Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us by Malcolm Fraser

by
December 2002-January 2003, no. 247
Robert Manne reviews 'Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us' by Malcolm Fraser

Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us

by Malcolm Fraser

Viking, $35 hb, 296 pp

Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us by Malcolm Fraser

by
December 2002-January 2003, no. 247

When Malcom Fraser was prime minister, he was generally thought of as a hard and ruthless man of the right. In part this was because of the role he played in the removal of Gough Whitlam; in part because of his fiscal prudence; in part because of his orthodox Cold War foreign policy. Following his defeat in 1983, an alternative picture of Fraser gradually emerged. Under Labor, Australia embarked upon a program of economic rationalist reform. For his failure to anticipate this programme – to be wise or, as some would say, unwise before the event – Fraser was caricatured, especially by his former political friends, as a do-nothing prime minister. His time in office was ridiculed as Seven Wasted Years. After 1996 Fraser became one of the most influential critics of John Howard’s new brand of populist conservatism. The portrait of him was once more redrawn. The left saw him as a principled humanitarian; the right as an incorrigible Wet.

Robert Manne reviews 'Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us' by Malcolm Fraser

Common Ground: Issues that should bind and not divide us

by Malcolm Fraser

Viking, $35 hb, 296 pp

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