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The drama surrounding the dismissal of Mr. Gough Whitlam as the Labor Prime Minister of Australia - on 11 November, 1975 - by the then Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr - and the subsequent installation, in Parliament, of the Liberal 'caretaker government' and Mr. Malcolm Fraser as the 'caretaker' Prime Minister. Written by
David McAnally <D.McAnally@uq.net.au>
[referring to Opposition Leader Billy Snedden]
Before the Leader of the Opposition can talk about leadership, let him serve his apprenticeship. Let him do some on-the-job training. Better still, let him do some adult re-training.
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Although I lived in Australia in 1975, I moved overseas not long after, fed up with constant industrial unrest, the general worship of mediocrity - unless one is a sportsman! - and the complacency of so many Australians who chose to ignore the breakneck pace of change taking place in countries to their north.
Consequently I missed The Dismissal, along with many other Australian-made TV dramas of the '80s and '90s, such as the superb Janus and Phoenix series, which I have since seen, along with Wildside.
To me the filmed story of The Dismissal is fair and, as far as I am aware, accurate. However, as to public "outrage" it only shows one side of the picture, not how families were riven by the controversy. I know, as my two brothers would not speak to me for months afterward.
But the commentary is, in my view, very one-sided throughout. The inescapable fact is that, notwithstanding fiery expressions of rage from a substantial proportion of the community, the Australian electorate chose - and chose decisively - in favour of Fraser, as they did again two years later.
This apart, a historically accurate and superbly well acted docudrama.
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