraser as PM and the first thing Fraser did was pass the very supply bill that he was blocking in the Senate. This sugguest to me that he and Kerr were working together to get Whitlam out (a person elected by the people just 12 months earlier). So the whole process was undemocratic and the worst thing about this is that they still haven't changed the laws so this could possibly happen again.

Dina said...

Andrew: That makes sense about Mugabe. I think sometimes it's hard to know though if a leader will end up being good or horrible. He could have supported him not knowing how things would turn out.

Interesting about the flat... It could have been the same one. ???

Ariane: I think the Communist phobia thing can be dangerous. I think any fanatic belief or anti-belief can cause huge problems.

I agree about Mugabe. Maybe he just didn't seem like the evil dictator?

Could ignorance be an excuse for East Timor? Were the atrocities not known? Or were they known..and people just said "Well, it's still better than communism?"

Matt: Thank you! I missed my blog too...A LOT.

I especially missed the intelligent comments people would leave that would help me understand stuff. And yours is a prime example. What I read in the book and the Internet all went over my head. You say it in a few paragraphs and it makes perfect sense to me. Thank you.

Retarius said...

Fraser...a man I find so dreary that I believe even a dust-mite wouldn't find him appetising.

("Rock-face" and "The Headmaster" are a couple of his nicknames.)

As matt pointed out the dismissal was justified by the obstruction of the passage of appropriation Bills in the Senate which were then passed by the Coalition majority to allow Fraser to govern as caretaker PM until the election.

Now the dismissal was indisputably lawful. However, I've always believed that the double-dissolution election was not, because Fraser asked for the election to be called on the grounds of the very Bills his party was refusing to pass. This was, I'm convinced, utterly against the intent of the Constitution. A lawful outcome would have been a full House and half-Senate election. If you don't savvy any of this, just memorise it, say it to an Australian and amaze them.

Dina said...

Retarius,

lol about the memorizing. I shall do that and walk around Australia reciting it. That would be pretty funny.

I think eventually I'll understand the whole thing. Maybe?

Whether it was lawful or not....it just seems wrong to me.