Margaret Whitlam has died at 92 and in the nature of things St Gough is unlikely to be far behind. When he leaves us the "quality" media will go into meltdown. It'll be worse than Pravda and Stalin. The ABC is quite capable of declaring a week's mourning with solemn music playing continuously and a crepe-hung portrait on screen of the man who, until the Gillard came along, was acknowledged by all but Labor fanatics as Australia's worst prime minister. The front pages of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald will be edged in black and with a bit of luck there'll be a silly Spooner caricature. But the Dismissal, dear Lord, spare us the Dismissal. Endless rehashings of what a crime against humanity it was from ageing true believers stoking their failing rage. Sir John Kerr traduced over and over again ad nauseam. Interminable reruns of that booming flatulent voice blowing into the wind outside Parliament House: "Well may we say God Save the Queen because nothing will save the Governor-General!" An avalanche of cloying tributes from the flower power generation and from the arts also-rans who stayed at home to accept Whitlam's largesse (courtesy of the taxpayer) rather than go abroad to measure themselves against the rest of the world. It will be a good time to escape to a hermitage.
18 March 2012