Saturday, August 15, 2009

Andrew Peacock

What do I know about Andrew Peacock?

I should say what do I THINK I know about Andrew Peacock. I'm a little nervous after the whole Dawn Fraser fiasco. I thought for sure she was Aboriginal, and I had been wrong about that.

Anyway, I think Peacock is a politician. I say is because I don't know whether he's still alive or not.

I think he's Liberal. He may have been Leader of the Opposition at some point.  Maybe not.

I think he was active in politics during the 1970's and 1980's. I remember that he was mentioned in the book I have about Bob Hawke.

He might be also connected to William McMahon. Maybe he was treasurer when McMahon was Prime Minister?

I could be wrong about all of this.

We shall see....

Lord Wiki says he's still alive.

And I got most stuff right.

He is Liberal. He was part of the McMahon Ministry. He was the Leader of the Opposition. I'm not sure yet what his connection to Hawke was. But I bet there was one.

Baby Andrew was born on 13 February 1939. His birthday is a day before my nephew's birthday.

That would make Peacock an Aquarius.

The birthday website says that Peacock is a 1 in numerology. Of course. Everyone is a 1 lately.

He was not born on Friday the 13th, but I'm sure he's had some of his birthdays on Friday the 13th.

His last birthday would have been on Friday the 13th. I know that because my nephew was born on Saturday the 14th. We were in Australia at the time; so for us it was Sunday the 15th when we heard the news.

Baby Andrew was born in Melbourne. His family was wealthy. He went to Scotch College. Lord Wiki says Peter Singer went there too. I'm a Peter Singer fan. Maybe I should add him to the list. I already wrote a few entries based on what I read in one of his books. But perhaps I should do more.

Scotch College is having some kind of Literature festival soon. No wait. Never mind. It's ENDING soon. It started on August 7. Julian Burnside was one of the speakers. Like Peter Singer, Burnside is one of my favorite Australians.

After Scotch College, Peacock did Law at the University of Melbourne. After the school thing, he practiced law. As he practiced law, he moved up in the world of the Liberal Party. By 1962, he was president of Young Liberals. He'd be about twenty-three at that time.

In 1963, he married the daughter of a Liberal politician. Susan Rossiter. Lord Wiki says she was a socialite.

Together, Susan and Andrew had three children. One of them is now known for being a horse trainer.

In 1965, Peacock became president of the Victorian Liberal Party. He joined Federal Parliament in 1966. Menzies retired. Peacock took over his seat which was Kooyong. The division of Kooyong is in the eastern Melbourne suburbs. I'm getting that it's a pretty conservative area. It seems like there's almost always been a Liberal person in the seat; never a Labor one. The current guy in the seat is Petro Georgiou.

In 1969, Peacock got a Ministry position. He became Minister of the Army. Lord Wiki says that's now called Minister of Defense. It's the job that Joel Fitzgibbon recently resigned from.

When McMahon got into power, he gave Peacock the job of Minister for Territories. He had responsibilities related to Papua New Guinea.

I guess I was wrong about him being the treasurer in the McMahon Ministry. But I'm proud of myself for being right about other things.

In December 1972, the Liberals became the Opposition Party. That's when Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister.

Peacock supported The Leader of the Opposition who was Billy Snedden. Snedden lost the 1974 election. There was an idea that Peacock might become the new leader; but Malcolm Fraser beat him to it.

When Fraser became Prime Minister, he gave Peacock the job of Minister of Foreign Affairs.

That job now belongs to Stephen Smith. I'm not sure I've heard of him before. I need to add him to the list.

Peacock had the job for about five years. He had a reputation of being a playboy. Really?

By that time, his marriage had ended. He had an affair with Shirley MacLaine. That's funny. I had a dream about her recently. In the dream, she left me a comment on my blog. I don't remember what she wrote exactly, but it was positive. I mean whatever she said pleased me. The problem was I couldn't easily respond to the comment. I tried, and kept running into difficulties.

I also had a dream about her while we were in Australia.

Anyway, I didn't realize MacLaine had an Australia connection. Well, I probably did on a subconscious level. I've read one or two of her books. I'm sure it was mentioned in there somewhere.

In the early 1980's Peacock had conflicts with Fraser. Peacock Fraser interfered too much in his portfolios.

When Labor kicked Liberal out of power, Peacock became the new Leader of the Opposition.

There were issues with him and John Howard. Peacock lost some popularity. Howard became more popular. Peacock worried that Howard would try to become leader. Therefore, he wanted Howard to stop being the deputy leader. Peacock wanted to replace him. His wish wasn't granted. At some point, Howard became Leader of the Opposition. Poor Peacock.

Tears need not be shed though. He once again became Leader of the Opposition a few years later. I guess it went from Peacock to Howard and then back to Peacock.

In 1990, Peacock was involved with some controversy regarding something called Multifunction Polis. To me, that sounds like the name of an awful disease. But that's not what it is.

What is it?

It's some kind of futuristic technology community thing. It was supposed to be a little town in Australia...built by the Japanese for the most part. It sounds like something in a science fiction novel.

I just read a book by an Australian science fiction author.  Wyrmhole. The setting of the book is a planned community in the future. It sounds a bit like Multifunction Polis. I wonder if the author got the idea from that.

Anyway, Peacock didn't like the idea of Multifunction Polis. He spoke out against it, and that cost him politically.

Still, he stayed in politics in the early 1990's. He became shadow this and shadow that.

In 1994, he resigned from Parliament.

When Howard became Prime Minister, he gave Peacock the job of being Ambassador to the United States. He had that job until 1999.

It seems Peacock liked my country. He continued to live there. He even married an American. ...Penne Percy Korth. I am guessing that they're still married.

Lord Wiki says that Peacock is currently the Chairman of something called Octaviar. To me, that sounds like a comic book villain. In reality, it's an investment firm. It's located in Queensland. Does that mean Peacock no longer lives in the United States? Or does he work for them from a distance?

Well, I'm done with Lord Wiki.

I'm going to go check on what Jack is doing. Then I'll move onto another site.

I'm back. We ate breakfast and played a game of Bananagrams. We were bad and quit before the game ended. Both our words were falling off the table. It got out of hand. We got tired and frustrated, so we quit.

In the early 2000's, Peacock was president of Boeing-Australia. The headquarters of that was in Sydney, so maybe he left America to do that job. I think there's a Boeing in Texas. Yeah. I remember meeting someone who had connections to the company. I can't remember who it was.

This website says that on 23 March 1987, a phone conversation between Peacock and Jeff Kennett was intercepted and recorded. This conversation caused problems between Peacock and Howard.

Wow. I just read the transcript. It's really not something you'd want someone overhearing. It is scary to think that someone might be listening in on our conversations, or reading our emails.

Here's a 1999 ABC interview with Peacock.

It says that he was leaving Washington D.C. He no longer wanted to be ambassador. During his time as ambassador, he was a popular and colorful character.

Peacock is asked why he's leaving. He said he had enough of public life.

He returned to Australia as a single man. Really? What happened to Penne Korth?

Oh, and in 1999 he was still friends with Jeff Kennett (the phone conversation guy).

In 2004, Peacock had double bypass heart surgery. The operation was done because of alarming test results, not a heart attack. I guess that was kind of lucky.  I mean lucky that they caught it in time.

The article says that Penne Korth was his wife. I think I misread Lord Wiki before. I read he had an American wife, and therefore assumed he had stayed in America after leaving his ambassador post. But the ABC said he left as a single man in 1999. How did he end up meeting Korth? Did she come to Australia? Did he go back to America for a visit? Maybe they met elsewhere?

In 2005, Peacock was charged with drunk driving. That's not good. He actually got in an accident...hit a pole. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured...or KILLED.

On that overwhelming biography site, Malcolm Fraser talks about Peacock.

He says, Well I had no reason to be particularly friendly to Andrew Peacock. He had not been a good servant or a good member of my government. He was an able Foreign Minister, but he is much too emotional and would get caught up with instances and circumstances, in a very emotional way, which he should have been able to overcome.

That reminds me of the new TV show Drop Dead Diva. The main character is a lawyer and she gets overemotional about her cases.

Fraser says that Peacock resigned over a political cartoon. At least I think he is saying that. I might be misreading something here. What happened is that a guy named Barry Symon made a speech criticizing the government. I guess Symon was a staff member of one of Fraser's ministries. Fraser tried to get Peacock to get Symon to shut his mouth. Peacock refused. Then someone turned the whole thing into a cartoon. I guess Peacock was embarrassed? Angry? Anyway, he resigned.

I'm going to check Youtube and see if there's any Peacock videos I can watch.

Here's something called The Gillies Report. I guess it's a comedy. They have a segment with someone pretending to be Peacock.

I didn't understand most of it. I think perhaps it was poking fun at how Peacock is into style and all that.

Here's a recording of the infamous phone conversation. Well, it's not the whole conversation. There's mention in it of Arthur and Martha. I'm guessing that's some kind of Australian slang?

He doesn't know whether he's an Arthur or Martha.....

This website of Aussie insults says it means someone is so dumb that they don't know what gender they are.

Anyway, I think I'm done with Peacock for the time being.


  1. You linked to the Peacock-Kennett car-phone conversation on my website which led me to check out your blog.

    I must say it is quite extraordinary to see your fascination with Australia. Your stream of consciousness posts have had me chuckling as I see you trying to work out who's who.

    I just thought you might enjoy a funny line that the former Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, delivered about Andrew Peacock. As you discovered, Peacock had two separate terms as Liberal Party leader but failed to win an election, although he nearly got there in 1990. Many people regarded him as a bit of a show-pony and a lightweight. When he became Liberal leader for the second time, Keating asked: "Can a souffle rise twice?" At the time, it was quite a devastating line.

    Best wishes!

  2. Malcolm,

    Hi! I am honored that you found my blog, and read some of it!

    Keating's line is great...VERY clever.

  3. Some random interest extras for you -- Andrew Peacock's married to a Texan now. She's lovely, though of his usual blonde, finishing school 'type' ;) Saw them at the newsagent recently.

    What Wiki won't tell you is that he also had a long-running affair with a fabulous journalist called Geraldine Pascal. Other than Shirley, Geraldine was the only other exception to his 'type' anyone knows of him seriously dating.

  4. CatatonicKid,

    Hi! I haven't seen you in awhile. I hope you're doing okay.

    Thanks for giving me an update on Peacock's love life. I'm going to go Google his Pascal girl. I'm wondering if she was Australian, American, or something else.....