Saturday, March 17, 2012

I am often attracted to women of style. Style does not necessarily mean the way someone dresses. God Gough's wife has died yet to call her such is to do her a disservice. Margaret Whitlam was a person in her own right, as all women should be and are of course. While I don't know about our present Prime Minister, in my memory Australia's Prime Ministers' spouses have been been powers in their own right. Dame Pattie Menzies may have been decorative and very proper but activist Prime Ministerial spouses began with Margaret. Tammy Fraser, followed, as did Hazel Hawke, Jeanette Howard and Theresa Rein (Rudd). If they weren't publicly active, they certainly were in the area of spousal pillow talk.

I may be an old loser socialist, but Australia is poorer for the loss of Margaret and what she represented.

Emperor Hirohito and his wife were not tall. Gough and Margaret are/were.

16 comments:

  1. what an odd photo, the placement of the couples looks bizarre!

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  2. Just after Kerr's bloodless coup in November 1975, I was asked to take both Whitlams around the women's health and community centre in Perth. It was a terrible time, filled with fear about what would happen, but Margaret Whitlam absolutely kept her dignity throughout. She really was committed to women's services.

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  3. Dignified and committed is how I remember her.
    i must be an old loser socialist too lol

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  4. Margaret Whitlam may have had style, but that suit certainly didn't!

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  5. Hilarious photograph! She looks like she's wearing my grandma's window blinds!

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  6. I reckon she'll definitely be missed by Gough :-).

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  7. I does look silly Fen. Better posing would have made the height difference look less.

    Hels, I don't think we will such style and dignity again.

    IWBY, very committed. Less selfish times.

    River, atrocious would be an appropriate word I think.

    Hehe Kath. Her clothes did improve in her older age.

    Windsmoke, I imagine he will miss her terribly, but perhaps not for too long. I can't see him going on for much longer.

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  8. There were class acts and then there were class acts, then there was Margaret.

    She highlighted embarrassment that was Janette Howard.

    To the extent that State Funerals mean anything, she warrants one.

    Mind you St. Gough would not look kindly upon being upstaged but might turn a blind eye in this case.

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  9. And the world turns over another cog. She, Margaret, was just great! Gough will miss her. I think those of us of an age to remember that election and her emergence onto the scene shortly afterwards understand just how significant her presence was.

    I remember that photograph. I wonder if the Empress thought it was funny. Was MW, at that moment, trying not to laugh?

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  10. I read her biography and loved it. I didn't realise she lived at Cronulla in her early married life. I used to spend a lot of time there on weekends at the beach. She was awesome.

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  11. LS, state funerals seem to be quite selective so I see no reason why she should not have one.

    Christine, I remember the photo too. MG really does not look like she was trying to suppress a laugh. She looks suitably stiff.

    Diane, that is interesting about Cronulla. I didn't know that. As for your shenanigans at Cronulla Beach, I'll leave it for your blog confessions.

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  12. I remember that photo too... a great find!
    As for her outfit... marginally better than flares with platform soled shoes - lucky she wasn't a generation younger then.

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  13. I can't stop laughing Andrew, this image is just too hilarious, I mean to say hahahahahahahha!

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  14. FruitCake, Margaret dressed like that is a scary thought.

    Grace, what were they thinking of.

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  15. Maybe they should have sat OZ's 1st couple down!! Seriously, I have a lot of respect for MW and have not thought of her only as a PM spouse for many years. RIP.

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  16. It would have been diplomatic Red.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.