"With respect to asylum, a ‘persistently negative attitude’ towards asylum seekers was given expression through the introduction of mandatory detention in 1992 as a deterrent to boat arrivals. For example, Labor Senator Jim McKiernan, who served as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, went so far as to claim that if ‘the refugee assessment procedure was changed, Australia would be inundated, and boats filled with people, who can afford the fare and the bribes that go with it, will land on our shores by the score’."

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"Keating believed (economic reform) should be extended to what he called the reform of our outlook. In his view, ‘the economic imperative and the cultural one can’t be separated – they have the same conclusion’. The destination was that of a new, confident, independent Australia – a nation ‘sure of who we are and what we stand for’."

— “Don’t go back to where you came from” - Tim Soutphommasane

"People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don’t have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily. Even if smoking kills you, even if you can’t afford to feed your kids, even if your kids are getting shot down by maniacs with assault rifles. You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to. That’s what Bill Clinton figured out—that we can’t win elections by running against personal liberties. Especially not against guns, actually."

—  “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

"

Once the coup had taken place and the election was on, Field – a senator for just ninety-nine days – was quickly forgotten. Legal aid to help him fight five High Court writs stopped, promises of state government monetary aid did not materialise, and his previous ‘patrons’, the Queensland Liberal-National parties, put him at number thirty-four in the field of forty in their list of preferences when he ran as an independent in the Senate. This was nine places lower than they listed Dr. Colston whom they had rejected in favour of Field just a few months before.

Yet Field was number twelve on the ALP Senate ticket. The reason for these apparent anomalies was that each party wanted its ticket as easy to follow as possible, taking little notice of order after making sure the party occupied the first six place on the card and their main opponents the last.

"

—  “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"The tragedy for Labor was that the ensuing Field affair and its consequences would never have occurred had three names been put up in Queensland by the ALP on the death of Senator Milliner. A smart move would have been to put up two communists and Colston. But Labor overlooked the consequences and as the vote on Burns’s nomination of Colston was about to be taken Burns said the people would see that a state government would change their vote. To which Bjelke-Petersen replied: “We will select a Labor man.”"

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"Joh set such a campaign pace in 1974 that he made it difficult for his ALP opponent Tucker to keep up. Tucker’s chartered plane got lost in a storm while flying to Quilpie in the West. The plane was half an hour overdue when Tucker himself used a road map to help the pilot establish where they were. Then, in Thargomindah, feelings were running so high against Labor that when Tucker introduced the local Labor candidate at a barbecue the candidate was rugby tackled by an irate local as he took the microphone."

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"In fact, there were many things that Labor did to put Queenslanders offside, and these ranged from kangaroo shooting to Medibank. Although the latter scheme was put into effect by a Queensland Politician, Bill Hayden of Ipswich, and with considerable administrative skill, there was one big political hitch which offended Queenslanders and this was the proposed special Medibank tax levy of 2 ½ per cent. A Queensland Labor government had, decades earlier, introduced free general hospitals in Queensland. Now, under Hayden’s scheme, they were going to have to pay a special additional tax for something they thought they already had. Of course the injection of much more federal money would, eventually, mean better hospital facilities. But, in the short term at least, it smacked of Queenslanders subsidising southerners. On top of that, Queensland’s existing free hospital scheme – which often involved long delays in waiting rooms – made many people willing to accept the state government’s arguments that Medibank would mean even longer queues and further bureaucratic tangles."

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"

The merger of the Qld Country party and the DLP:

In Septemer 1973, Mike Evans (Country Party President), called a press conference at a city hotel in Brisbane, at which the Country Party announced terms for the integration of the two parties (the Country Party and the DLP). This story appeared in the Australian the next day under the heading “State Country Party swallows the DLP”. The press conference was told that the state executives of both parties had agreed to form one new, as yet unnamed, party by November. The terms for integration included making the Country Party constitution “the basis for the new party”. This confirmed the impression that the DLP was disappearing and that its members would now vote Country Party. In fact, no DLP members attended the September press conference and later the state DLP secretary said it was a Country Party conference. He said the DLP might hold its own press conference, which never eventuated.

Bjelke-Petersen described the merger as “a strengthening of the anti-Labor forces in Queensland” but in the event the proposed integration was quietly dropped by the Country Party. It’s value was as much symbolic as actual. The DLP was falling out of active politics and the Country Paty reasoned that if, as was expected, the DLP soon stopped contesting state elections, most of their supporters would vote for the Country Party. Which is what happened.

"

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"

Bjelke-Petersen on Medicare:

Mr Speaker,

Throughout history, man has had to cope with many disasters. Some of these disasters have become household names – the Biblical Flood, the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, the Titanic.

Well, as from Friday we can add another monumental disaster that will affect every household in Queensland and the rest of Australia – Medibank.

For that reason, Mr Speaker, I wish to propose that Friday, 1st October, 1976 be designated Bill Hayden Day.

On this day, each year, from now on, as Queenslanders sit down to fill out their tax forms, they will look back and shudder.

They will remember that on Black Friday, like Frankenstein’s Monster, Hayden’s Horror was officially born.

Its pedigree was by socialism out of mismanagement, sponsors Scott and Deeble and its fodder your and my tax funds….

Now that Hayden’s Horror is loose in the land, I remind the Opposition Leader and his mates of how they fought tooth and nail to get Queensland into Medibank.

I remind the leader writers of the Courier-Mail how they thundered that Queensland would suffer unless we joined Medibank.

Well to Mr Burns and his mates and to the leader writers of the Courier-Mail let me say this: “Friday is Medibank Day. It’s your day – share it with a headache.”

"

— “Joh: The Life and Political Adventures of Johannes Bjelke-Petersen”, Hugh Lunn

"

Lindsay Tanner on Stiff:

“I came of age in politics in the 1980s, in the time and context in which the early Murray Whelan books are set. When I read them I recall things like sitting on an Administrative Committee inquiry into a Turkish branch which had numerous members supposedly living at the back of a small Turkish welfare centre on Sydney Road. And the western suburbs branch stacker whose explanation for the fact that the signatures on their membership applications didn’t match those in the attendance book was a wobbly table at the branch meeting.

"

—  “Stiff”, Shane Maloney

"

Lindsay Tanner on Murray Whelan:

“Long-term insiders like me can attest to the fact that Murray Whelan actually is the Victorian Labor party. The peculiar composite of naivety, cunning, decency and incompetence that’s reflected in Murray is like a pastiche of my experience in my thirty years as a party member. It’s a pity we can’t get Murray to stand for a real seat, because I reckon he’d make a great Labor Premier.”

"

— “Stiff”, Shane Maloney

"

Like all prime ministers, Chifley had a private phone on his desk—the number known only to his wife, senior colleagues and advisers. It was, of course, a silent number, but apparently was only one digit removed from the number for the butcher shop in the nearby suburb of Manuka. Occasionally, the phone would ring and when the Prime Minister of Australia answered, he would find a housewife calling, wanting to leave her meat order for the weekend. And what would Chifley do? Of course, he would simply take the order for the chops, the leg of lamb, or whatever, saying nothing to the caller except, ‘Yes, madam’, then when she had rung off, he would phone the butcher himself and say ‘It’s happened again’ and repeat the order. These days, it is impossible to imagine anyone getting through, by accident or not, to the Prime Minister unless first vetted.

David Day records that Ben Chifley, even as Prime Minister, drove himself between his home in Bathurst, NSW, and Canberra in his own Buick—his pride and joy. It was not even considered necessary that a bodyguard should accompany him on this journey. Jim Snow, former Labor MP for the southern NSW federal seat of Eden-Monaro, told the author that on Chifley’s drives between Canberra and Bathurst he sometimes changed his route and went through the small town of Crookwell, lunching at a café. On one occasion, he asked for steak and onions, but the waitress told him, ‘I’m sorry, Mr Chifley, we have no onions’. ‘Well’, said Chifley, thrusting his hand into his coat pocket, ‘here’s one’, and he produced an onion.

"

“Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” - Rob Chalmers

"Hawke was insensitive to the reaction of others to his words. As President of the ALP, he chaired a national conference in Perth, where it was apparent to all that he was bedding a female taxi driver. At 9 am one day, Hawke was at his place as chairman on the head table, obviously still the worse for liquor, and testy. In the presence of TV cameras and 300 or so delegates and observers in the hall, Hawke declared, ‘Delegates, you’ll have to stop wanking’."

— “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” - Rob Chalmers

"Hawke was a bad drunk and, worse, refused to shout in turn. He was lousy. ‘Wouldn’t shout in a shark attack’, in the bar-room vernacular of the time."

— “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” - Rob Chalmers

"John Menadue, CEO of News Limited’s Australian operations before heading the Prime Minister’s Department, wrote of Rupert Murdoch’s highly partisan actions in supporting the Kerr dismissal. In the gallery there was much discussion about Murdoch’s behaviour and News Limited journalists in Sydney held several stoppages as a protest against Murdoch’s stand. What was not generally known was the childhood connection between Fraser and Murdoch. Fraser’s father grazed the Victorian Western District property ‘Nareen’ and Murdoch’s father, Keith (later Sir Keith), owned an adjoining property. As small children, Malcolm Fraser and Rupert Murdoch shared the same nanny. With the crisis building, Menadue organised a lunch with Murdoch and News Limited head, Ken Cowley, in a Kingston restaurant on 7 November 1975. Complaining to them both about the coverage of the crisis, he told Murdoch he had cancelled his subscription to The Australian. ‘This didn’t put him [Murdoch] off his lunch,’ Menadue says. On 11 December, Menadue made a written record of the lunch five weeks earlier, and he wrote: Rupert Murdoch told many of his friends that Mr. Fraser had informed him that the Governor-General had given him [Fraser] an assurance that if he hung on long enough there would be a general election before Christmas…although I have no direct information. He did tell me, however on 7 November that he was quite certain there would be an election before Christmas and that he would be staying in Australia until this occurred. He was very confident of the outcome of any election and even mentioned to me the position to which I might be appointed in the event of the Liberal victory—Ambassador to Japan. Murdoch was right about that. Menadue was appointed as Ambassador to Japan and Murdoch could only have got that information from Fraser. When Murdoch later denied this account of the lunch, Menadue stated: ‘I stand by it.’ Having known Menadue well since the 1960s, the author has not the slightest doubt his was the truthful account."

— “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” - Rob Chalmers