He Was Gough, Not God

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;

Gough Whitlam has died. Ending a life of service to his nation.

Now the pygmies come out of the woodwork to denigrate and destroy. It began in the condolence motion in the House of representatives within hours of Gough’s death.

They gather to bury Caesar, not to praise him.Gough1

The Oedipal Christopher Pyne could not refrain from gloating at the death of a man as far above him in ability as Mount Everest is above an ant hill. “My mother was crying out of joy when Whitlam government was sacked.” he said in what was supposed to be a condolence speech.

It is yet to be seen just what place Gough will have in Pyne’s Australian History Curriculum. Will his good be interred with his bones?

This morning I read how the incompetent Colin Barnett has reacted. “While he changed Australia’s thinking and modernised Australia, Gough Whitlam should not be remembered as “a great prime minister“.

The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.

Even those on the Left have come out with their criticisms.

Yes he changed Australia but “he was from the Victorian Right Wing of the ALP and so was not a true Socialist.” Not true and without a move to the right by the ALP the Liberals would have stayed in power for another 30 years. Australia had changed. The working man, the Unionist was a fading force in Australian politics. The ALP had to change and Gough led that change. It gave the ALP an additional 30 years of life.

Gough led the changes in Australia’s psyche which allowed us to stop cringing. He allowed us to raise our head and look the world in the eye.

He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:

Gough created an Australia which was a better place for the average man.

At his Memorial Service Noel Pearson invoked the ‘What have the Romans ever done for us’ skit from Monty Python and the Life of Brian After likening Gough to a benevolent Caesar, he said, “What has Rome ever done for us? ‘Medibank and the Trade Practices Act, cutting tariff protections and no-fault divorce and the Family Law Act; the Australia Council; the Federal Court; the Order of Australia; Federal Legal Aid; the Racial Discrimination Act; needs-based schools funding, the recognition of China; the abolition of conscription; the Law Reform Commission; student financial assistance; the Heritage Commission; nondiscriminatory immigration rules; community; Aboriginal land rights; paid maternity leave for public servants; lowering the minimum voting age to 18 years and fair electoral boundaries and Senate representation for the Territories.’ Other than that, what has this Roman ever done for us?”

Even Malcolm Turnbull has said, “What people remember of Gough Whitlam is a bigness, a generosity, an enormous optimism and ambition for Australia.”

Yet the Left will never forgive Gough for his betrayal of East Timor. And rightly so. It was a grievous fault and deserving of condemnation.

Gough was not a great organiser of a Government. Due to a number of events, not all of his, or even Australia’s making, his Government descended into chaos.

Yes, Gough was, as you are and I am, a flawed human being.

For the only person who has never made a mistake is the man who has done nothing.

I will be remembering all that Gough Whitlam did. The good, the bad and the inspired.

The Human Gough of reality, not the Divine Gough of myth.

O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.
Bear with me; My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

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