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TALL, MANNISH WOMAN LASHES OUT

We all remember Margaret Whitlam’s extensive contributions to Australian public life. There was ... well, something. And possibly one or two other things. All of which leaves her entitled to criticise Janette Howard:

Former first lady Margaret Whitlam has criticised Prime Minister John Howard’s wife Janette for not doing enough for the community.

Mrs Whitlam, whose husband Gough was prime minister from 1972 to 1975, says Mrs Howard has no sense of humour and should not still be holding hands with her husband in public.

“For God’s sake, they’ve been married for over 30 years!” Mrs Whitlam says in a new biography to be published next week.

No holding hands? If you say so, Mullah Margaret.

In extracts from the biography, published in The Bulletin magazine today, Mrs Whitlam says Mrs Howard does not do enough charity work or public appearances.

“She is useless in terms of how little she really gives the community,” Mrs Whitlam is quoted as saying.

“She doesn’t even go to the old people’s homes that Howard visits. The only thing she goes to is big public things.

“There’s Howard shaking hands and kissing old ladies in retirement homes. If you’ve got a wife, your wife should be there, too.”

But then they might hold hands. It’s a protocol nightmare for the First Lady.

“You have certain obligations to make the most of the position, to accept invitations, to support charitable causes, to let yourself be known to the people of Australia.

“I mean, people want to see you. What is she hiding?”

Mrs Whitlam questioned what else Mrs Howard had to do.

“What on earth does she do with her time?” she says in the biography, by Susan Mitchell.

According to the article, Mrs Howard’s recent engagements included a fundraiser for a youth charity last Friday, a private lunch in support of cancer research organisation Centenary Institute on Monday, and a dinner hosted by the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Tuesday.

UPDATE: “Prime Minister John Howard says he will continue to hold hands with his wife, Janette, despite criticism by Margaret Whitlam.”

(Via Hal G.P. Colebatch)

Posted by Tim B. on 09/27/2006 at 12:03 AM
  1. I was waiting for this site to mention this, its an interesting article.

    For some reason that I can’t fathom (being a bloke), just mentioning Jeanette Howard’s name alone spews forth unimaginable hostility and anger from lefty women I know. What is it that pisses them off so?

    Secondly, Marg as Tim suggests, needs to be careful. Firstly, what were her own achievements? Secondly, as a cancer sufferer, has this diminished J.H’s energy and or ability/interest to ‘get out and hold hands’?

    I think there is plenty more to this story from Mrs. Howard’s side than meets the eye.

    Posted by Nic on 2006 09 27 at 12:11 AM • permalink

  2. Yep, this speaks volumes about the civility of the left. For people who view themselves as enlightened individuals that are morally superior to the rest of us they sure are willing to stoop to repulsive lows for the sake of a few dollars.

    Posted by Mattofact on 2006 09 27 at 12:29 AM • permalink

  3. So now the Left want women to be defined by their husband’s occupation?

    Posted by lingus4 on 2006 09 27 at 12:32 AM • permalink

  4. It would be easy to criticise Margaret here, but I am willing to give her some credit for at least not having a chip on her shoulder.

    It appears she keeps this under the top chin.

    Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 09 27 at 12:36 AM • permalink

  5. Is Mrs Howard on the public payroll? If not, why is it anyone’s business if she spends all day at bingo or the sales at Best and Less?

    It seems to me that the only woman in australia who can kick-start a 747 has a very olf-fashioned, patriarchal and misogynistic attitude to a womans place in the world; why should she be dutifully at her husbands side?

    What about her own life?

    These puffbuckets get more hypocritical by the hour; BTW, every female I know respects Janette Howard, as she turns up when required, smiles, waves and otherwise shuts the fuck up- like the Hildebeest, no-one elected her; unlike the Hildebeest (and many other lefty coat-tail passenger spouses (Cherie Blair, anyone?)) she does her civic duty and doesn’t try to interfere with public policy, nor does she spout off on subjects about which she knows bugger-all.

    Just what we want in a PMs missus.

    Methinks it must be close on being time for the maximum security home for the perpetually bewildered for the lovely Meg and her hubby; kero baths and kibble is more than they deserve fir their years of public service.

    Posted by Habib on 2006 09 27 at 12:37 AM • permalink

  6. What is it that pisses them off so?

    old-fashioned girly bitchiness. It’s playground politics. Don’t look for anything deeper coz it aint there.

    Posted by daddy dave on 2006 09 27 at 12:37 AM • permalink

  7. Sorry for the dumb American question but how does one pronounce Gough?

    Posted by tabitharuth on 2006 09 27 at 12:42 AM • permalink

  8. Rhymes with “cough”

    Posted by Steve at the pub on 2006 09 27 at 12:44 AM • permalink

  9. Does anyone else think Margaret Whitlam looks like Yasser Arafat?

    Posted by Tex on 2006 09 27 at 12:53 AM • permalink

  10. “Sorry for the dumb American question but how does one pronounce Gough?”

    kok-hed

    Posted by Tex on 2006 09 27 at 12:53 AM • permalink

  11. Old Maggers has lowered herself to the crude, bitchy, name-calling level of the Whitlams’ favourite protege. It must be catching.

    Poor darling, It’s Time - to get back into the bath chair and be trundled back home to join the other old timers, for saos and a good strong cuppa before bedtime, content with a last swingeing spray, before disappearing forever into well-deserved obscurity.

    Posted by mr magoo on 2006 09 27 at 12:54 AM • permalink

  12. The problem that some on the left have with Janette is she goes about what she does quietly without the confrontationalism that is expected by the left and also that she doesn’t push the “right” causes.

    If she decided to promote abortion, the glass ceiling or other feminist causes she might have a chance but the worst thing she seems to have done is be a stay at home mum and proud of it.

    They struggle to understand why she lets John take most of the limelight but seem to forget that the Howards work as a team.  I don’t John Howard would be where he is without Janette’s support and hard work. As Pru Goward argues, “Janette Howard ‘lives and breathes’ politics”.
    More information on one of the great Prime Ministerial wives:
    http://www.primeministers.naa.gov.au/meetpm.asp?pmId=25&pageName=wife

    Also a great transcript from Australian Story with this quote:

    She’s a very clever person and she’s exceptionally well-read. Um, probably one of the most well-read people I know. She was the head of an English department at a school. You know, she had a really good career. She wasn’t just filling in time.

    Her career was obviously really important to her. She was a… a contemporary woman of the ‘70s, really. She made decisions that she would stay home to raise her children and that was the right thing to do. I think she’s been judged very unfairly for that sort of thing.

    They will never forgive her for this.

    Posted by youngy on 2006 09 27 at 12:55 AM • permalink

  13. I think these are honest criticisms.  They’ve just been reported in Margaretwhitlamese, instead of English.  Let’s see:

    “For God’s sake, they’ve been married for over 30 years!”

    “You have certain obligations to make the most of the position”

    “What is she hiding?” 

    “What on earth does she do with her time?”

    Okay, I feed that into the Margaretwhitlamese-to-English translator . . . .

    “She can stop pretending to love him!  He’s in office now!”

    “Why isn’t she exploiting the power available to her!”

    “What secrets, what skeletons in the closet, can she have that make her unwilling to exploit the power her husband’s job gives her?”

    “How, with all this power and influcence available, can she be content to not exploit it?”

    Posted by Warmongering Lunatic on 2006 09 27 at 12:56 AM • permalink

  14. Sorry for the dumb American question but how does one pronounce Gough?

    It depends on who you are talking too.

    Lefties and the Labor party pronouce it “God”, while those on the conservative side of the fence pronounce it “wanker who almost bankrupted the country and introduced a range of social experiments for which this country is still paying for 30 years down the track”

    Posted by The Prez on 2006 09 27 at 12:57 AM • permalink

  15. #9. Fair go Tex,at least Margaret shaves occasionally.

    Posted by Lew on 2006 09 27 at 12:59 AM • permalink

  16. Can one imagine anyone, even the grotesque Gough, wanting to hold hands with Margaret, let alone go any further? The gourge rises at the very thought.

    As far as I know this hideous hag’s one contribution to Australian public life was to tell Australian pensioners and fixed-income dependents whose living-standard was disappearing under Gough that “inflation is a lot of Hoo-Ha!”

    Oh yes, and in one interview circa 1973 she claimed “We control things together, like a King and Queen.” (I think this was reported by Patrick Tennyson in “The Lucky Country Reborn’)

    Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 09 27 at 01:08 AM • permalink

  17. He was a gentleman, Gough, and what’s more he knew how to treat a female impersonator.

    Posted by Mr Hackenbacker on 2006 09 27 at 01:15 AM • permalink

  18. Why would she say this after such a long time? It suggests to me a grumbling bitterness. All of Gough’s “progressive” policies have now been shown to be harmful to our society. Perhaps deep down she is aware of this.

    Posted by mad doc on 2006 09 27 at 01:18 AM • permalink

  19. The galling thing about Mrs Whitlam’s unjustified rant is that it applies only to the wife of a conservative prime minister.

    I don’t recall Marg criticizing Anita Keating, who was all but invisible and declined to have anything at all to do with the duties and responsibilities traditionally associated with the wife of the Prime Minister.

    Posted by walterplinge on 2006 09 27 at 01:28 AM • permalink

  20. Robert Ray paying out on the Daleks of factionalism; Mark Latham in another display of bile dribbling insanity; now Margaret Whitlam revealed as a nasty old crone. Another day, another unnecessary embarrassment for the Left.

    Posted by slatts on 2006 09 27 at 01:30 AM • permalink

  21. Bitter old battleaxe.

    Posted by James Waterton on 2006 09 27 at 01:37 AM • permalink

  22. These comments have to be taken in the context that she is plugging a book.

    Posted by anthony_r on 2006 09 27 at 01:52 AM • permalink

  23. When I saw the photo that accompanied this article I was wondering why Bea Arthur was having a go at our first-lady, then I realised the person in the photo looked to mannish.

    I guess if Mrs. Whitlam’s husband had been in power for much longer Mrs. Howard would only be able to go out in public in a burqa, and then only to the weekly stonings.

    Posted by TOGITV on 2006 09 27 at 01:53 AM • permalink

  24. I’m just waiting for Nige to drop by and tell us that he’s appalled/sickened/really really upset by the comments here…

    Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 09 27 at 01:53 AM • permalink

  25. Surely this book could be reduced to point form:

    1. Born.

    2. Married stupid.

    3. Stupid wins election on the back of, well, stupid actor types and a catchy slogan.

    4. Stupid destroys Australian economy in 3 years.

    5. Stupid gets sacked.

    6. Told stupid to slap boss.

    7. Years of bitterness with stupid.

    8. Stupid takes on a “mini-me” in the form of Marki-mark.

    9. We die, Australia celebrates. The End.

    Posted by Phatso Phil on 2006 09 27 at 01:54 AM • permalink

  26. I couldn’t care less what Margaret looks like, but it annoys me when women have a go at other women because they think they are not meeting their idea of what a women should be like.

    Posted by abcd on 2006 09 27 at 02:00 AM • permalink

  27. the only claim to fame i can ever remember Maggot Whitlam ever having was that she was big enough to kick start a jumbo jet!

    Posted by bailador on 2006 09 27 at 02:03 AM • permalink

  28. Gouge Witless only took Mags along on his zillions of junkets ‘cause he needed a big person to kick start the jumbo.

    Fact: Gouge Witless was the biggest single disaster to befall Australia in the 20th Century.

    Posted by Bonmot on 2006 09 27 at 02:09 AM • permalink

  29. Seems bailador and I share the same gag writers.

    Posted by Bonmot on 2006 09 27 at 02:12 AM • permalink

  30. #9 & #10 - Tex! You’re alive!

    What’s next on your agenda? Malaria? Necrotizing fascitis? Ebola?

    Get well, dude. And Nigel, if you’re reading this, check out Tex’s blog. He’s the sort of bookish, sedate fellow whose ruminations you would enjoy.

    Posted by Dave S. on 2006 09 27 at 02:15 AM • permalink

  31. This is only going to damage Labor. Watch for Beazley et al running clear away to the horizon from this one.

    Posted by graboy on 2006 09 27 at 02:18 AM • permalink

  32. eh graboy
    “Watch for Beazley et al running clear away..”
    Waddling away my friend. Waddling.

    BTW, he’s spent so much time waddling away lately, from practically every issue known to makind, he’s actually forgotten where he came from.  “Somewhere over on the left I think, or was that the right. Let me think….er..”

    Posted by Bonmot on 2006 09 27 at 02:22 AM • permalink

  33. Let her epitaph read:
    Butch enough to kick start a jumbo jet.
    Hell it’s all I ever remember being said about her too.
    That and the fact she was pog ugly.
    Well done Maggie.

    Posted by 81Alpha on 2006 09 27 at 02:28 AM • permalink

  34. I think Margaret’s proudest achievement is being Nicholas’s mum.

    Posted by chrisgo on 2006 09 27 at 02:38 AM • permalink

  35. CATFIGHT!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 09 27 at 02:40 AM • permalink

  36. #13,
    Isn’t there a saying about fruit not falling far from the tree?

    Posted by chrisgo on 2006 09 27 at 02:43 AM • permalink

  37. And people say feminism’s dead.

    Posted by Hanyu on 2006 09 27 at 02:46 AM • permalink

  38. She’s a real piece of work.  And she has no class.  No class at all.

    Posted by saltydog on 2006 09 27 at 02:47 AM • permalink

  39. Ever since November 11 1975, the insufferable bleatings of Madge and Gough have permeated all levels of Australian life.

    Their irrelevancy is matched only by the bitterness they still feel over being rightly turfed from the Lodge.

    Never mind Madge; your legacy is assured thanks to the scores of moonbat journo’s, academics and assorted intelligentsia who will ensure the feculent stain of your husband’s mercifully brief prime ministership will be spoken of in rapturous tones.

    Both of you should be dead already, although I fear the collective wailing of the ‘comrades’ at your funeral(s) will send a deep chill through all of us.

    Besides, I’m sure Janette could give a toss what you or Gough think anyway.

    Posted by Jay Santos on 2006 09 27 at 03:22 AM • permalink

  40. There’s no doubt that Margaret has special disdain for Janette based on her hubby’s politics. Margaret never got on with Annita Keating either, but Annita was on the “correct” side of politics.

    For those who ask what Margaret achieved, I understand she was a junior swimming champion. She grew up in Miller Street Bondi, and I have a soft spot for her because of that. Margaret also attended Bondi (Wellington Street) Primary, which is my old school, as well as Nic’s.

    The only other alumnus from Bondi PS to make their mark in the world is—John Pilger. Oh, the ignominy!

    Posted by The Mongrel on 2006 09 27 at 03:29 AM • permalink

  41. Beazley has spoken honourably and with a touch of class about Janette’s support for John Howard. He deserves credit for that.

    Posted by Susan Norton on 2006 09 27 at 03:37 AM • permalink

  42. Sheeeese, I wish those silly old Whitlams would piss off! They’re a friggin joke!

    Posted by Gravelly on 2006 09 27 at 03:39 AM • permalink

  43. If your a has-been married to another has-been maybe you can grab some diminishing limelight by announcing your forthcoming biography. Drop a few nasty comments about certain people in the book and keep your fingers crossed the sales will skyrocket.

    Posted by Spag_oz on 2006 09 27 at 03:46 AM • permalink

  44. Reading the above brought a tear to my eye as I remember ‘The Whitlam Years’.

    The scandles, the rampant inflation, the anti-americanism, the corrupt ministers, the Lionel Murphys, the Jim Cairns (and Juni Morosis!!), the Al Grassbys.

    Oh, yes, remember Al Grassby (and murdered anti drugs campaigner Donald McKay)!  The Witless Goof made him a Mnister fer chrissake!

    Remember Gough and Margaret touring the ruins of ancient Greece when Darwin was wiped off the map by a cyclone, then resisting calls for them to return to Australia.

    Remember Marg breaking a fetlock.

    Remember Marg’s greatest contribution to Australian society - declaring that (then rampant) inflation was “all a load of hoo-ha”.

    Remember Gough being sacked by the Governor General, and being so upset that he went home and had a steak for lunch.  Didn’t tell any of his parliamentary colleagues that he had been sacked, thus allowing the Opposition - come - government to know they were the government, but the government - come opposition members didn’t know!  Thus the budget was passed and election called which Gough lost in the (then) greatest landslide of all.

    Gosh, things are boring now, aren’t they?  JoHo has a lot to answer for!!

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 03:48 AM • permalink

  45. I’m appalled.

    Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 27 at 03:53 AM • permalink

  46. Give her some credit - how better to attract leftoids to your book than to make an assertion which is as absurd as this? I’m sure they will flock to her now. Well, more than they would have otherwise.

    Posted by Ian Deans on 2006 09 27 at 03:57 AM • permalink

  47. As a capitalist, I see this as a wonderful marketing ploy - any publicity is good publicity, heh!

    Posted by Razor on 2006 09 27 at 04:04 AM • permalink

  48. Here’s a thought.  Maybe we could apply for an Arts Council grant and put Germs Greer and Maggie Whitless in a perspex box in say, Martin Place Sydney or Bourke St Mall in melbourne and see how much bile they can spew together.

    John Pilger can make a film about it.  “An incontinent truth trollop”

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 04:19 AM • permalink

  49. I notice that Nicholas Whitlam’s website fails to mention the fact that he’s the son of an Australian PM.  I wonder why that would be?

    BTW Phatso Phil: that was phucking hilarious.

    Posted by murph on 2006 09 27 at 04:35 AM • permalink

  50. Check out the pic of Maggie Whitless on the SMH website

    Grrrrrr

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 04:36 AM • permalink

  51. She makes Eleanor Roosevelt look like Jen Hawkins.

    Posted by TonyD on 2006 09 27 at 04:56 AM • permalink

  52. A decade of hating John has done nothing for the left. Now they move onto his wife.

    Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 09 27 at 04:57 AM • permalink

  53. cbbl shees a male cross dresser so ugly hannibal lector think shes all ready eaten

    Posted by TonyD on 2006 09 27 at 05:01 AM • permalink

  54. The Whitlams are still drawing heavily on the public purse. What has Big Marg ever done to deserve this privilege other than to marry Big Chook?

    Posted by you bet on 2006 09 27 at 05:22 AM • permalink

  55. Has anybody else read the comments section on the news.com.au website?  It exposes just how far Bush Derangement Syndrome has infected some people.  Whilst most people are telling Maggot Witless to stick her comments fair up her clacker, there are some people who actually manage to bring the POTUS into the frame.

    Posted by murph on 2006 09 27 at 05:36 AM • permalink

  56. I think Margaret Whitlam was once in the Australian Olympic Swimming Team and won a silver medal. I’d fact check this but if I google “whitlam” I’d end up vomitting.

    Posted by James Hamilton on 2006 09 27 at 05:38 AM • permalink

  57. Never forget peoples that Gough got tossed out of office 31 years ago amd has been living on the public tit all his life.

    An ex-PM’s super, a car, a driver, a CBD office, remember Latham was Whitlam’s “researcher”, on the public payroll.
    It’s a grand life. So, sling off and laugh, but friends, it ain’t no laughing matter. The prick has probably cost the Australian taxpayer $30 million. And then there’s the economy and the way of life he wrecked. But that’s another story.

    I’m not laughing.

    Posted by Bonmot on 2006 09 27 at 05:52 AM • permalink

  58. Nah, she was in the equestrian.  No need to say what part of the team.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 05:54 AM • permalink

  59. I saw this on the nooz, and it looks like sour grapes to me.

    I’ve never heard a bad word of Janette, and I think it’s cute (but not trite) of her and JH to still be holding hands.

    I’ve got an aunt and uncle who still hold hands, and they’ve been together for over 40 years.

    Works for me.

    Posted by Nilknarf Arbed on 2006 09 27 at 05:59 AM • permalink

  60. Gough and Margaret deserve each other.

    Posted by Baldman on 2006 09 27 at 06:05 AM • permalink

  61. Tabitharuth: “Sorry for the dumb American question but how does one pronounce Gough”

    Steveatpub: “Rhymes with “cough” “

    Actually, in the Sad Times, when he was Prime Minister of Australia, it was pronounced “go” and was usually followed by “Now!”

    Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2006 09 27 at 06:31 AM • permalink

  62. Janette Howard need only utter these words:
    “Look at the scoreboard byotch, ten fuckin’ years!”

    Posted by Dan Lewis on 2006 09 27 at 06:32 AM • permalink

  63. Well I think it’s outrageous; abso-bloodly-lutely outrageous!  And if it is a marketing ploy then so much the worse because that just adds whoring to what sounds very much like envy inspired arrogance to me.

    Apart from feeling a bit sorry for her because of the jibes she had to suffer for being so big and plain-faced I never really thought one thing or another about that woman before, but now I really, really don’t like her mind.

    Posted by Janice on 2006 09 27 at 06:45 AM • permalink

  64. Mrs Whitlam, whose husband Gough was prime minister from 1972 to 1975, says Mrs Howard has no sense of humour and should not still be holding hands with her husband in public.

    “For God’s sake, they’ve been married for over 30 years!” Mrs Whitlam says in a new biography to be published next week.

    Well it’s clear that Gough stopped more than holding hands over 30 years ago :)

    Bitterness is an ugly human trait, being bitter in public is just sad.

    Posted by spyder on 2006 09 27 at 06:53 AM • permalink

  65. This is the deal:

    Even though he is likely to live ‘til the ripe old age of 150 on the public tit, the day the old wanker is buried - what say we all gather at the end of the burial (as attendant moonbats disperse) - in hawaiian shirts for a wee little drinky-poo graveside?

    Who will join me?

    Posted by der FRED on 2006 09 27 at 06:59 AM • permalink

  66. wee little drinky-poo graveside

    Pigs arse.

    A truck load of beer and a 44 gallon drum of single malt should be OK for starters.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 07:02 AM • permalink

  67. “Look at the scoreboard byotch, ten fuckin’ years!”

    You’ve nutshelled it Dan.

    Did you see the John H’s masterful response: “Jeanette and I have always got on well with the Whitlams”.  Talk about a nice straight bat down the pitch.  (That’s Australian for a bunt back to the mound or something, I dunno…I guess it doesn’t translate)

    Posted by Big Jim on 2006 09 27 at 07:03 AM • permalink

  68. “Jeanette and I have always got on well with the Whitlams”.
    This is probably about as good as getting on with the Whitlams gets.

    Posted by blogstrop on 2006 09 27 at 07:22 AM • permalink

  69. Isshestillholdinghandswithgoughorispaulboborgoughprovidinghandusinteruptus?

    laborpinkus!

    Posted by gubbaboy on 2006 09 27 at 07:38 AM • permalink

  70. #67 An attempt from someone who’s watched both games:

    “JoHo’s just stepped back off the plate, folks. He’s seen that ball going nowhere near the strike zone as soon as it left the pitcher’s hand. Folks, he’s tapped his cleats, spat some chaw and dug in for the next pitch.”

    (bunt back to the mound and yer out, generally, not good unless yer tryin to advance a runner by sacrifice)

    Posted by MentalFloss on 2006 09 27 at 07:39 AM • permalink

  71. Over the years, Margaret has received some cruel and frankly unedifying commentary about her appearance, and in the midst of all this, I for one have come to admire the way she has kept her chins up.

    Posted by Margos Maid on 2006 09 27 at 07:54 AM • permalink

  72. #66

    You’ll have to push your way through the lines of Vietnamese waiting to piss on his grave.

    Posted by murph on 2006 09 27 at 07:56 AM • permalink

  73. “Named by the National Trust as a National Living Treasure”. Oi Ve.

    I must give personal thanks to Margaret Whitlam. Every time I look in the mirror, I think “well, at least I look better than she does”.

    Also in her favour, her patronising of Glaucoma Australia, her voluntary work during WW II, her founding sponsorship of the National Foundation for Australian Women, and her sponsorship of the Garvan Insititute of Medical Research. She’s done some Charity work, give her credit for that.

    Mainly though, it’s been one political plumb after another. A brief extract of her lucrative career is in order:

    1943
    Social Worker for the Family Welfare Bureau

    1964 - 1967
    Medical Social Worker at the Parramatta Hospital, Sydney

    1974 - 1977
    Director Commonwealth Hostels Limited

    1975
    Member of the Advisory Council for International Women’s Year

    1977 - 1982
    Director of the Sydney Dance Company

    1978 - 1980
    President of the Australian Capital Territory Council of Social Services

    1978 - 1981
    Councilor/President of the Sydney Teachers College

    1979 - 1981
    Chairman of the Opera Conference

    1982 - 1983
    President of the Council for the Sydney CAE

    1982 - 1983
    Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Law Foundation of New South Wales

    1989 - 1991
    Chairman of the National Council for the International Literacy Year (ILY)

    1990
    UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the International Literacy Year

    1990 - 1999
    Travel consultant of the International Study Programs

    1995 - 1996
    Co-Chairman of the Safer Australia Committee

    November 1995
    Along with a number of other Voluntary Aids from World War II, Margaret Whitlam spoke about her wartime experiences at a commemorative luncheon as part of the ‘Australia Remembers, 1945-1995’ celebrations

    2002
    Member of the Library Society Committee for the New South Wales Library

    I wonder how much some of those little sinecures paid? The UNESCO one would have been a nice little earner.

    And from that wonderful Magnum Opus, the Latham Diaries:

    Margaret Whitlam calling out ‘This is all crap’ as Gough gives an 80-minute speech about everything. That’s one of the things everyone likes about her, her honesty about Gough.(p40)

    No hand-holding there, hasn’t been for a very long time.

    Off-topic, but on the previous page, there’s this :

    Gough once told me the story of an ALP National Executive meeting in the early 1970s when, as they waited for someone to turn up, the conversation at this all-male gathering inevitably turned to dick sizes. As they went around the room, some blokes claimed to be long, others claimed to be thick. Until they got to Hawke, who yelled out ‘long and thick’. Whenever Gough was unhappy with the Hawke Government he would say, ‘Comrade, neither long nor thick.

    Somehow… this doesn’t fill me with a wild enthusiasm to vote for the ALP.

    Margaret dear… the magic of the Internet now allows even amateurs to Google “Margaret Whitlam Charity” and find out this stuff.

    Gosh, I wonder if Gough still calls people “Comrade”? but he doesn’t hold hands with his wife. Somehow I find that… sad.

    Posted by Zoe Brain on 2006 09 27 at 08:08 AM • permalink

  74. As I remember it, she was the only woman in Australia able to suck start a 747, but I may have it wrong.

    Posted by pjw on 2006 09 27 at 08:19 AM • permalink

  75. Goodness, what a gossipy old scold is Mrs. Whitlam.

    I must feel sorry for Mr. Whitlam.  It’s obvious, after so many years of marriage, that he doesn’t get any.

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2006 09 27 at 08:37 AM • permalink

  76. The only reason Gough took her with him on all those overseas junkets was he just couldn’t bring himself to give her a kiss her goodbye.

    Posted by Baldman on 2006 09 27 at 08:48 AM • permalink

  77. she’s just jealous of Janette’s fashion sense

    Posted by cjblair on 2006 09 27 at 08:56 AM • permalink

  78. What has happened with our world statesmen and stateswomen?  Here’s the inviolable rule:  When you’re a leader and you lose an election or you retire from office, you do it gracefully.  That means, never and I mean never, criticize the current occupant of your former office.

    This was followed for centuries.  And then along comes Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Hillary.  And now Mrs. Gough.  This is not just disappointing, it’s sad.  I’m embarrassed for them.

    To cite a great thinker, Bertie Wooster, this is bad form.

    Posted by wronwright on 2006 09 27 at 08:57 AM • permalink

  79. Howard’s response is beautiful. The chasm between shrill narcissism and dignified calm has never been greater.

    Posted by Hanyu on 2006 09 27 at 09:25 AM • permalink

  80. Don’t think we have the same (former) tradition of ex Prime Ministers not bagging the current lot.

    Most have been quite happy to give their 2 bobs worth on current events and decisions, some with more grace than others.

    Malcolm Fraser, the former conservative PM in fact now gets his kicks from criticising John Howard’s policies….  (he and Gough often collaborate on this).

    But apart from a few unguarded comments, the wives have been spared.

    Onya Margaret!  Put it all into print, girl!  In the gutter where you love it.

    Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 09 27 at 09:33 AM • permalink

  81. So Whitlam’s witch knows something about a sense of humour does she? I don’t know where she ever heard something humorous in her hate filled life but I’m willing to bet it was not from her husband.

    Posted by WhoCares on 2006 09 27 at 10:09 AM • permalink

  82. Did I write witch in my last post. Sorry Margaret. I meant bitch

    Posted by WhoCares on 2006 09 27 at 10:13 AM • permalink

  83. My parents were married almost 45 years and they held hands in public.

    In fact, when I see old married people holding hands, it gives me hope my wife will not stick a knife in me.

    Posted by Room 237 on 2006 09 27 at 10:51 AM • permalink

  84. Lefties and the Labor party pronouce it “God”, while those on the conservative side of the fence pronounce it “wanker who almost bankrupted the country and introduced a range of social experiments for which this country is still paying for 30 years down the track”


    That’s funny #14, Prez, we have the same word in Canada but it’s “Trudeau”.

    Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 27 at 10:52 AM • permalink

  85. I wonder if it’s the French word taken from the same Latin root? (And it’s only even beginning to be dismantled today by our new, minority Conservative government.)

    Posted by andycanuck on 2006 09 27 at 10:57 AM • permalink

  86. MEOW, Margaret!

    Posted by Patricia on 2006 09 27 at 10:58 AM • permalink

  87. #58 Was she the front half of the horse or the back? Silly question.
    One thing to say about Margret Whitlam…
    An elephant never forgets…

    Posted by crash on 2006 09 27 at 11:00 AM • permalink

  88. The quickest way for a married middle-aged woman to earn the hatred of her peers is to be the object of her husband’s open physical affection.  Look at the Howards, and it’s clear they still get the wild thang going, which drives the dried up, abandoned prunes of the left insane with rage.

    Posted by stokes on 2006 09 27 at 11:04 AM • permalink

  89. She didn’t need to say that. I was raised where males, aye and females, would display a thing known as grace and discretion.

    Why would one say that?
    Why would one lower oneself to the level of silly people and do that?

    Mrs. Whitlam, with all due respect to a lady your age, go and have a cup of tea and be silent. Your day is done and dusted.

    Posted by Simon Darkshade on 2006 09 27 at 11:25 AM • permalink

  90. Geez, how much of a dried up old prune do you have to be to find holding hands offensive? Only a leftist snob could be that hollow.

    Posted by Srekwah on 2006 09 27 at 11:25 AM • permalink

  91. While we’re on the subject (and I know this might ruffle feathers), is there any truth to the Pru Goward rumours?

    Posted by murph on 2006 09 27 at 11:50 AM • permalink

  92. Assuming that the blonde lady with the round face in the SMH photo is Mrs. Howard…I don’t think they could have done anything crueler to Mrs. Whitlam than to post those two photos side by side.  George Orwell once wrote something to the effect of ``At 50, everyone has the face he deserves’’ - maybe Mrs. W. ought to look in the mirror.  And lose the purple lipstick while she’s at it.

    Nasty, no-class old thing.

    Posted by Sonetka's Mom on 2006 09 27 at 12:01 PM • permalink

  93. Yet another snide Whitlam performing to an audience they don’t understand.

    Posted by Henry boy on 2006 09 27 at 05:30 PM • permalink

  94. #70 Thanks Floss,  That’s exactly the play I’m talking about.

    Posted by Big Jim on 2006 09 27 at 08:22 PM • permalink

  95. And don’t forget people, the Aussie band named after Big Gough and Madge has refused to sing to diggers in Iraq.

    Is there anything any of the Whitlams say which ordinary Australians agree with.

    Posted by The Prez on 2006 09 27 at 08:23 PM • permalink

  96. #66 & #72.After you’ve made it past the Vietmanese you’ll still have to get past East Timorese lined up to mark the glorious occasion.

    Posted by Lew on 2006 09 27 at 09:49 PM • permalink

  97. say what you like about it all but this really is one of the great things about Australian politics.

    how can you not just love politics when you get headlines like:

    “and in breaking news…the PM defends his policy on handholding in public”.

    Posted by Mike.A. on 2006 09 27 at 10:51 PM • permalink

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