It was the memorial for Edward Gough Whitlam in Sydney today, and across the universe. As it was Gough it was also black holed into parallel universes. In seven light years we will interpret the applause data at Tidbinbilla.
I enrolled for a seat in the Sydney Town Hall but like thousands of others I didn’t get in. Instead I stood with Gough’s men and women of Australia and kids, a welcome new constituent, under the plane trees and flowering jacarandas in the square outside. There was a blue sky.
It was more fun out there. We were a pantomime. We booed bastard Skullface all the way from his car to his pew. Ha! I can’t wait until he’s beheaded (metadata risk) and ‘behind us’. We booed small man Howard for making us small but then attending a big man’s funeral.
We hoorayed Julia to her seat among the great reformers.
I’ve been to plenty of union rallies at the Sydney Town Hall and part of me wished I was inside the beast. The music would have been live and even more magnificent than it was in the square. But to hear our crowd singing along to Carmody and Kelly, to mingle with school students from Winmalee High School, to see other adults weeping with me, to be startled by the flyover and the open air aura of Gough made the square a fine place to be.
We were the people that Gough and Labor inspired, helped and loved.
Now that he has a more universal influence it’s not surprising that Gough used it. A few hours after the memorial service ended in Sydney there was an astonishing electrical storm – a lightning symphony – and when I got home there was the grandeur of certain sunset.
We want Gough. Thank you Comrade.