Thursday, November 10, 2005

Nothing Will Save Gough Whitlam

How delightful - a party!

Tim Blair, owner of Australia's best blog, is hosting a party in Sydney to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the day that will live in hilarity - the sacking of the incompetent Whitlam Government.

Unfortunately the party is 1040.96km away and we can't find a designated driver who's willing to go that far.

As regular readers know, Nicky and I like to relax over a cocktail on a Friday night and we thought it would be fitting to find something suitable to celebrate The Dismissal.

By why stop with one? Whitlam's legacy continues (i.e. - we can't get the bugger to leave the limelight) and thus, we felt it important to chronicle the political life and times of (Edward) Gough Whitlam's by cocktail (historical gaps filled in by Wikipedia with much editorialising).

White Commie

1 oz. Cream
1 oz.
1 oz. Kahlua
Serve over ice float the cream on top.

When Ben Chifley died in 1951 Dr Herbert Vere Evatt (Doc Evatt - you can blame him for the United Nations...) was elected Labor leader without opposition. He campaigned successfully against Menzies's attempt to amend the Constitution to ban the Communist Party. Many moderates in the Labor Party believed this was both bad politics and bad policy because of the active Communist opposition to Labor within trade unions and because of the threat to national security posed by Communists. They were right.

Whitlam admired Evatt greatly, and was a loyal supporter of his leadership.

1 Part Southern Comfort
1 Part Sweet & Sour
1 Part Chambord
Mix equal amounts into a glass with ice, strain into
another glass.

The ALP, having been founded as a party to represent the working classes (ho-ho-ho), still regarded its parliamentary representatives as servants of the party as a whole, and required them to comply with official party policy. This led to the celebrated Faceless Men picture of 1963, which showed Calwell and Whitlam waiting outside a Canberra hotel for the decision of an ALP Federal Conference. Prime Minister Menzies, in the November 1963 election campaign, used it to great advantage, drawing attention to "the famous outside body, thirty-six 'faceless men' whose qualifications are unknown, who have no electoral responsibility."

Chinese Cocktail
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 tbsp. Cherry Liqueur
1 tbsp. Grenadine
1.5 oz. Rum
1 tbsp. Triple sec
Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a glass.
In 1971 Whitlam visited the People's Republic of China (PRC), promising to establish diplomatic relations.

Waste of Time
1 oz Midori melon liqueur
1 oz white rum
1/2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
2 oz pineapple juice
Shake, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

On 2 December 1972, Whitlam led the ALP to its first electoral victory since 1946 using TV advertising extensively. Many of Australia's entertainment celebrities took part in the advertisement singing an Age of Aqarius-style anthem called It's Time.

Hairy Man's Ass
1 oz Vodka
3/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 glass(es) Club Soda
Put vodka, baileys, and lime juice into a mixing glass. Shake and pour into tall glass. Add club soda.
Whitlam just couldn't wait to be Prime Minister so Gough-the-uncouth had himself and Deputy Leader Lance Barnard sworn in as a two-man government, holding all the portfolios between them.

Double Vision
1 oz Vodka
1 oz Malibu Coconut Rum
1 oz Hot Shot
1 splash(es) Orange Juice
1/2 oz Sweet And Sour Mix
1 splash(es) Pineapple Juice
1 splash(es) Cherry Grenadine
Pour it all in, shake, and drink. The Orange Juice is used to balance the taste.

The Senate resolutely opposed six key bills and twice rejected them. The repeated rejection of these bills provided a constitutional trigger for a double dissolution (a simultaneous election for all members in both houses), but Whitlam did not decide to call such an election until May 1974. Instead he expected to hold an election for half the Senate. To improve his chances of winning control of the Senate, Whitlam offered the former DLP Leader, Senator Vince Gair, the post of Ambassador to Ireland, thus creating an extra Senate vacancy in Queensland which Whitlam hoped Labor could win. This manoeuvre backfired, however, when the Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, learned of the appointment before it was announced, and had the Governor of Queensland issue the writs for the Queensland Senate election before Gair's resignation from the Senate took effect.

Cane Toad
1 oz. Tequila
1 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Cherry Brandy
Fill with Soda Water
Mix in a 10 oz. glass and add a swizzle stick

Bjelke-Petersen refused to appoint the ALP's chosen replacement, Dr Mal Colston, and asked Labor for three alternative nominations. Bjelke-Petersen said he had concerns over Colston's integrity - with good reason.

2 sprigs Mint
Juice of 1/4 Lemon
1 1/2 oz. Gin
1 tsp. Maraschino Cherry
Shake all ingredients (except mint sprigs) with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Add the sprigs of mint and serve.

So on 11 November 1975, Kerr revoked Whitlam's commission and installed Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister until a federal election could be held. He then immediately accepted Fraser's advice to call a double dissolution election, in an ironic twist using as triggers the same bills that the Coalition had rejected in the Senate.

Queen Bee Recipe
1.0 oz. Coffee Liqueur
0.5 oz. Cream Sherry
1.5 oz. Vodka
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

On hearing the proclamation dissolving Parliament, which ended with the traditional 'God Save the Queen', Whitlam delivered his famous impromptu address to the crowd that had gathered in front of the steps of Parliament House. During the speech he famously labelled Fraser as "Kerr's cur" and told the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen, well may we say 'God Save the Queen', because nothing will save the Governor-General."

The Legacy

Recession Depression
0.5 oz. Lemon Juice
1.5 oz. Absolut Citron
0.5 oz. Triple Sec
2 dashes Rose's Lime Juice
Shake with ice and
strain into cocktail glass.

Whitlam's critics point to substantial failings in his administration. The economy declined, with balance of payments problems, high unemployment and (by Australian standards) very high inflation.

1 oz. Kahlua
1 oz. Jose Cuervo Tequila
3 oz.Cranberry juice
Even in old age, Whitlam is a larger-than-life figure in Australian politics, with a ferocious intellect, a razor-sharp and often disparaging wit, and a towering ego that he never troubled to camouflage. The Labor historian Bob Ellis has described him as "the self-appointed deity of the Labor Party".

-- Nick and Nora

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