For reasons that are not entirely clear to me (I’m kind of left wing), I’ve always loved this photo. I think it’s the romantic in me. While I’m not saying their relationship was anything but platonic, you can see a closeness here that warms my heart.
This didn’t get any notes last time I posted it, but let’s see what happens when I tag it as Mitt Romney…
Oliver Cromwell, the dirty hypocrite himself, on throwing Parliament out on April 20, 1653.
I think most of us would like to say this to our elected officials at some point, but this is coming from the man who led the Parliamentary army against King Charles I and saw him executed. His crime? He had ruled England without calling Parliament for over a decade. Then, once Cromwell becomes Lord Protector, he waltzes back in saying “You know what? The King was right after all, you lot suck. Out you go.” No wonder they asked the dead King’s son back to become King Charles II!
was Premier of South Australia between June 1967 and April 1968, and again between June 1970 and February 1979.
A reformist, Dunstan brought profound change to South Australian society. His socially progressive administration saw Aboriginal land rights recognised, homosexuality decriminalised, the first female judge appointed, the first non-British governor, Sir Mark Oliphant, and later, the first indigenous governor Douglas Nicholls. He enacted consumer protection laws, reformed and expanded the public education and health systems, abolished the death penalty, relaxed censorship and drinking laws, created a ministry for the environment, enacted anti-discrimination legislation, and implemented electoral reforms such as the overhaul of the Legislative Council of parliament, lowered the voting age to 18, and enacted universal suffrage, and completely abolished malapportionment, changes which gave him a less hostile parliament and allowed him to enact his reforms. He established Rundle Mall, enacted measures to protect buildings of historical heritage, and encouraged a flourishing of the arts, with support for the Adelaide Festival Centre, the State Theatre Company, and the establishment of the South Australian Film Corporation. He encouraged cultural exchanges with Asia, multiculturalism and an increase in the state’s culinary awareness and sophistication. He is recognised for his role in reinvigorating the social, artistic and cultural life of South Australia during his nine years in office, remembered as the Dunstan Decade.
The dress code for the Parliament was relaxed during this period, the suit and tie was no longer seen as obligatory, and Dunstan himself caused media frenzy when he arrived at Parliament House in 1972 wearing pink shorts that ended above his knees.
Rape law was properly codified and defined as a crime within marriage for the first time in Australia. Shopping hours, previously the most restrictive in the nation, became the most open. Following a royal commission, Friday night shopping was introduced for the city and Thursday night shopping for the suburbs
In his retirement, Dunstan continued to be a passionate critic of economic rationalism (neoliberalism) and privatisation, particularly of South Australia’s water, gas and electricity supplies. During the 1990s he wrote essays for the Adelaide Review magazine strongly criticising both the Federal Labor Governments of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating, the Federal Liberal Government of John Howard and the State Liberal Governments of Dean Brown and John Olsen. A year before his death, the ailing Dunstan decried Labor’s economic rationalism in front of 5,000 at the Gough Whitlam Lecture. In his last interview, he decried economic rationalism as the “nonsense of the Chicago school with which we’ve been beset”. Regardless of the acclaim in which he was held during his decade in power, Dunstan was overlooked for honours after leaving office and largely ignored by the state’s elite. No national parks, gardens, buildings or performance venues were named after him, nor were any electorates, which often honour prominent, long-serving politicians.
In 1982, he moved to the neighbouring state of Victoria, and was appointed the Director of Tourism. This sparked an outcry in South Australia due to the two states’ traditional rivalry. For his part, Dunstan said that he had yearned to be given a role in shaping and building the future of his native state, but that he had been snubbed for three years. He said that public figures in South Australia had told him that his high profile and ability to overshadow others could have caused a loss of face to them, and thus his departure would be seen favourably by them, while Victoria’s offer gave him an opportunity to be constructive. Dunstan stayed in the post until 1986, when he returned to Adelaide after falling out with the government of John Cain. His retirement from this position followed the provocative publication of a photograph of him with Monsignor Porcamadonna, member of the gay community Order of Perpetual Indulgence, taken after he had launched a collection of coming out stories by gay historian Gary Wotherspoon.
The South Australian Police had since 1949 a “Special Branch” in its forces for the purposes of surveillance and espionage. Conceived earlier as an “intelligence branch” in 1939 for the purposes of spying on the large German Australian community in World War II, it had amassed information on tens of thousands of individuals and organisations. While such an operation was of concern to Dunstan and his government for civil liberty reasons, its apparent party-political bias was even more concerning to them. In particular, the branch held information files on Labor parliamentarians, communists, church leaders, trade unionists and so-called “pink files” on gay community activists dating from the time before homosexuality was decriminalised. Only two Labor MPs, from both federal and state parliaments, did not have files, whereas the branch held significantly fewer files relating to Liberal figures. Dunstan had known of the existence of the branch since 1970, but said that he had been assured by the police commissioner that its files were not systematically focused on left-wing political figures.
don dunstan premier of south australia, annoucing his retirement on national radio wearing a japanese kimino
His fashion sense resulted in his being voted “the sexiest political leader in Australia” by Woman’s Day in 1975, and the image of Dunstan in the shorts remains iconic.
don dunstan, with his wife Adele Koh, who was expelled by the Singaporean Government for criticising the Asian Supremicist President Lee Kwan Yew
I want a dyke for president. I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.
I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harrassed and gay-bashed and deported.
I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy.
I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.” by Zoe Leonard (via didyoueatallthisacid)
This is Jon Gnarr - mayor of Reykjavik, dressed in drag for Iceland’s annual Gay Pride Parade.
When asked what advice he had for other world leaders, he said:
“Be yourself. Don’t be evil. Show a little empathy.”
When asked what celebrity he would like to meet, he said:
“I have dined with kings, I have been offered wings, but I have never been too impressed. I like regular people.”
When asked: Why do you think you have been accepted as an atypicial statesman while other politicians (especially American) are so afraid of stepping out of the social norm?He said: “Probably because of the smallness of this country I live in. We are only 320,000 and practically everyone is friends on Facebook.”
it’s the most wonderful thing