21st Prime Minister Gough Whitlam has the dubious honour of being sacked from parliament by the Governor General, John Kerr in 1975. The Labor Government had taken office after 23 years of Liberal Rule. There are several books on the subject but as he's now accessible from the afterlife I thought wow wouldn't that be a great interview. I never feel like I've done any of these people justice but as you'll see Gough has a very definite point of view about what he was in power to do and why. This interview doesn't even touch the surface of the great career he had but it's a good start and if you like it then perhaps you'll read his biography about his time in office for more detailed information.
A: HI Gough
G: Hi Alison
A: How are you?
G; I am just fine here (he understood that I was asking about the afterlife. He looks about the age he did when he was in power and he has a knowing, a confidence that has an intensity about it.)
A: Since you've crossed over what has happened to your beliefs?
G: That is a deep question - I've had many explosions of thought in a radically short space of time. My world or sphere as you might say has been placed in a metaphysical box of wonderment.
A: We're you a religious man before you crossed and if so, how has that changed?
G: Not particularly but I was not outspoken in terms of my personal beliefs - I simply could not be as it affected my standing in the community at large.
A: So what would you say of your beliefs now you've crossed over?
G: I saw what I suspected quietly was and is true...
A: and that is....
G: We are all co-creating our lives as versions of God.
A: Wow - sounds like a huge statement the way you say it and you've got a wry knowing smile.
G: I am an old soul at heart and getting my spiritual memory back has been a breath of fresh air. (I found Gough to be a gentler speaker than I thought but still very intense)
A: So in terms of religion while you were here did you play the christian game?
G: Well I had to it was expected.
A: Does this subject annoy you somewhat?
G: Yes there's been so much speculation about my religious views and the honest truth is I kept my actual views very close which is in politics the safer option. My spoken views were - lets just say where they needed to be. My heart, soul and vision was firmly fixed on bringing Australia out of political stagnation.
A: Ok thanks I understand. I've got a question from one of my beautiful friends which I believe admired your career, Rose. She wants to know what inspired you on your political path.
G: Well firstly let me say I know of Rose as I am watching the political landscape and she is a visionary and I like to think she is much like me in that respect.
A: When you talk about your own vision, what underlined it for you?
G: Where do I start - I felt that the Australian political landscape was being stifled from growth. We were so much more than the world ever knew about. I felt we were barely on the map or world stage. We had and still do have phenomenal resources to trade - our wares were not trinkets, we had massive resources in coal and other mining as well as farming and the previous government were stuffy and limiting.
A: Now you are on the other side having had a life review how do you see what was done to do you (referring to his dismissal)
G: I was removed for the visionary that I was - I tried to, wanted to take Australia into the 21st century where it was stuck in the 18th century. I had pride in my country, it's offerings and it's wares.
A: You sound very proud when you speak about it.
G: I was and I still am.
A: So in terms of what John Kerr did, was it a whitewash against change itself and was it going to happen no matter who was leader of the Labor movement?
That is a speculative timeline - I cannot really comment too much there. They simply (referring to the senate) would not allow changes so I must concede to answer is to say its an unknown but (pauses) not unreasonable.
A: How much of what you did as Prime Minister has remained to this day do you think?
G: Many Many changes are still in force. I gave the average wage earner a voice in law, I gave them higher education ...
A: Can I interrupt you there and ask about higher education and the cost of it.
G: Lets be sure here it was never free. It was always a cost, its how the cost was attributed to the student that has changed. A graduate is saddled now with a massive amount of debt and that's a hardship that affects the psyche of the student ahead, in the long term. You see you've got to have a long term vision on such subjects as higher education - you educate your students to the highest order and they bring in the wealth thus the cost of the education is recovered by the nation at large through prosperity and taxes.
A:: And do you believe that to this day that vision had been altered radically by student debt?
G: I need to be careful how I answer - in one respect there is no answer to that question as we can physically never know until the vision I had was activated long term.
A: Ok I understand what you mean. The system that you put in place though remained unchanged for several years after so can you extrapolate based on the trend perhaps?
G: Well yes - I mean we took education of the earliest order such as high school to the next level in Hawk’s time and this lead to an influx of university students being qualified as previously they wouldn't have. It was my goal to give every man, woman and child the right to be a professional and bring in prosperity.
A: So do you agree with if it continued in that vein that you set the country would be better off now or do you think the financial burden of the large numbers of students would outweigh the prosperity they brought in.
G: I think prosperity would win hands down, you can see it if you look even though the long term visions I had was stilted.
A: Who would debate you on that hotly today?
G: Well (he lifts his eyebrow and tilts his head) I don't need to answer as you know the answer.
A: Ok (I smile as if being told to behave) Can you tell me of your early motives growing up then?
G: My father was my motivation. I could see him striving in a country that felt like it needed a shove to get it going.
A: Do you see you father now you're crossed?
G: Oh yes - he's my inspiration and I love him dearly he's also an old soul and we have much to discuss.
A: Your father was very much a man also of reform such as human rights and between the two of you, you were both visionaries.
G: My father was a man who connected people as all equal there was no separation in his eyes.
A: Can you give me a quote or something from your father that inspired you the most on your own political journey?
G: Yes he said "son if you can't be the change then you can't make the change, go out and fulfill the change that you see for the betterment of everything and everyone" and so I did. I became the change and gave as many people in Australia the right to all aspects available for the chosen few. We are all one and as the song goes we are many. There should never be separation for the sake of lack - to prosper a country must inherit a broad based spectrum derived from all it's groups. No group should be left without a voice or a right, that is how to prosper.
A: Again I have to say wow as the power in your voice is fairly overwhelming. I don't feel I'm doing your amazing life justice here after that statement.
G: Alison your mind as all minds will expand to include these visions. There is no way to stop a vision once it is in full bloom and equality across all floors is the only true pathway forward.
A:Does that mean I don't see it right now or am I struggling with the size of the vision you speak?
G: Now don't get me wrong, your mind is expanded and continues to expand. You struggle with where the equilibrium needs to be, compared to where we are today.
A: Ahh ok, I see what you mean so I’m wondering how we will ever get there and yes you’re probably right. I've been reading over your list of achievements including all the new departments that were created as well as Aboriginal reform being placed up in the cabinet level, not to mention the rights of women to have equal pay and maternity leave - the list reads fast and furious for change - what made you push this many changes in so fast and do you think if you'd gone slower the senate would've reacted differently to your governance?
G: Two exceptionally good questions and of course the answer might simply be I don't know but (pause) I was driven by an idea of Australia being so much more than it was as I said earlier, we were stuck in the old boys club of the 18 hundreds and the country was not prospering nor were minority groups such as women and aboriginals being allowed to input their talents and skills and beauty as people equal in their own rights.
Government had long been old school boys club happy to rule - I may be unfair to a degree as they worked hard like all politicians but no real change for the better wasn’t coming anytime soon and the country was ready. We had had our boys club and it was outdated. I felt compelled to bring about as much change as was possible. My sense was that after 23 years of one parties rule we were not far off a dictatorship. It was time and I ushered in my visions with equality for all people on many levels, education, industry, we left no stone unturned.
As for part two of your question there was much resentment among the old boys club so would they have taken the same attitude - well I can't say with 100% assurity but I can say they resisted change at the speed to which we were implementing it.
A: What do you see as your greatest achievements in office.
G: Change - change for the betterment of everyone. My goal was to give everyone the same rights as the wealthy boys and girls. Every man, woman and child of this country had the right to access healthcare, legal care, pay equality, recognition for woman who were and really are the backbone of the workforce, they gave up so much to bring in new skills to the country by having children so why should they not receive the same recognitions for that effort - Aboriginals were not respected as equals yet they were the spiritual mothers and fathers of the land we occupied.
A: I sense from this then that there was an urgency to correct the path that Australia was on.
G: The men and women are what make this country. That was being overlooked, stagnation was setting in. We needed to prosper so that is what I did, I prospered and introduced that concept of prosperity for all.
A: What is your proudest moment.
G: My children will always and forever remain my proudest achievement. The beautiful wife donated herself to the cause of motherhood and gave me everything to bring me a family. That is my greatest treasure.
A: What advice would you give to people who are still here.
G: Now that is quite a task. I would say like my father said to me - be the vision of change for the betterment of yourself no matter what it takes.
A: Thank you so very much I would so like to hear from you again one day. Thank you again.
G: You are most welcome. It was my pleasure to experience such an event.