The Pickering Post
Friday, 14th December 2018

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Paul Zanetti

Paul Zanetti is a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media. He blogs at


Whatever your view on Gough, and mine is he would've made a better stand up comic with his own TV show than PM, his wit in Australian politics was sharp, possibly unrivaled, challenged only by the likes of Fred Daly, Jim Killen and the affable John Button.

There is none like him today in the quotable quotes domain. Certainly not Abbott, nor Shorten, Rudd nor Gillard. Keating was simply acidic without the wit. Hawke, yes, he had a quick wit.

I remember when Bob launched one of my books and he came down with a nasty cough the day before the launch. Barry Cassidy who was Hawke's media manager called to say if Bob deteriorated overnight he'd have to cancel. Bummer!

The next day, his office confirmed that although Bob was still crook, he wouldn't let me down. I popped out to the chemist down the road and bought a big bottle of cough medicine and tied a big blue bow around it as a sort of 'thanks'.

After he made a very funny off the cuff speech, cameras rolling and clicking, I pulled out the bottle of sweet chalky syrup and handed it to him. Hawkey eyed it up and down, then quickly unscrewed the top and took a swill.

The cameras went into overdrive. Suddenly aware of the headlines, Hawke turned to the media throng warning 'em, "Now I don't want any stories from you bastards that Hawke's back on the bottle!"

I can't think of any media-managed pollie today so spontaneously quick-witted.

I was just a kid when Gough was PM, but I noticed him. In fact if not for Gough I may not have developed a thirst for politics so early in life. He was an imposing figure in our lives, on the front pages and all over our black and white tellies.

He did have a great vision for what he wanted Australia to be, but it wasn't the vision for all. I remember my late dad (an immigrant who left school at 14) trying to run an engineering business, employing mostly fellow European migrants and struggling to make ends meet in a volatile economy with uncertainty under Gough's leadership.

Whitlam's cabinet largely contributed to his downfall, balls and chains around his government infamous for scandal after scandal from the Cairns-Morosi Affair (literally) to the dodgy Khemlani Loans Affair.

It's natural and easy to look back after decades and paint a rosier picture of the times and legend of a giant when he dies.

Today was a day for all of us to honour and reflect, for politicians and leaders of all walks of life to join together to pay respect.

Instead what we, the people, witnessed was a national embarrassment.

Booing anybody paying homage at a memorial about is as low as it gets. It's disrespectful, not only to the misplaced target of hate and scorn, but to the family of the figure being honoured.

The Whitlams are a very dignified family. That's not what they would have wanted. And it's not how Gough would have reacted to a rival politician. He became a fellow traveller and friend with the man largely responsible for his political demise, Malclom Fraser.

He forgave. No bitterness.

That was the mark of the man.

It's a shame so many sullied his day. For most of the day radio reports, social media and online feeds talked of only one thing - booing at the Whitlam memorial.

It was Gough's day but shamefully will now be largely remembered for bad behaviour.

Gough walked tall, but so many today slunk so very low.


Gough Who?

I find it amusing that a party of unions need to idolise someone who, to most people, was in reality an abject failure.

A very costly failure.....All his political mis management costs ...AND ABOUT $1 M A YEAR SINCE 1975 ie 39 YEARS = $39 MILLION OF TAX PAYERS MONEY ...for a failure !! How stupid we are to allow failed Politicians to such us so dry !!

RIP Mr Whitlam "Because nothing will RIP Australia and Australians" to what he and the labor party has done to us in partnership and cooperation with the greens who are still doing this to us until this day 2014 and beyond. great work Mr Whitlam you and the labor/greens have given our future generations a great future especially, killed industry, killed manufacturing, trying very hard to kill mining, taxing carbon and everything and anything that will advance Australia. great work labor/greens

He was a Living DISASTER.........
but NOW he's a DEAD

How come????

I thought Far-Goof. And he did!

Whitlam could walk tall if he so chose but, like everyone else in the ALP (actually, politics in general), he was a thieving bludger.
Near 40 years living off the hard work of others on his pension does NOT grant him the right to be called a "man".


As a fuckwit by the thinking minority, that yesterday ALP and media tried to rewrite history, which I am sure the leftie school teachers will be teaching as they have done since 1972 and the media has been compliant in perpetrating this myth.

Since his involvement that many things that this goose introduced into parliament that Fraser passed and Hawke rectified. He (Gough) was an egotistical wanker that started the whole process of claiming multiculturalism (Bullshit, it started in 1948) he and Al Grassby just destroyed and put an evil name to it and started this PC that dogs our society today.

I raise my middle finger and say Fuck Him! Destroyer of Australian values

some idiot is always outraged, usually a fuck wit socialist like SHY and Milne and co.

thats one of things about modern politics, none will speak their own true mind, it always amazes me how sometimes the point blank truth about something will offend more people than anything else going around.

Gough was in the time of Norman Gunston and Hari Krishna .

Thank you Paul, in deference to your fair but naïve self, I will hold my fire.

Looking for a taxi driver to beat up.

I like your style, Jack.

we lived "its time" . we lived Gillard and Rudd. only memory reminds us who was the worst

What GW forgot to mention in his first speech was that "I plan to destroy the Australia you have all come to know and love". And by God he did!

now that he is gone it is upto us to 'Maintain the rage' and correctly highlight all the scandals, incompetence and arrogance of his reign an ensure it is never forgotten. The propaganda dept' of the ALP continue to try and rewrite history and portray him as something he never was...