Thursday, 4 December 2008

General Seato's position

A nostalgia night at the National Press Club last night as former Sydney Daily Mirror journalist, Gough Whitlam press secretary and still practising lobbyist Eric Walsh was awarded the annual golden gong given to a practitioner of those black arts of political consulting. Among a host of reminiscences of 50 years of Canberra political life was the delightful memory of former Liberal Prime Minister John Gorton giving a press conference in those days when there was still such a thing as the south east Asian treaty organisation. Having just been to visit war ravaged Vietnam a journalist asked our Prime Minister :"And what is the general SEATO position on Vietnam?" To which Gorton replied: "Who's this General Seato?"
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