Abbott On The Liberal Party’s 70th Anniversary

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used his weekly video message to remember the 70th anniversary of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party was founded in 1944, following conferences in Canberra and Albury that were convened by Robert Menzies. Menzies was a former leader of the United Australia Party (UAP). He had been effectively deposed from the party’s leadership in 1941. The UAP collapsed in the aftermath of its landslide defeat in the 1943 election.

Menzies brought together a range of community groups and political organisations that were opposed to the ALP and the government of John Curtin. The party was defeated in the 1946 federal election but was victorious in 1949. Menzies went on to serve a record term of 16 years as prime minister, retiring undefeated in January 1966.

  • Listen to Abbott (3m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Abbott (3m)

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s video message.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Liberal Party. [Read more...]


Mungo MacCallum Not Dead

Some journalists took to Twitter today to tell us Mungo MacCallum was dead, but he wasn’t and isn’t.

Still, any excuse to remember one of my favourite Mungo pieces. It appeared in Nation Review on December 27, 1974.

It was a month after Malcolm Fraser had failed to dislodge Bill Snedden from the Liberal leadership. It’s easy to see leadership changes as inevitable in retrospect, but foretelling the future is fraught at the best of times. [Read more...]


June 6, 2014: President Barack Obama Speaks At Normandy On The 70th Anniversary Of D-Day

President Barack Obama and other world leaders have gathered at Normandy in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Like the 75th anniversary of Gallipoli in 1990, this is likely to be the last time that survivors of the largest sea-borne invasion in history will gather to remember the historic turning point that led to the defeat of Hitler and the end of the war in Europe.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is attending the commemoration.

United States President Barack Obama addressed the morning ceremony: “By daybreak, blood soaked the water, and bombs broke the sky. Thousands of paratroopers had dropped into the wrong landing sites; thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand. Entire companies’ worth of men fell in minutes. … By the end of that longest day, this beach had been fought, lost, refought and won — a piece of Europe once again liberated and free. …”

  • Listen to Obama (25m – transcript below)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Obama (25m)

Front page of The Age, June 7, 1944.

Age

Transcript of President Barack Obama’s speech at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France, on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

President Hollande; to the people of France; friends; the family; our veterans:

If prayer were made of sound, the skies over England that night would have deafened the world.

Captains paced their decks. Pilots tapped their gauges. Commanders pored over maps, fully aware that for all the months of meticulous planning, everything could go wrong — the winds, the tides, the element of surprise — and above all, the audacious bet that what waited on the other side of the Channel would compel men not to shrink away, but to charge ahead. [Read more...]


Labor MPs And Malcolm Turnbull Pay Tribute To Neville Wran

Members of Parliament have paid tribute to Neville Wran, the former Premier of New South Wales, who died last month.

Following yesterday’s condolence motion in the House of Representatives, 8 Labor MPs and the Liberal Party’s Malcolm Turnbull spoke about Wran in the Federation Chamber.

  • Watch Malcolm Turnbull (20m – transcript below)

Hansard transcript of remarks by Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal member for Wentworth, in the Federation Chamber.

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Minister for Communications) (10:28): Neville Wran was my best friend. I certainly never had a better friend than Neville. I was in business with him for over a decade and we spent pretty much every working day together for well over a decade. He always used to say that he knew me before I knew him because he was a university friend of my mother’s. He would regularly assert that he knew me when I was still en ventre ma mere, a legal term he was very fond of. I got to know him when we were two adults, although I was only barely an adult, when I was a young journalist in the press gallery in New South Wales starting in 1975 when Neville was the opposition leader. He was clearly the coming man. He had an urbanity, a wit and eloquence that had no parallel on either side of the house. [Read more...]


Lem Johns, LBJ Bodyguard, Dies; Witness To JFK Assassination, Spattered With Paint In Australia

Lem Johns, the United States Secret Service agent who was spattered with paint during President Lyndon Johnson’s visit to Australia in 1966, has died, at the age of 88.

Johns, with his right hand raised, can be seen in the picture below on the right hand side of Johnson’s limousine. The incident occurred during a demonstration in Melbourne.

LBJ

Johnson’s visit in October 1966 came just one month before the federal election of November 26. The election was conducted amidst vigorous public debate about Australia’s commitment of conscripted troops to the war in Vietnam. [Read more...]