…gough whitlam, that independent aussie pm…

…history has that ever inconvenient way of intruding on the present…

The Guardian’s announcement on 21 October, Gough Whitlam dies at age 98

Prime minister for just three years, he brought in sweeping changes that transformed Australia and inspired a generation of progressive politicians

And there was so much more to his unprecedented removal from office, as he embarked on progressive and humanitarian, not ‘humanitarian’, policies for a country he sought to make truly independent, not superficially so.

In this post over at counterpunch, John Pilger now adds to his earlier post on Whitlam’s fate as Prime Minister of Australia, The Forgotten Coup. And therein, in couple excerpts, the journey towards the late Whitlam’s downfall,

Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.

Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.

External forces would check, if not reverse, this path to true independence. Tragic. Matilda would decline to waltz to this.

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