I recant my too long held views,
On Malcolm Fraser who is dead.
He was once often headline news,
Which this ‘leftie’ always read.
He was interviewed – ‘post mortem’ –
Live? On our ABC last night!
Watching and listening to him,
I confess, on this he was ‘right’….
Life is not meant to be easy,
But it can certainly delight!
I wrote this ‘recantation’ for the Political Sword, my favorite blog site, the day after I posted there my first reaction in verse shown below to the news of Malcom Fraser’s death on March 20th, 2015. A regular contributor there, Talk Turkey, a man with good Labor blood in his veins, seems to have, like me, maintained the rage……
Patricia, last week I defined my thoughts on Malcolm Fraser. He was never big enough to apologise, to Gough ………and for that I cannot forgive him. And you should feel proud of maintaining your rage until his death. You say it very well indeed in verse.
Talk Turkey (Bruce Bilney?) is spot on there. There is not a hint or record anywhere of Fraser having apologised to Gough. So perhaps it explains why these still somewhat angry ‘pomes’ emerged as my response to his passing. Yet the the death of my Labor hero, former PM E.G. Whitlam, seems not to have moved me to write at all. Or perhaps I sensed that more than justice had been done to him and his achievements by the many memorial articles written and eulogies spoken late last year, by leading Australians. Of particular note, of course, was Noel Pearson’s eulogy for Gough.
“Well, now he has died, passed on and he really is history! What are my thoughts today?”
March 22, 2015. All Passion Spent? Malcolm Fraser’s Passing.
“Kerr’s cur” to me he’ll always be!
Why should his passing sadden me?
Though Gough may have long forgiven
That one great sin, never shriven
By this man, its perpetrator,
I, lifelong Tory hater,
Have all these years “maintain(ed) the rage,”
Never able to turn the page,
Acknowledge his recent history,
Nor understand the mystery
Of this media rush to praise a
Long time ‘Liberal’ – Malcolm Fraser.
Am I really that unforgiving? Cynical? Perhaps I should have second thoughts, write this differently? Yet, even while questioning my first reaction, something similar comes up.
So, Gough forgave him,
Seemed to have forgot
Words which I have not.
He exhorted us
To “Maintain the rage!”
Now, despite my age,
I still remember
How in November,
Nineteen seventy five,
I first came alive
To politics here
Where there’d been a ‘coup,’
Brought on by you,
Malcolm Fraser, “Kerr’s cur!”