Al grassby

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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:41 pm

Former immigration minister Al Grassby has died at 78. He’ll always be remembered for his excellent clothes.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/23/2005 at 02:04 AM
    1. good

      Posted by murph on 2005 04 23 at 03:06 AM • permalink


    1. No Tim, you were too young to remember but it was his ties that were a shocker not to metion his connections in the Riverina.

      Posted by Homer Paxton on 2005 04 23 at 03:15 AM • permalink


    1. i second murph’s comment. one less baddie cluttering up the land of the living. bye bye al you piece of shite.

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 04 23 at 03:46 AM • permalink


    1. Yes, Homer, the tie really stands out doesn’t it?

      Posted by ilibcc on 2005 04 23 at 03:48 AM • permalink


    1. If anyone ever doubts Gough Whitlam and his cohorts (which included Grassby) were the greatest bunch of clowns ever to infest Australian politics just mentally add frizzy false red hair and suitable make-up to that picture

      Posted by graboy on 2005 04 23 at 03:48 AM • permalink


    1. Murph, Deo,

      come on guys, those sorts of comments are what we expect to see at Margo’s, Kos or DU. We’re better than that, and we hold ourselves to a higher level of discourse that those arseholes at Margo’s, Kos, DU etc.

      I have no respect for what Grassby did in his public life, but I at least respect his family’s grief at this time.

      I only hope Kim Beazley and the Labor shadow ministry all turn up to Grassby’s funeral wearing Grassby ties to mark the occasion.

      Posted by steve68 on 2005 04 23 at 04:03 AM • permalink


    1. I hope Donald Mackay’s relatives piss on his grave…

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 04 23 at 04:04 AM • permalink


    1. I seem to remember that he eventually abandoned his spectacular ties and adopted his own clothing creation which he called the “Riverina Rig”.It was a collarless outfit the design of which appeared to be stolen from a coolie stokers uniform.He was highly thought of by Robert Trimbole fame,a high profile Griffith drug lord.Al was a grub and his passing is no loss.

      Posted by Lew on 2005 04 23 at 04:06 AM • permalink


    1. Now we know where the Dodgy Brothers got their costumes from.

      Posted by Blithering Bunny on 2005 04 23 at 04:08 AM • permalink


    1. I think it was Bob Bottom who wrote something said by the crime bosses of Sicily and Calabria, for migrants Australia esp the Riverina was like an open door (for all their criminal extended family)

      Dont laugh, I was told that there are more than a few bodies under concrete house slabs, they were getting away with murder.

      Posted by rog2 on 2005 04 23 at 04:30 AM • permalink


    1. What Deo Vindice said.

      Posted by Dean McAskil on 2005 04 23 at 04:35 AM • permalink


    1. Can he have been of bad character AND a member of the Whitlam Government?
      I did see him at a a reception once (replete, with loud tie), and could not resist the urge to say “I see you are keeping up the ties, Al” – He responded in typical vein “Well a chap of my age has to keep something up”.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 04 23 at 04:53 AM • permalink


    1. SBS has just credited Grassby with ending the “White Australia Policy�?. When will the left get it through their thick skulls that it was Holt who ended the WAP in 1967?

      As for Al, I would endorse the sentiments already expressed by steve 68. Grassby looked and acted like a clown and was more a figure of ridicule than evil. We shouldn’t heap opprobrium on the dead unless they truly deserve it.

      Posted by Adam B on 2005 04 23 at 05:14 AM • permalink


    1. I know that one is not supposed speak ill of the dead but in Grassby’s case I’ll make an exception. Big Al, as he liked to be known, gloried in his media image of a colourful clown, but speaking from personal experience, I found him to be an evil little bastard.
      In Mario Puzo’s novel, “The Godfather”, Don Corleone (or some other character) remarks that some men go through life with an attitude which screams. ‘kill me”! That pretty much sums up Grassby. The man was a chameleon who could exude a greasy affability whenever the media was in evidence but the reality was totally different. I wouldn’t bother looking up his grave to piss on it but I’m, sure as hell, not about to shed any tears over his passing. My only regret is that he didn’t dropped off the twig sooner.

      Posted by Boss Hog on 2005 04 23 at 05:42 AM • permalink


    1. The riverina Italian mafia murdered Don Mackay because he was an anti-drug advocate. Al GRASSby under parliamentary privelige accused Don Mackay’s wife of the murder. Why would he do that Adam?

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 04 23 at 05:43 AM • permalink


    1. And he’s going to get a State Funeral. Sheesh.

      Condolencences to his family; they must feel his loss very greatly. They are entitled to mourn his passing.

      But (the awful but) – for those of us who lived through the Whitlam years we will remember Al Grassby as one of the worst clowns of the whole bunch.  He could get the press to notice him only by flaunting his appalling dress sense.

      None of dressed well in the early 70s: v-knee bell-bottom flares, green corduroys, safari suits, paisley body shirts, shoulder-length hair. It’s embarrassing (what’s even more embarrassing is that the same shirts have just arrived at Myer at $60 each). Al was far, far worse than this.

      His legacy: multiculturism.  It all started with Al.

      At least the present Government has seen the light.  The proportion of British migrants (to total migrants) is now back to pre-Grassby levels.

      Posted by walterplinge on 2005 04 23 at 05:48 AM • permalink


    1. Fuck him- I’m glad he’s dead. He opened the door for organised crime during his tenure, using ministerial privelidge to issue visas to Calabrian douchebags who’s been knocked back because of their extensive criminal histories. we have Al the thank for the likes of “Aussie” Bob Trimbole etc. Two in one day- if Gough croaks, it’d be better than winning lotto.

      Posted by Habib on 2005 04 23 at 05:57 AM • permalink


    1. Lead story on ABC radio “news” today. No mention of his corruption, of course. Let’s contrast this with what they say about the corrupt Bjelke-Petersen.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 2005 04 23 at 06:12 AM • permalink


    1. Sad news, but he was an unmitigated disaster as a minister – one of the worst since Federation.

      Posted by Steve Edwards on 2005 04 23 at 06:55 AM • permalink


    1. The riverina Italian mafia murdered Don Mackay because he was an anti-drug advocate. Al GRASSby under parliamentary privilege accused Don Mackay’s wife of the murder. Why would he do that Adam?

      Because, as I pointed out – the man was a clown.

      He was an extremely naive and gullible man who refused to believe that there were any crooks in his beloved Riverina immigrant community. But there was no evidence that he was complicit in either Donald Mackay’s disappearance or drug trafficking, a point acknowledged by the court when he was sentenced for the criminal defamation on Mrs. Mackay. I’m the last person to defend Grassby’s grubby role in that whole disgraceful affair but being a class A goose is a long way from complicity in murder and drug trafficking.

      Let me be clear about this – I’m no fan of Grassby or his legacy. But during the past week or so, I have been fuming over some of the nasty eulogies of John Paul II floating around the lefty blogosphere. I just think we could set a higher tone when a prominent lefty kicks the bucket.

      Posted by Adam B on 2005 04 23 at 06:58 AM • permalink


    1. You have to be so careful with plaids.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 04 23 at 07:18 AM • permalink


    1. Good riddance to a lying, venomous, criminal piece of shit. This news has made my day.

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2005 04 23 at 07:30 AM • permalink


    1. I forgot to mention – as for his family’s grief – fuck them!

      Posted by Susan Norton on 2005 04 23 at 07:33 AM • permalink


    1. The guy may have been ineffectual, niave or not-harmless, and part of the worst government in Australia’s history,
      but I don’t feel to good about the abuse on this feedback session – its gorss speaking ill of the dead – he wasn’t hitler after all.
      As was said earlier, its the sort of invective you would expect on Kos or DU or margoland – Are we no better?
      He was probably good to his kids, and they sure wouldn’t feel good if they were to read some of the comments here.

      Posted by entropy on 2005 04 23 at 08:28 AM • permalink


    1. Adam B, (post #20)

      I’ll pay that.

      Posted by Nic on 2005 04 23 at 08:34 AM • permalink


    1. Why does someone karking it make them above criticism? There’s a few more from Whitlam’s cabinet I’d be happy to see in a box as well, the sooner the better.

      Posted by Habib on 2005 04 23 at 08:59 AM • permalink


    1. Post #16: “His legacy: multiculturism.  It all started with Al.”

      You misspelt Balkanization.

      Posted by Raymond on 2005 04 23 at 09:10 AM • permalink


    1. Death shouldn’t put someone above criticism and with Grassby; there was a lot to criticise. But dancing on a person’s grave, unless it happens to belong to a truly evil prick like Hitler; Stalin; Ararfat; Uday & Quasy Hussain et al, isn’t a good look.

      Posted by Adam B on 2005 04 23 at 09:17 AM • permalink


    1. Offtopic admin: Sue Norton, fix your email—it’s bouncing comment notices.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 04 23 at 09:54 AM • permalink


    1. What a disgrace Grassby was!

      Posted by TT Tazman on 2005 04 23 at 11:20 AM • permalink


    1. ’isn’t a good look’

      is ‘isn’t a good look’ what constitutes robust discussion today?


      donald mackay died – killed by druglords -and grassby – tie-died and prince-of-wales-checked – accused the wife of complicity


      oh – right, someone defends him as being naive and gullible

      he was a government minister, a representative of the crown

      ‘naive and gullible’

      what complete crap

      Posted by ilibcc on 2005 04 23 at 11:52 AM • permalink


    1. jim we know what the A.B.C. say courtesy of their dear Leader Adams. ‘I come to bury Joh not to praise him.” ho ho. Grasby was “the father of multiculturalism”.

      Posted by crash on 2005 04 23 at 12:36 PM • permalink


    1. Grassby finalised the end of the white australia policy , a process that had started in the late ‘60s.  Grassby used the term ‘multiculturalism’ liberally.

      Due to the poor economic performance of the Whitlam govt they had to slash inmmigration to a trickle. It was Fraser who let the boat people in

      Posted by rog2 on 2005 04 23 at 08:09 PM • permalink


    1. Adam B – have you ever thought that Grassby was paid hard cash to take up the cause of the Italian gangsters ie, bribed?

      Far from being naive and gullible, he went so far as to accuse Mackay’s grieving wife of complicity in her husbands disappearance. Naive and gullible? Where did he believe the money came from for people like Trimbole (originally a poor immigrant and loser) to build their grass castles in the Griffith area?

      I recall the old League of Rights organisation preaching that wholesale acceptance of southern Italians would bring the mafia/Black Hand etc to Australia – they were howled down and denigrated as racists by Grassby and his corrupt ALP mates.

      Well the bad old LOR was absolutely correct on this occasion. The Southern Italian crime gangs ended up running the Melbourne markets, also, if memeory serves me.

      Posted by dee on 2005 04 23 at 11:26 PM • permalink


    1. The first legislative moves that constituted the end of the White Australia Policy occurred in the late 1950s. Sir Alexander Downer abolished the notorious Dictation Test for immigrants in that year.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 04 24 at 12:29 AM • permalink


    1. That year being 1958.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 04 24 at 12:30 AM • permalink


    1. And the creator of the WAP was Labor Minister Arthur Caldwell.

      At that time it seemed appropriate.

      Posted by rog2 on 2005 04 24 at 04:10 AM • permalink


    1. Currency Lad,

      Yes – it’s my understanding that the infamous “dictation test�? was abolished in the 1958 Migration Act. The White Australia “policy�?, which was never officially stated, was junked by the Holt Government in 1966/67. The implementation into law of the new non-discriminatory policy was gradual. It’s true that Whitlam/ Grassby removed a lot of the discriminatory clauses in the Migration Act in 1973 (with opposition support) and passed the Racial Discrimination Act (again with bi-partisan support) in 1975. The last racially discriminatory sections in the act were removed in 1978 by Fraser.  My point in that the policy was junked by a Coalition Government and the legal implementation occurred under numerous governments with bi-partisan support. So why does Whitlam always get the sole credit? This is particularly galling when you consider that the ALP was historically the most enthusiastic supporter of the WAP.

      Dee, I don’t know if Grassby was on the take or not and I have already commented on the Mrs. Mackay allegations. Barry Cohen – an ALP man for whom I have a tremendous amount of respect– once shared a room with Grassby in the old Parliament House. He tells the anecdote that during a debate on homosexuality in the 1970’s, Grassby told him that “he had never met a homosexual in his life�? despite the well known fact that about 4 members of the ALP caucus were homosexual. That’s the type of naivety I’m talking about. As for he League of Rights, they may have been correct on that occasion but I wouldn’t quote them in an argument all the same.

      Posted by Adam B on 2005 04 24 at 04:20 AM • permalink


    1. Would it be remiss to bid a fond farewell to the father of Australian Multiculturalism?

      Bye Al – you legend you.

      Posted by Joe Strummer on 2005 04 25 at 03:58 AM • permalink


  1. Here is what former Labor senator Peter Walsh wrote about Grassby in his book ‘Confessions of a Failed Finance Minister’ published in 1995. Page 19.

    The combination of state and federal coalition governments, and an extended rural recession, enabled Grassby to win Riverina in 1969 and 1972. But he lost it at the first election held with Labor in government (1974), as some of us had correctly predicted he would. The size of the swings for Grassby in Riverina was a function of his flamboyant populism. The size of the swing against him in 1974 was a function of his inevitable failure to deliver the cargo he had promised

    Sums it up really.

    Posted by DropDeadUgly on 2005 04 25 at 08:01 AM • permalink