The Wit of Whitlam
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Self-proclaimed international treasure Gough Whitlam never shied away from a pun, a put-down or a witticism.
His wife Margaret was his 'best appointment', he called Malcolm Fraser 'Kerr's cur' after the Dismissal and when Sir Winton Turnbull called out in parliament 'I am a country member', Gough interjected 'I remember'.
When it was suggested he was funny, Gough responded: 'Funny! Funny? Witty, yes. Epigrammatic perhaps, but not funny. You make me sound like a clown.'
James Carleton, Radio National presenter and founder of the university club 'The Dewy-Eyed Whitlamites', presents a keepsake of Goughisms that vindicates the Great Man's self-assessment, 'I never said I was immortal, merely eternal.'
About the author
James Carleton is a reporter and alternate presenter of Radio National's Breakfast program. Specialising in national and international politics, especially the Middle East, he has reported for 7.30 and written for the Sydney Morning Herald.
James is well experienced with conflict situations as the father of three young boys.
In 1990 he founded the Sydney University club 'The Dewy-Eyed Whitlamites'.