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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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John Howard Takes Liberal Leadership As Andrew Peacock Miscalculates

John Howard became leader of the Liberal Party for the first time at a bizarre meeting of the parliamentary party called to remove him as deputy leader.

The party meeting was called by leader Andrew Peacock in an attempt to remove Howard from the deputy leadership. Peacock had demanded an assurance from Howard that he would not challenge for the leadership but Howard refused to give one.

A contest between Howard and John Moore saw Howard re-elected deputy leader by 38 votes to 31. Peacock then resigned and Howard was elected leader, defeating Jim Carlton by 57 votes to 6. Neil Brown became deputy leader. [Read more…]


John Howard Hosts Midday Show

The Midday Show was one of Channel 9’s biggest success stories in the 1980s.

Originally known as The Mike Walsh Show, the program was rebadged in 1985 and hosted by Ray Martin for the next eight years.

On August 30, 1985, Deputy Liberal leader John Howard guest hosted the show, in place of Ray Martin.

Amongst others, he interviewed Richard Carleton and Laurie Oakes. The video below includes those interviews.

Four days after this program, Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock called a Liberal Party meeting to remove Howard from his position. Howard was re-elected, Peacock resigned and Howard became leader of the Liberal Party for the first time.

  • Watch Howard host Midday (22m)

 


Leaders’ Debate: 1984 Federal Election

The two major party leaders met in a televised election debate on November 26, 1984, five days before the election.

Prime Minister Bob Hawke (ALP) debated Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock (Liberal) in a debate moderated by Ken Randall, the president of the National Press Club.

A panel of journalists asked questions: Michelle Grattan, Robert Haupt, Richard Carleton, Peter Bowers, Laurie Oakes and Ken Begg. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’s Final Appearance At The National Press Club

Malcolm Fraser appeared at the National Press Club for the last time as prime minister on March 1, 1983, four days before the federal election.

Fraser was critical of the media’s coverage during the campaign. He attacked journalist Laurie Oakes and drew attention to another journalist who described one of his responses as “bullshit”. [Read more…]


Fraser Calls Early Election As Hawke Replaces Hayden

At the time, it was described as the most dramatic day in Australian politics since the Dismissal of the Whitlam government.

HaydenRumours abounded on the morning of February 3, 1983 that Bill Hayden’s leadership of the ALP was under threat from Bob Hawke. Speculation had also begun that Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser might call an early election.

I was attending the funeral of the Victorian state Labor member for Springvale, Kevin King. There was an air of expectation as Labor notables and party activists mingled outside after the service. Some not-so-discreet preselection lobbying was underway but many of us were interested in events further afield.

In Brisbane, the ALP’s National Executive was putting Bill Hayden to the sword. Back at the funeral, one Victorian MP told me of a cryptic conversation he’d had with Bob Hogg, the Victorian ALP’s State Secretary. This was a time before mobile phones, the internet and continuous news. Political information passed around like Chinese whispers. As the funeral finished, we still weren’t sure if Hayden had gone. People who turned on their car radios heard reports that Fraser was on his way to see the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen. [Read more…]