90 Not Out by P-IndependentPublis

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Focusing on the National Party, this history shares the extraordinary story of a political organization—large in grassroots members, yet small in parliamentary terms—that has made an enormous and largely unrecognized contribution to Australia’s social and economic development. A colorful and interesting read, this comprehensive study highlights the structure, achievements, failures, and internal conflicts of Australia’s second oldest political party. This informative record will especially interest those with a fascination for Australian political history.

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									90 Not Out
Author: Paul Davey
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 The beginning
2 Flexing muscles
3 Runs on the board
4 Depression and Opposition
5 Tragedy, triumph and downfall
6 Fadden takes the reins
7 Rocky years
8 Fadden to McEwen
9 The veto
10 New era, new name
11 The night of the long prawns
12 The dismissal
13 Return to government
14 Innovation in difficult times
15 Back to Opposition
16 Joh for Canberra
17 Tentatively back to Coalition
18 The Nixon Report
19 An era ends dramatically
20 The brief reign of Charles Blunt
21 Moulding party and Coalition interests
22 Is this the joy of government?
23 Delivering for the bush
24 Internal issues and international disaster
25 Timing for change
26 Rebelling or reverting to type?
27 Infiltrators and dissidents
28 Amalgamators
29 90 not out
Appendices
1 Formation and Name Changes
2 Electoral Performance, House of Representatives
3 Parliamentary and Organisational Leaders
4 Party Senators and Members
5 Party Ministers in the Commonwealth Parliament
6 Landmark Achievements in Government
7 April 1987 Coalition Agreement
Notes
Select bibliography and further reading
Index
Description

Focusing on the National Party, this history shares the extraordinary story of a political organization—
large in grassroots members, yet small in parliamentary terms—that has made an enormous and largely
unrecognized contribution to Australia’s social and economic development. A colorful and interesting
read, this comprehensive study highlights the structure, achievements, failures, and internal conflicts of
Australia’s second oldest political party. This informative record will especially interest those with a
fascination for Australian political history.
Excerpt

1: The beginningThe veteran federal parliamentarian Earle Page never knew his 42-year hold on the New
South Wales electorate of Cowper was finally broken by the Labor Party at the election on 9 December
1961. Page, the member since December 1919, a founder of the Australian Country Party in January
1920, and to this day the party’s longest serving leader, knew from the outset of the campaign that he
had a serious political fight on his hands. What he did not know was that another battle loomed on his
horizon, one that he could never win.The Coalition government had ruled uninterrupted under the prime
ministership of Robert Menzies since December 1949. Its popularity now was not as solid as it had been
at the election in 1958, even though communism and communist influences in the Labor Party still
provided fertile political clout in the electorate. Treasurer Harold Holt’s stringent economic
announcements a year earlier to curb inflation had produced a credit squeeze and seriously aggravated
unemployment, especially in the eastern states and in the automobile industry. There would be electoral
casualties in the Coalition’s ranks.In Cowper, Page’s main opponent, Labor’s Frank McGuren, a factory
inspector and former Grafton City Council alderman, had a significant advantage: he was a relatively
young 52, while Page was 81. There was some consternation, even resentment, within the local Country
Party that Page had not retired at the end of the last parliament, but politics was something he simply
could not give up and the party felt it could hardly withdraw its endorsement of its most famous
representative and long-standing inaugural president of its federal organisation. Moreover, up until shortly
before the close of nominations on 14 November it looked as though Page would be unopposed.
Ultimately, apart from McGuren, a third candidate, publican Neville Weiley, entered the field as an
Independent.Page seemed fit enough when the last session of the twenty-third parliament closed on 27
October, signalling the start of the campaign, although many who knew him privately commented that he
looked tired, old and worn-out. He toured the electorate, speaking at various functions and public
meetings. Then his health failed dramatically.He often used to drop in to the home of Ian Robinson and
his mother, Jean, at Bungawalbyn, near Coraki. Robinson had been the Country Party Member for Casino
in the New South Wales parliament since 1953. Two weeks before the election, Page and his wife visited
the Robinson home after a function in Casino. Page complained of stomach pains and rested for an hour
or so before continuing to another commitment. Worried about their friend’s health, Mrs Robinson rang
her son, who was in Sydney attending state parliament, and voiced her concern. When Page returned to
his Grafton home that evening, his son, Iven, a surgeon, examined him and suspected cancer. Page was
flown to Sydney on 26 November and admitted to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. A party spokesman in
Grafton said there was ‘absolutely no suggestion’ that Page would withdraw his candidacy for Cowper. He
underwent surgery for ‘an acute bowel condition’ the following day. While a hospital spokesman said the
operation was successful and Page’s condition good, rumour spread around Cowper that he was, in fact,
grievously ill.
Author Bio
Paul Davey
Paul Davey is a former journalist and and a former senior staffer for the National Party at federal and state
levels. He is the author of Politics in the Blood: The Anthonys of Richmond and The Nationals: The
Progressive, Country and National Party in New South Wales 1919–2006.
Reviews

"Paul Davey has written an engaging and forceful history of a political party that has punched far above its
weight for the best part of a century."

								
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