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


Callaghan also became the creative source of sharp, catchy phrases for the premier to use against his political opponents. It’s a long list but includes some very effective ones:

“death-adder unions – they strike first”; “when you go to the unemployment office tell ‘em Gough sent you”;

“help Tom Burns fight air pollution – give him a gag”.

Callaghan even helped in stirring the coalition partners, suggesting that Bjelke-Petersen question if the less rightwing Liberals were “big ‘L’ Liberals or small ‘s’ Socialists”.


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

"When Menzies was Prime Minister in 1939, the Country Party leader, Earle Page, subjected Menzies to a bitter attack in the house. Page had served on the Western Front as a doctor (his field instruments are on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra). Page told the Parliament that he and his party were no longer prepared to serve in a Menzies government and, with war threatening, he did not believe Menzies had the right attributes to bring about ‘a united national effort’. Page said, based on Menzies’ record, he had no confidence the Prime Minister had what was required: ‘the maximum courage, or loyalty or judgments.’ After numbering what he believed were faults in Menzies’ record, he devoted particular attention to Menzies’ war record. Page is responsible for fostering the falsehood—still widely held to be true—that Menzies resigned his commission. Page continued: I am not questioning the reasons why anyone did not go to war. All I say is that if the right honourable gentleman cannot satisfactorily and publicly explain to a very great body of people in Australia, who did participate in the war, his failure to do so, he will not be able to get that maximum effort out of the people in the event of war. All this was greeted with cries of ‘shame’. Menzies immediately replied and was heard in silence. On the charge of not serving in the war, there was real, if dignified, bitterness in Menzies’ response. He said the charge was not a novelty and represented ‘a stream of mud through which I have waded at every election campaign in which I have participated’. Menzies explained that on the issue of enlistment he had to answer the supremely important question ‘[i]s it my duty to go to the war or is it my duty not to go? The answer to that question is not one that can be made on a public platform.’ Menzies went on to say the question related to ‘a man’s intimate and personal family affairs and in consequence, I, facing these problems of intense difficulty, found myself, for reasons which were and are compelling, unable to join my two brothers in the infantry with the A.I.F’. In the political uproar following the Page attack, two Queensland Country Party MPs, Arthur Fadden and Bernie Corser, disassociated themselves from Page’s speech, saying that henceforth they would sit as independent Country Party members. (It is somewhat ironic that after Menzies resigned as Prime Minister with so many in his party room opposed to him, Fadden became Prime Minister.)"

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

"‘I am not saying the Leader of the Opposition (Downer) is a racist,’ he said over the din in the House. ‘I am saying he is the most foolish Leader of the Liberal Party since Billy McMahon.’"

— “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson


Hewson’s reaction to what Keating believed was a perfectly proper speech to the Queen had touched a nerve. It was a deep insult, and almost certainly intensified by the press reaction to Annita’s missing curtsy. And it probably awoke another half-buried memory, that of his father’s brother who had been captured at the fall of Singapore and murdered on the Sandakan death marches. He berated the Opposition.

"I was told I did not learn respect at school. I learned one thing: I learned about self-respect and self-regard for Australia [this much had been agreed upon—the rest was entirely unexpected]—not about some cultural cringe to a country which decided not to defend the Malayan peninsula, not to worry about Singapore, and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination. This was the country that you people wedded yourselves to, and even as it walked out on you and joined the Common Market, you were still looking for your MBEs and your knighthoods, and all the rest of the regalia that comes with it."


— “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson

"No-one manipulated symbols better than Menzies, including the Australian flag which he made official by an act of parliament without referendum or public debate. In the half century preceding, three flags had flown in Australia’s name in peace and war—the Union Jack, the Defaced Red Ensign and the Defaced Blue Ensign. The Blue Ensign had flown at Gallipoli and on the Somme, the Red Ensign at the liberation of Changi, the Union Jack here and there throughout. Had they been asked to choose between the three officially approved flags of Australia it is likely the people would have chosen, as Menzies did, the Blue Ensign in preference to the red one or the flag of Great Britain. Even if Menzies had offered alternative designs, including some without the Union Jack, Australians probably would have voted for the one that defined them as Australian Britons. But that was 1954."

“Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” - Don Watson

If you look at the paintings of the Australian Federation events, the Red Ensign is usually the dominant flag. Many Australian troops in WW1 and WW2 served under the Red Ensign.

"Politically, Swift was one of those people who are driven into a sort of perverse Toryism by the follies of the progressive party of the moment. Part I of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, ostensibly a satire on human greatness, can be seen, if one looks a little deeper, to be simply an attack on England, on the dominant Whig Party, and on the war with France, which—however bad the motives of the Allies may have been—did save Europe from being tyrannized over by a single reactionary power. Swift was not a Jacobite nor strictly speaking a Tory, and his declared aim in the war was merely a moderate peace treaty and not the outright defeat of England."

— “Fifty Orwell Essays” - George Orwell

"And yet somehow the ruling class decayed, lost its ability, its daring, finally even its ruthlessness, until a time came when stuffed shirts like Eden or Halifax could stand out as men of exceptional talent. As for Baldwin, one could not even dignify him with the name of stuffed shirt. He was simply a hole in the air."

"The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius" from “Fifty Orwell Essays” - George Orwell