A letter to Tony and a goodbye to Gough

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(Image via Tom in Oz AKA @SirThomasWynne)

After his public shaming on Wednesday at the Whitlam memorial, senior correspondent Barry Everingham has some advice for Tony Abbott that may help him avoid a repeat, as well as a short tribute to the great man.

Well Tony, last Wednesday has been and gone and, to quote one of your more famous priests, Ronald Knox:

The tumult and the shouting dies,
The captains and the kings depart,
And we are left with large supplies
Of cold blancmange and rhubarb tart.

There was never a Memorial Service like Gough’s and, dare I say it, it will be a very long time before there’s another one the same.

I spent a lot of time observing you — the ABC was splendid in its switching to you when appropriate.

Your confused look when you were so soundly booed was perfect — confusion trying to look as though it was funny.

I was surprised when it was time for those stirring lines from Advance Australia Fair:

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share

Your lips seemed to tighten, they barely moved and I guess even you must have felt a surge of disgrace for what you and Morrison are doing to those hapless souls trapped in your hell holes.

You know, Tony, you really are hated by a huge portion of the community and this is nothing new.

In your student days, you honed the hallmarks that became your nemesis, right up until today.

Your relentless attacks on Gillard – no woman is Australia has ever been subjected to such vicious attacks – 'Brown’s Bitch', 'Ditch the Witch', the dreadful Alan Jones’:

“Her father died of shame.”


“Put her in a chaff bag and throw her out to sea.”

Bronwyn Bishop’s:

“Well get out if it’s too hot in the kitchen.”

By the way, where was she last Wednesday? Didn’t you have guts to demand she be there?

I thought Bob Hawke showed real compassion when he saw you reeling with embarrassment, taking you to one side and talking to you.

Typical of Bob — we all know what he thinks of you.

It wasn’t your day Tony, not one skerrick of it.

And by the way — where was Margie?

I mean Lady Cosgrove, Mrs Howard, Mrs Fraser and Mrs Shorten were all there, respectfully honouring Gough.

How did you feel when Noel Pearson let go his thundering eulogy — his total approval of Gough’s treatment of our First People, the ones you pay lip service to.

And Cate Blanchett, holding forth on the Whitlam education revolution — the one you and Pyne are so disgracefully dismantling.

Tony, while I’m here, just where do you find such people as Scott Morrison, as Christopher Pyne, as Eric Abetz, as Peter Dutton, as Kevin Andrews, as George  Brandis, as the shocking Sophie Mirabella, to name just a few.

What Liberal Party rocks do those people live under?

Tony, they are not the Liberals of Menzies, or even of Holt or of Gorton — two men who really knew their fellow Australians and acted accordingly.

Tony, you could do a a lot worse than sit down  in front of a video and listen carefully to last Wednesday’s eulogy’s — Freudenberg, Tony Whitlam, John Faulkner.

Let their words wash over you, Tony, cleanse you of your last century attitudes, get rid of your narrowness of thinking and paucity of meaning.

Join the real Team Australia, mate.

The Team that was so evident last Wednesday.


Barry Everingham would also like to include the following tribute to the great Gough Whitlam.

It was noised abroad that Mr. Valiant for Truth was taken with a summons.

When he understood it he called for his friends, and told them of it.

Mourner outside the Gough memorial (Image by Ross Jones)

Then he said, “I am going to my father’s.”

When the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the riverside, into which as he went, he said, “Death, where is thy sting?”

And as he went down deeper he said, “Grave, where is thy victory?”

So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

And glorious it was to see how the open region was filled with horses and chariots and trumpeters and pipers, with singers and players on stringed instruments to welcome the Pilgrims as they went up, and followed one another in at the beautiful gate of the city.

~ From Pilgrim's Progress, by John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)

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