NAT091115WHITLAM2:  November 11, 1975, one of the most controversial days in Australia's history. Prime Minister Gough Whitlam addresses the crowd after being dismissed in what was labelled a constitutional crisis. Photo: National Archives of Australia
NAT091115WHITLAM2: November 11, 1975, one of the most controversial days in Australia's history. Prime Minister Gough Whitlam addresses the crowd after being dismissed in what was labelled a constitutional crisis. Photo: National Archives of Australia National Archives of Australia

OPINION: In need of Whitlam’s vision

FOR the past 40 years, November 11 has had two meanings for Australians.

Traditionally and solemnly it is the day we remember those who gave their lives in wartime.

Since 1975 it is also the day we remember the dismissal of the Whitlam government by then governor-general Sir John Kerr.

That momentous day now seems like it was from another age, and I guess 40 years on it was.

It's hard not to remember it in black and white images, although the fortunate would have had colour TVs by then, but the way politics and the coverage of it has changed has been enormous.

And not necessarily for the better.

Whitlam, for all his faults - and there were plenty of those - was a giant of politics who makes many of our present day leaders seem like midgets.

He was a man of grand visions, too grand for many as it turned out, but also unwilling to focus on the smaller details.

However he was willing to back big ideas, some of which changed our society forever.

With extensive tax reform needed in this country, and the current government declaring all options are on table, here's hoping we have politicians in our midst who can match Whitlam's vision.

It is an area where the country needs reform will last for generations.


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