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Donald Horne And David Kemp On The State Of The Nation In 1980

A month before the 1980 Federal Election, the ABC’s Four Corners broadcast a program featuring Donald Horne and David Kemp.

Donald Horne, 51 at the time, was an author, journalist and social critic. He was best known for his 1960s book, The Lucky Country. Five years earlier, at the time of the Whitlam Dismissal, he wrote Death of the Lucky Country. Horne died in 2005.

David Kemp, 39 at the time, was a Politics academic at Monash University and an adviser to the Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser. Following the election, Kemp became Director of the Prime Minister’s Office. In 1990, Kemp defeated the Liberal moderate Ian Macphee for preselection for the Melbourne electorate of Goldstein. He was a Cabinet minister in the Howard government and retired in 2004.

The program is interesting in retrospect, partly because not even Four Corners produces programs like this anymore. Horne and Kemp expound at length on their view of the state of the nation.

The program is hosted by Caroline Jones.

At the election on October 18, the Fraser-led coalition was elected to its third and final term with a reduced majority. The Labor Opposition was led by Bill Hayden. The President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Bob Hawke, entered Parliament at this election.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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