NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
... but Fraser was
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
His cooperation with Governor General Sir John Kerr to have Whitlam sacked in 1975 was duly greeted with wild approval by the electorate, but the Left never forgave him and he suffered the minority’s permanent hatred.
His reign was one of torpor and ineffectiveness, leaving many conservatives disappointed, but under the instruction of Whitlam, the Left continued to maintain the rage, and it never subsided.
I knew him well. To me he was a complex yet simple man, he presented as a stern disciplinarian but you could sense the anguish and uncertainty bubbling below the surface.
Following the sacking, John Kerr was rarely seen sober and was constantly vilified by his Left associates in the judiciary. Did Fraser share Kerr’s shame? I think so. But we will never know the situation for Australia had Kerr not acted, because Whitlam’s mastery of brinkmanship ensured a Constitutional crisis regardless.
It was a matter of limiting the damage and getting to a general election to clear the air as soon as possible and that was exactly what Kerr opted for.
The ensuing fight left both bloodied and battered but, as with all championship fights, once a winner is established the combatants embraced each other with a show of respect and affection.
The Left will never agree, but history proved Kerr correct and unfortunately, Fraser visually culpable.
I recall vividly at a function out west, both toilets were full, so with a glass of red in hand, we were both having a leak on a rose bush in the sparse garden. I can’t recall the conversation, just the setting, and I only remember thinking how utterly Aussie.
Malcolm Fraser turned sharp Left late in life, his humanitarian side overtook his pragmatic conservatism and really, who could blame him?
He became a true blue liberal (but with a small l).