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Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Bassett tome

Working with David | Inside the Lange Cabinet

Michael Bassett

Publisher: Hodder Moa

INTRODUCTION

I was probably his earliest backer for public office...
Lange had a magic about him that no other parliamentarian rivalled...
He was an excellent chair of cabinet in his heyday...
However there was another side to David Lange...
Grossly overweight...
He never possessed more than the haziest of political philosophies and increasingly seemed to be in politics more for the theatre...
His strategic skills weren't plentiful, although...
Adept at the tactics of self-preservation...
Susceptible to the attraction exerted by strong-willed women throughout his life, he gradually succumbed to one in particular, with whom he fell desperately in love...
The reforming zeal had gone out of him...
Lange lost his concentration, shrugged off his friends and supporters, and became dependent on the advice of his new found love of his life...
He turned to alcohol...
He had virtually destroyed his government, and his colleagues in effect forced him from office...
Careered into a darkness of ill-health, alcohol and political make believe...
Monitoring his decline was the sadder because no one else in my experience displayed such a multitude of talents when he was on top of his game...
Major contributors to the book...
First is Sir Roger Douglas...
Mike Moore...
Richard Prebble and Bill Jeffries...
Stan Roger...
David Lange's medical caregivers...
Alan Gibbs...
Roderick and Gillian Deane...
But my greatest debt, as with all my writing, is to my wife Judith. Her historian's judgement often influenced my own. She read and re-read drafts, and listened to endless discussions with friends about David Lange's gradual disintegration, occasionally likening it to that said to have occured ceaselessly between the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as they mulled over the abdication...


And so our odyssey through the mind and memory of Michael Bassett begins.

I've already noted that the positive elements in favour of Lange are being ruthlessly qualified. His own marriage and that of Lange's relationships are now also of interest.

In Lange's memoir, My Life (2005), he poured only bile upon Bassett:

He had a waspish manner...
I asked Bassett to see me in my office...
"This is a mistake," he said through very tight lips. He told me at one point he would never speak to me again unless he had to, so the news was not all bad...
Bassett was always venomous...

5 Comments:

At 26/6/08 10:58 pm, Blogger dave said...

"...unless I have to". Oh poor boy.

 
At 27/6/08 1:42 am, Blogger Truth Seeker said...

Bassett was widely regarded as one of the most arrogant ministers in Lange's government. I was spending a lot of time around the Beehive in those days. Noting Bassett has said or done ever since has altered that impression. His contempt for both the average voter and anyone who diasgrees with him is obvious and longstanding. This book is just more example of this.

 
At 27/6/08 6:52 am, Blogger Bomber said...

...
Oliver Driver will be interviewing Bassett on Lets be Frank, 8th July, 8.30pm

 
At 27/6/08 10:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

His contempt for both the average voter and anyone who diasgrees with him is obvious and longstanding

Well that's the Labour party in a nut shell right there.

 
At 1/7/08 3:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FOR OVER HALF A CENTURY NOW AMERICA HAS BEEN PURSUING A GRAND IMPERIAL STRATEGY WITH THE AIM OF STAKING OUT THE ENTIRE GLOBE.THIS DREAM OF DOMINANCE AND HEGEMONY HAS TAKEN US TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION.TRY TO BREATHE THE AIR IN ANY LARGE AMERICAN CITY!

CLIMATE CHANGE IS INTENSIFYING THIS PROCESS AS THE FINAL FRONTIER OF IMPERIAL CONTROL IS LEADING US INTO SPACE.WHICH HAS LED TO A FALSE CHOICE BETWEEN THE PEROGATIVES OF POWER, OR A LIVEABLE EARTH, OR THE VERY AIR WE BREATHE!

AMERICAN RULERS ARE NOW JEOPARDISING THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH BY JOURNEYING INTO SPACE?

"GIVEN THAT NUCLEAR ENERGY EXISTS, IT IS THE INTENTION BEHIND ITS USE WHICH MATTERS.THE WEAPONS ARE MADE TO DESTROY AND WE HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT THEM.THE REST MAY BE USEFUL, IF PROPERLY MANAGED.THE MANAGEMENT IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUE..."

DAVID LANGE MY LIFE, PAGES 157/158;

IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT WE WILL ALLOW THEM TO HAVE ANOTHER CENTURY DOMINATED BY THE GREED FOR OIL TO FUEL THEIR ECONOMY.THE MARKET FOR ENERGY IS HUGE.THE WORLD'S POPULATION CONSUMES ABOUT 15 TERAWATTS OF POWER, EQUIVALENT TO 15,000 COAL FIRED POWER STATIONS.BY 2050 THIS WILL HAVE DOUBLED TO 30,000 COAL FIRED POWER STAIONS.SPEWING GUNK INTO THE ATMOSPHERE SO WE CAN'T BREATHE ANYMORE.

THE BUSINESS HERALD.SPECIAL REPORT.THE FUTURE OF ENERGY:THERE IS HOPE.PAGE 12,FRIDAY,JUNE 27TH,2008.

NIGHTMARE MAY NOW BE THE DREAM;6.NUCLEAR;IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST SQUIRM, MENTION NUCLEAR POWER.ATOMIC ENERGY WAS THE GREEN MOVEMENT'S DARKEST NIGHTMARE:THE CHILD OF MASS DESTRUCTION,THE ULTIMATE VICTORY OF PITILESS TECHNOLOGY OVER FRAIL HUMANITY.THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT...NUCLEAR REACTORS ARE THE ONE PROVEN WAY TO MAKE CARBON DIOXIDE-FREE ELECTRICITY "IN LARGE AND RELIABLE QUANTITIES"..NUCLEAR POWER-WHICH ALREADY PROVIDES 15% OF THE WORLD'S POWER-IS THE ONLY POSSIBLE WAY OUT OF CLIMATE CHANGE, WHILE TRYING TO STAY WARM!

THERE ARE PLANS IN AMERICA ALONE TO BUILD 29 NEW REACTORS.NONE OF THESE IDEAS DEALS WITH THE QUESTION OF NUCLEAR WASTE.THE BEST ANSWER REALLY IS TO BURY THE STUFF FOR THE TIME BEING.

 

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