John Singleton and Gordon Alexander, “These Elections Were Genuine,” Quadrant, January-February, 1975, pp. 36-96.

Quadrant recently stumbled on a remarkable manuscript about the May 1974 Federal Elections.

On May 17, the day before the Elections, John Singleton and Gordon Alexander dictated the manuscript about the part they had played in Sir Robert Askin’s “boots and all” television campaign for the Liberal Party. The idea was that Clyde Packer M.L.C. would arrange to publish it. But when the Liberal Party did not win, it was put aside. “Why draw attention to failure?”

Quadrant now publishes it for the light it casts on the 1974 elections. The authors regard their campaign as “honest, correct and even prophetic.”

Quadrant readers may not agree but they will find the manuscript an essential part of the record of that campaign.

John Singleton is Managing Director and Gordon Alexander is Art Director of Doyle Dane Bernbach, Sydney.

Now read on.

It was just your average everyday Tuesday night before Easter.

Six of us sitting around a TV set in the private room of the Hungry Horse restaurant in Sydney’s Paddington. Clyde Packer and Lyndal Moor, Ian and Annette Kennon, Maggi Eckardt and myself. We were watching a replay of Maggi’s show The Power and The Glory. Maggi was interviewing Phillip Lynch, Al Grassby, Don Chipp, Russel Prowse and Charles Lloyd Jones on fashion.

It was a beautiful show but as it turned out a more appropriate title may have been The Power and The Gory.

We had had the one, and we started to discuss the double dissolution.

I said:

The Trouble is no one understands what socialism is all about.

No one has read the Labor Party platform.

No one understands that every candidate has to sign a piece of paper which pledges their support of the socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange.

You can tell what’s going to happen. The bloody Libs will just run another talking head campaign like they did with McMahon. And if they do that Whitlam will walk in.

I talked on and on about how crook it was going to be. About how inevitable it was going to be that Labor would win unless someone did something about it.

Clyde Packer said: “Why the hell don’t you do something about it?

Clyde had also had the one.

For a number of rational reasons including the fact that Clyde is a lot bigger than I am, I didn’t argue.

It was your basic everyday Tuesday night before Easter and the next day it was your basic Wednesday before Easter, and I was just sitting down at the typewriter at work writing some basic everyday ads for our basic everyday lovely non-political clients when the phone rang.

It was Clyde Packer.

John, I’ve fixed up an appointment with Askin tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock. He has given you half-an-hour. I told him you’re not a bad bloke and by the way mate, I told him you would guarantee to raise at least $250,000 yourself.

I thanked Clyde very much and started to wish I hadn’t gone to the Hungry Horse on Tuesday night.

It was 10 o’clock Thursday and I was ushered into Sir Robert Askin’s office.

I had never met Sir Robert before.

He had never heard of me.

The half hour became two-and-a-half hours. We discussed a race horse I was going to buy (I forgot to). Who was going to win the Rugby League, and occasionally we got back to politics.

Askin said:

You know John, it reminds me of when I first got elected in 1965.

Sir Frank Packer rang me then and said:

Look you need a supplementary campaign to get yourself into office.

You need a couple of guys who can move quick, think and get their hands on some money quick.

You know John, it’s a funny thing that Clyde Packer should now ring and say the same thing.

I’m a punter and I’m going to punt with you all the way.

I’ll ring Jim Carlton (N.S.W. Secretary of the Liberal Party) now and get him to talk to you tomorrow.

It was your basic everyday Good Friday. I was sitting at home by the pool when Jim Carlton knocked on the door.

I ran through the whole ploy again.

Carlton said:

The best way I think we should handle it is if you get the money and work with our Federal Liberal Party agency Berry Currie.

I said:

Jim, I agree in principle and I will give it a fly but I don’t like my chances.

I was a director of Berry Currie for 5 years before I went out on my own, and I can’t see them buying it, but I’ll try.

It was your basic everyday Easter holiday.

I was at the beach at Terrigal.

Bill Currie, the Managing Director of Berry Currie was holidaying one beach down the road.

I went to see him on Easter Sunday.

By this time I’d decided it was in for a penny in for a pound.

I told Bill I’d raise $500,000 as long as I could be creative director on the campaign.

I’d work anonymously.

I’d accept no publicity for the campaign other than that which he approved, or gave me himself.

Bill Currie is one of my best mates.

I love him like a brother and I think the feeling is reciprocated.

The fact we once had a minor but rather bloody disagreement outside Sydney’s Crown Hotel has often been brought up.

But for us it is long forgotten.

Especially by me because Bill beat me easy.

Bill said he would think about it, but he would have to talk to his Chairman: older brother, John.

So we had a few beers, discussed the football and other major international issues and split.

It was your basic everyday Easter Sunday.

I gave Jim Carlton a call at home.

“Jim, I think I’d better short circuit this by calling John Currie direct.”

“O.K.”

I ran through it all again with John.

He said he would think about it and call me back.

John thought quickly, called Jim Carlton and said: “Not on.”

He told me the same.

The next day John Currie left for overseas, which was probably not such a bad idea.

It was your basic everyday Easter Monday.

It was nice and sunny. I spent most of the day in the surf and talked it over with Harold Holt.

He didn’t disagree. I should do it anyway.

The day after Easter I met again with Sir Robert Askin. I told him what had happened. I asked if he would personally authorise a supplementary campaign to run in tandem with the Federal campaign.

“Yes.”

That day, or the next, it really doesn’t matter, Askin met with Snedden and got his “tacit approval” to authorise the campaign and co-ordinate it on a national basis.

Gordon Alexander said:

I reckon this is dead set like the DDB campaign in the States where LBJ got in simply by exposing what Goldwater really stood for. Why not the same thing here?

Just ordinary people explaining in ordinary terms what socialism is really all about.

Which is that the Labor Party is really all about.

Which no one really understands.

There was no time for pussyfooting or testing. We made a judgement and we were off.

We made the TV bookings. We asked the staff and friends, and friends of friends, and relatives, and relatives of relatives, to urgently find us people who had voted Labor last time and would never ever consider it again.

Or people who had thought last time really was time that Labor had a go, and now realised their mistake.

Or just people who really understood socialism and were prepared to stand up and be counted.

By Thursday Gordon Alexander, working with TV directors Bob Donaghue and Thom Stovern had produced the first 7 commercials.

MAURIE RYALL:
I am Maurie Ryall, a little over a year ago I got my first chance to vote and I blew it. All my life the only Government I have known was a Liberal Government so when I was told it was time for a change I jumped in and voted Labor. Well we got our change alright but it wasn’t what I had in mind. I mean all the strikes and inflation. I was planning to get married later this year but I can’t afford that and I certainly can’t afford a home of my own. You might think I am trying to make excuses but it is more than that. I was brought up to believe that Australia is a country you can get anything you want provided you are willing to work. Well I want those things and I am willing to work, but I don’t want a Government who is going to come along and nationalise everything and take it away from me. We’ve had our first taste of socialism and for me that’s enough.

FRANK RYAN:
My name is Frank Ryan. I have been driving cabs for twenty years, been a Liberal voter all my life except for the last time when I voted Labor for the first time in my life.

I thought they would cut down on this union trouble, how wrong can you be? I thought they would help the kids with their housing problems, how wrong can you be? I thought they would help the old age pensioners, how wrong can you be?

Do you know the average bloke’s wages have gone up 15% and his tax has gone up over 30%, that is even before you start worrying about inflation?

The Labor Government has achieved this mess in a little over 12 months. God help us if they get another go.

PETER NORDISH:
I am Peter Nordish, and I am another young Australian who voted for the Labor party in the last elections. It was the first time I ever voted Labor and I can assure you it will be the last. There were two main reasons I voted Labor in the last election, the first was union trouble. I believed because Labor dominates so many unions there would be less strike action, now you know as well as I do how wrong that theory was. If the leaders of the Labor party and the leaders of the unions are on the same side, then that’s the side I don’t choose to be on. The second reason I voted Labor in the last election was because of their housing promises. I work for a home building company and I thought Labor would help young people get into their homes much easier. The way it turned out it wouldn’t matter even if you saved $50 a week because housing costs are going up far in excess of that. I reckon they have had their chance and failed. And personally I’ll never give them that chance again.

MRS JEAN McEWAN:
I am Jean McEwan, a wife and mother, an occupation I believe is very important. I am one of the many people I know that have always voted Liberal but last time I thought it was time for a change. Now every time I go to the shops or the bank I think perhaps I might have been out of my mind. I know wages have gone up $13.50 but that’s rather pointless because it doesn’t buy very much more anyway. Even if you have the petrol to get to the shops or the trains and buses are running or the shops have electricity or stock to sell you the money still doesn’t buy that much more anyway. I heard Mr Whitlam and Mr Crean and all the members of the Labor Party talking about inflation and what to do about it but I think if they had to live on a normal man’s wages like our family do they’d stop talking about it and do something. I know it isn’t Mr Whitlam’s fault personally but he has to do as he is told by all those other people who haven’t been elected. I look back on people like Sir Robert Menzies and Mr Holt and Mr Gorton and even Mr McMahon and think how rational they seem compared to what is going on now and I can even feel sorry for Mr Whitlam. But not half as sorry as I feel for other mothers like myself that have to live with their mistakes.

MAGGI ECKARDT:
My name is Maggi Eckardt, up until now rightly or wrongly my vote has never meant much to me. I suppose I have taken for granted people like Sir Robert Menzies and Harold Holt. Even the last elections people said it’s time for a change, maybe they were right at the time but now when I see the state of affairs the country is in it really makes me wonder, things like strikes and inflation reminds me of Great Britain five years ago and I really don’t like to see it happening to my country, the country of my birth, the country I’ve chosen to live in. This used to be a country whereby if you worked hard you got on but even that freedom is vast vanishing. This time my vote will be important to me.

ESTONIAN LADY:
I come originally from Estonia, the Baltic State. I escaped about 30 years ago when the Russians took over my country for the second time. I have lived enough under Communist regime, so I left and came to Australia.

My husband and I, we worked very hard and we did well. We brought our children up so that they are well educated and they have a good living standard. Then about 16 months ago the Labor Party came to power, and I thought so, it is still a free country, but now I can see how wrong I was.

Today I can see Labor is disguised socialist but for me it is disguised communist. Many Australians can’t understand, they haven’t seen it happen. I have seen it in my country, Latvia, Lithuania, East Germany and Poland, and now I can see the same thing happening here.

PETER SAWYER:
My name is Peter Sawyer and I am one of the great majority of pommies who came to Australia and love it without reservation. But unfortunately too many of my countrymen seem to be here with the apparent intention of turning Australia into the very sort of socialist society that we had hoped to leave behind in Great Britain. I firmly believe in the union movement as a principle, but most of the union leaders I have met here or read about or heard on TV aren’t Australians at all. They seem to be embittered and vicious British immigrants, the second rate ones. I have heard them, “those in favour on the left, scabs on the right.” Australia is the last of the great free countries in the world. We shouldn’t even consider letting socialism take that freedom away from us.

We had our first fund raising meeting at Sir Robert Askin’s office on the Thursday night.

I’d invited 20 or so friends from the business world who shared my views on socialism. Some had invited their friends.

The ball was rolling.

I presented what we were going to do, the T.V. bookings we had made, and explained there was only one thing wrong.

We didn’t have a cent in the kitty.

And as I’d guaranteed the money I was rather keen for some support.

Sir Robert Askin spoke briefly and brilliantly, Senator Bob Cotton ditto. Eric Willis (N.S.W. Minister for Education) and Jim Carlton drifted about the room intelligently.

The pledges poured in and not one promise was broken.

Sir Robert Askin said: “John, those commercials are great. When do they go to air?”

“Half an hour ago.”

Sir Robert: “What was wrong with yesterday?”

In the midst of all this I got a call from Melbourne. It was Mike Strauss, a former business partner of mine, and still a good and close friend.

Brian Monahan (another friendly competitor) and myself are trying to do the same thing down here. We will guarantee $100,000. We can use your commercials down here, and you should be able to use some of ours up there.

O.K.

I explained the details:

We’ll raise the brass up here.

We’ll make the bookings.

We’ll listen to your judgement on scheduling, but it will be our responsibility. Too many pros spoil the brothel.

We don’t charge for any commercial production, and neither do you.

We don’t charge any service fee.

No charges at all.

Mike Strauss:

Agreed. We have got Sam Holt to authorise them down here. We’re going to try and get Hawkins (Secretary of the Victorian Liberal Party) to get Hamer to authorise them, but I don’t like our chances.

That proved to be one of the greater understatements of the campaign.

The Melbourne ads got going. And one was a classic.

RON BARASSI:
Whoever wins the flag this year will be the team that trains the hardest, tries the hardest and plays the best.

And this is what the election on May 18 is all about. Competition.

Australia is at the crossroads. On the left we have the non-competitive un-Australian socialistic Labor policy.

On the right, we have the free enterprise competitive Australian Liberal and Country Party policy.

For 23 years, the Liberal and Country Parties made Australia a great country and in the past 16 months, Australia has changed, and for me, it is a change for the worse.

This time, I hope you’ll vote with me to make Australia Australian.

Now an aside and a back track.

The aside:

Brian Monagan who was working Melbourne for us with Mike Strauss, is the Chairman of an Advertising Agency called Monahan Dayman Adams.

The Managing Director of the Agency is a guy called Phillip Adams. He wrote the following article which was published in the Melbourne Age, Saturday, May 11, 1974: “Simpleton sells his poll philosophy.”

It’s still a free country.

Now the back track.

While Gordon was out producing the commercials Harry M. Miller and myself were on a plane to Canberra to meet with Doug Anthony.

But a meeting with Harry is more like a ride on a merry-go-round than your basic everyday client meeting, we very rarely agree on anything. But on the subject of socialism we did both agree.

So we both agreed that if we both agreed it was worthwhile telling someone that we both agreed upon.

Harry introduced us. Anthony looked just like I thought he would look. He acted just like I thought he would act.

He listened to what we had to say. He thought about it. He agreed.

The Country Party appointed us to handle the supplementary TV campaign in nine key swinging electorates.

Doug Anthony came to Sydney. We filmed the commercials in Sir Robert Askin’s Boardroom. He was a brilliant natural talent for TV.

We produced a 3 minute commercial for use everywhere and then individual commercials for the key electorates.

DOUG ANTHONY:
I’d like to make a few personal comments about this election and the issue at stake. You know the Senate acts as a kind of conscience, a brake on the House of Representatives, no politician likes this. Labor of course wants unbridled control, in fact Labor doesn’t want the Senate at all, it is there in black and white in their policy. Objective three, abolition of the Senate. That’s the first issue. I don’t care whether it is my party, the Liberal Party or any other party you just can’t have people governing without any check at all on their powers. You’ve got to decide what you think on 18th May. But why did we apply the brakes on Labor after letting 270 of Mr Whitlam’s bills pass? This is the way I see it. Something has gone seriously wrong in the last eighteen months. Inflation is really getting bad. It is getting out of control. It is bringing with it higher prices. It is causing shortages and strikes as people struggle to get ahead of inflation. Housing is a heartbreak, strong government leadership has been missing when we have most needed it. But there are other things, we have seen Dr Cairns entertain the North Vietnamese here and endorse their propaganda. Old friends and allies have been insulted. I know who I want to stand with in a crunch. You will remember Senator Murphy and the security organisation raids. The details don’t matter but it was a first sign that Labor lacked discipline and it would go to extremes. And the Gair affair, this attempt to rig the numbers in the Senate and then to deceive parliament really was the last straw. There are lost of other things; to a lowering of standards, the tax on peoples freedom and free enterprise, vindictiveness against country people, our defence damaged … it goes on and on.

The Senate just had to act. Now we have all got the chance to have another think. I want Australia to know where it is going, it should be with the democracies. I want personal freedom and initiative to be the force to make our society go. Let’s keep right away from socialism. Well, I have had my say now it’s your turn or it will be soon. Why not decide to live like Australians.

And we have a ripper for the Riverina. Anthony again:

I think by now everybody realises that the Labor Party is geared to the big cities. It’s just a fact of life. You’ve seen that fact in action here in Riverina probably more than anywhere else in Australia. The thing is simple: the needs of country people and country towns and country industries are different. It is impossible for a Labor Government to understand and to act on our behalf no matter how well-meaning your local member might be. You’ve only got to look at Labor’s promises and compare them with the facts. What happened to long term loans at low interest rates? What happened to tax concessions? What happened to the super-phosphate bounty? What happened to a lot of Labor’s promises for country people? The unfortunate fact of life is that the sitting Labor member just didn’t have his party behind him. On the other hand when John Sullivan, who you know, says he’ll do something for Riverina you have the guarantee of his party, of your party, the Australian Country Party, that he’ll deliver. Talk or action. It’s your decision on May 18th.

The next Wednesday we had another meeting with business leaders from around town.

Sir Robert Askin spoke briefly. Andrew Peacock (Shadow Minister for Defence), Eric Willis, and former Prime Minister William McMahon mingled quietly.

We showed the original 7 Liberal Party ads.

We showed the 7 Country Party ads.

We showed the 5 new Liberal Party ads.

Gordon had done an Alfred Hitchcock by appearing himself as both producer and Vietnam veteran.

GORDON ALEXANDER:
I’m Gordon Alexander and I’m the producer of these Liberal Party commercials. I’d like to tell you why I’ve donated my services even though I voted Labor last time myself.

You see, I’m one of the people who fought in Vietnam. I saw a lot of my friends killed and maimed in a war we fought because Australia asked us to, even though I didn’t agree with it myself. And so when Labor said they’d pull my friends out my friends who were still there, I voted Labor.

We’re out of Vietnam, but so is everyone else, and what’s Labor done for its so-called veterans. First, if you’re married like me, they’ll give you a War Service Loan — $12,000 for house and land. It’s a real joke, isn’t it. And to top it all, last year, the day after Anzac Day, a photo appears of Dr Cairns with North Vietnamese leaders, the people who led the war that killed my friends from here and America. And he’s the same guy who claims Americans are war-mongers. I just wish Dr Cairns had been with us in Vietnam, so he’d understand how much I dislike him, his party, and his new friends.

TOMMY SMITH:
I’m Tommy Smith. I’m a horse trainer. Not a politician. But the last election I thought the Libs had had a good innings and I voted Labor. But what I reckon they’re trying to do is fix things so it’s like a Melbourne Cup where the last horse gets the same prize money as the first. That might be OK for losers, but not for me.

JACQUIE HURD WITH GRAHAM HURD:
JACQUIE: I think everyone who lives in Australia now knows the incredible Labor Party plan to move the Mascot airport to Galston.

GRAHAM: And one could only logically think that because Labor is so strong around Mascot they plugged for it against all logic.

JACQUIE: And even the Labor Party knows that it would cost over $1,700 million to move Mascot here. Over $1,700 million. And don’t forget, it was a Labor Government who gave us the original quote on the Opera House.

GRAHAM: The most important lesson we’ve learnt is that you just can’t trust Whitlam’s judgement. They say one thing but mean another. And that’s not just my opinion. People for miles around here say exactly the same.

RAJA MELKIE:
I’m Raja Melkie. I came here from Lebanon 20 years ago, because I hear Australia is a free country, where you work hard, you get ahead. I could not speak good English. I didn’t know any Australians. But now I am my own boss, I have my own home and I am a naturalised Australian. But the thing most migrants don’t understand is that when they go to work, the union leaders tell them they have to join the unions, and they have to vote Labor. In my opinion, this is brainwashing, because most migrants can’t read or speak English, they do as they’re told, because they are frightened.

Once I had a job and the union bosses forced me to leave because I work harder and everyone complained.

Socialism is when everyone is born the same, and looks the same, and works the same. We should have the right to be free to succeed or fail, not just be forced to be all the same, which I think the unions and Whitlam and Labor wants. I don’t want that, nor does anyone who is prepared to work hard.

MRS RODGERS:
I’m a pensioner and my husband, when he was alive, and I always voted Labor. I voted for them again last time because I believed them when they said they’d help pensioners.

Well, now instead of $20 a week, Mr Whitlam has graciously given us an extra $6 a week. That may sound alright unless you are a pensioner like me.

I know prices going up every day hurts everyone but if you’re a pensioner, it just makes like impossible. He talks a lot, but I’m afraid he fooled pensioners and I would never vote for him again.

We had the money and we were off. But it was not all plain sailing.

The Labor Party Candidate for North Sydney, Mr Healy, took out an injunction for the ban of one of our commercials featuring the now famous Estonian Lady.

It was an interesting court case.

Mr Healy was asked when he had first seen the commercial.

He said he hadn’t seen it at all.

The Court was adjourned to Channel 9 to show Mr Healy the commercial to which he so strongly objected.

The judge threw the injunction out.

The Labor Party has done us a very good turn. Every time our ads appeared in Brisbane authorised by Doug Anthony, in Sydney authorised by Sir Robert Askin, and in Melbourne by Sam Holt, the viewers’ eyes were glued to the set.

The Labor Party themselves had attracted attention to the commercial that money just couldn’t buy.

It had been a hectic 10 days.

The weekend before a very good friend of mine, Ian Kennon, who is also Deputy Manager of Channel 10 in Sydney, told me about a great hideaway he had found. The Berowra Waters Inn.

We made our first visit there the weekend before. It was beautiful and peaceful. We agreed to go back every weekend until the campaign was over. To get away from it all.

On the Friday night of May 4 we watched to taping of the Mike Willesee show at Channel 10.

Mr Willesee and Dr Cairns were interviewing Raja Melkie (the Lebanese taxi driver who appeared in one of our commercials) and Gordon.

I asked to meet Dr Cairns. I shook his hand. We discussed his TV appearances in the early 1960’s. His stated philosophies then and their comparison with the Labor Party philosophy in Government now.

He suggested that it was often possible to do more in Opposition than it was in Government. I hoped that he would soon have that chance.

And I did say that in a funny personal sort of way I was sorry I would have to help beat him.

At least Cairns is honest. He doesn’t hide what he is or what he wants — as any reader of his last book (The Quiet Revolution) will agree.

The meeting was pleasant but the Nation Review (a sort of Australian paper/newsletter owned by the convener of the Australia Party, Gordon Barton who must definitely, positively, and under no circumstances be confused with the other more famous Bartons) reported the meeting somewhat differently.

They reported me talking to Cairns as follows: “… I will destroy you and I will destroy the Labor Party.”

Paranoia running wild.

So off we went to the lovely Berowra Waters to get away from it all. Just Ian Kennon and his wife, Maggi Eckardt and myself. No phone calls. No hassles. Just peace and quiet.

John Singleton's Rolls Royce firebombed

It wasn’t such a good idea.

In the middle of the darkness we were woken up by a couple of local lads who said that if someone owned a Rolls Royce it was not in real good shape.

This proved to be another one of the rare election understatements:

They had already called the local police, and The Sydney Morning Herald.

It was the start of a long day’s week.

In the meantime I had called Sir Robert Askin and he got in touch with Police Headquarters.

Within the hour Detective Superintendent G. Baldwin, Detective Sergeant “Go-Ahead” John Whelan and Detective Senior Constable Mike Simmons and a couple of other heavies from the C.I.B. arrived to take charge.

It must be quicker to get to Berowra from Sydney than it is from Berowra.

The heavies didn’t stuff about.

They asked the questions quick.

They looked at the car quick.

And they got out of there quick. That is exactly what I wanted to do too. But Sir Robert had asked me to stay and face the reporters.

“John this is worth votes if you state it straight. I’m asking you to stick it out.” So I stuck it out.

“John, all you have to tell them is that if Gough Whitlam has friends like that, who needs enemies?”

Probably to Sir Robert’s disgust I didn’t say that.

But I did say, and will always say, that it is irresponsible for any Prime Minister to say in his Policy speech that any election is one of hate.

The implications are obvious. And I think that even Mr Whitlam is not too old to learn.

A lot of little things happened on the way to the election.

A partner of mine organised a lunch for a friend of mine, Johnny Baker. He runs a ripper little restaurant in Crown Street, Sydney called Juillet.

I thought it would be a good idea if we turned it into an advertising man’s restaurant. Invite all the heavies from the industry, get them to stick their ads on the wall, feed them full of food and booze, photograph it all and send posters to all the agencies, photo studios. The whole wank scene. Not a bad way to put a restaurant on the map.

Gordon and I didn’t make the lunch, but one of the guys there suggested that what they ought to do is take out a full page ad against the evils of what we had done with Askin. (With friends like that I don’t need enemies either.)

The ad appeared in The Australian, Thursday, May 9. It transcribed the Estonian Lady ad, then a long list of names under the big headline “We wouldn’t make this commercial” followed by a big headline at the footer “Advertising people in defence of Advertising.”

I’d only heard of four of the people. One is a cook. Another is a copywriter I still respect. Another is the Editor of a left-wing advertising publication with a circulation of around three copies. And the other is a guy I fired; at least I can see his point in signing the ad.

The only important thing about the advertisement is it is proof once more that most advertising people still only have the ability to talk to themselves.

That is why they are broke and I am rich.
— Mr John Singleton, in reply to NSW advertising men who say they would not have made his controversial series of Liberal Party advertisements.

The cards and letters kept coming, with and without bullets, and a lot of people even signed their name and gave their address and publicly regretted I was not in the car at the time.

I beg to differ.

This was the end of your basic everyday go-to-work, have-a-few-beers, have-the-dinner, and have-some-fun sort of life.

At Sir Robert’s instruction and against my wishes I was assigned 24 hour police guard.

My idea of police before this is guys running around saying you are doing 45 in a 35 zone and would you mind pulling over to the kerb while they yell at you.

These guys were not like this at all.

I won’t go into details but I will say that my health, I believe, was in more danger being with guys like Whelan, Simmons, Rod Harvey, Malcolm Cox, Gordon Spink, Brett Jackson, Wayne Ford, The Moth, Brailley and the rest of the guys than ever it was before.

Sir Robert had agreed that it just would not be logical to live together in a tiny sandstone cottage unless the guys just lived with me normally.

By the end of the first week of their protection I felt like I had just been on a pretty heavy country football tour.

And anyone who has ever been on a country football tour will know exactly what I mean.

In the middle of it all Detective Sergeant Whelan out-debated Clyde Packer on philosophy, police and socialism matters. One of the detectives tried to date Maggi Eckardt, and my back was not even turned.

And David’s Liquor Supply made a fortune.

By the end of the Election the police had given me a lot of advice on how to run the election campaign, and I had given them a lot of advice on how to solve a lot of crimes.

And the ads kept coming.

This lot stated by Sir Robert Askin as the best ads he had ever seen.

Sir Robert is not a bad judge.

JOHN RAPER:
My name is Johnny Raper, I’ve never been mixed up in politics before but this election I’m going to stand up and be counted as a dead-set Liberal vote for two reasons. One is that Brian Booth, the cricketer, who is as good a man as I have ever met in my whole life is standing as a Liberal this time in my own St. George home and if it’s good enough for Boothy to stand for the Liberal Party then it’s good enough for me. Second reason is that no matter what the Labor Party tell you their whole aim in life is socialism and if the socialists get their way you just don’t have any competition in society. Me, I like a game in a life where you play to win and that’s why I am with Brian Booth and all the Liberal candidates.

(Note on Raper commercial: Johnny Raper appeared at 2HD at 12 Noon the day before the election. He was told his services were no longer required. 2HD is owned by the Labor Council. It’s still a free country?)

JOY YOUNG:
I am Mrs Young, a fully trained triple certificated nurse. My name was formerly Matron Dorothy McFadian. I decided that to nurse to the exacting standards I had set myself I would have to run my own hospital, this I did. However, when the Government interfered I sold my hospital and went overseas. I wanted to see for myself what a socialised society was like. I must ask you how you would react if Dr A saw you, the next day Dr B came along and suspended all the treatment from the previous day with nothing between you and Doctors A and B but a case history. Then along comes Dr C and so on and on. Then in the middle of the night when you needed attention along comes Dr D. Doctors can’t come out and say what I am saying but please discuss this problem with your Doctor and he will help you to understand the full implications of the socialised medical scheme proposed by Labor.

JAMES ASIMUS:
I am James Asimus. I am a university student and this will be the first year that I will be eligible to vote in a Federal election. When I first heard of Labor’s socialistic policies, I thought they weren’t such a bad idea, but the past eighteen months has convinced me we can well do without them. I thought recognition of Red China was a very good idea but I had no idea that the Labor Government were going to jeopardise our friendly relations with the United States. And let’s take the free education system, another very good idea but any advantage I may have gained from it has been taken away with rising inflation. I am working hard to get through Uni and if there is no reward for my hard work, then I wonder if I should try at all.

WENDY BAKER:
I am Wendy Baker. Although English by birth I have spent most of my life in Australia. A few years ago I returned to Britain and after a number of illnesses I had to return to Australia. Britain has nationalised health. When I was sick in England I could choose my own Doctor and was getting sicker and sicker and I was getting many different opinions from many Doctors. In the end I was forced to return to Australia. I returned to my own Doctor who was available to treat me seven days a week, night and day. He cared. I believe that the Labor Party is pushing nationalised health because they haven’t had to live under the system. I am sure if they did just for one year they’d see how dangerously misguided they really are.

ANTON BABICH:
I am Anton Babich, I came here five years ago from Croatia which is now dominated by Yugoslavia. It is a socialistic country. To get here I had to escape. You couldn’t leave free. I don’t belong here to any party or any organisation. I just want a free country and free life for my wife and myself but when Labor got in one day, the day I call the last day of Australian democracy; Mr Lionel Murphy has had raided the houses of a hundred Croatians just hard working people just like me and now I know that Labor is a socialist which I didn’t know before and I am afraid again for me, my wife and for the future of Australia staying free.

STAN KELLY:
My name is Stan Kelly, I am a school teacher and a former member of the Labor Party. I was also a delegate to the ACTU Congress so I know thoroughly about the trade union movement and basically I subscribe to union philosophy. However, there are things fundamentally wrong with the socialist unions as we know them today. Take the NSW Teachers’ Federation. This election, the unions decided to spend $40,000 for a campaign supporting the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Teachers Federation decided to spend $100,000 and I know for a fact that teachers do not have sufficient time to protest and at least half of the teachers I know would be violently opposed to the expenditure of their funds in any campaign on behalf of the Australian Labor Party. It makes it hard when children ask about democracy because the way things are going, I think that soon democracy will be part of the ancient history course, unless we all decide to do something about it now.

Then in the last week of the Election, Sir Robert Askin rang me and asked if I would meet with Mr Snedden at the Boulevard Hotel.

At this stage we had the money and TV bookings and we wanted to do the clincher.

We were greeted by Dr Jack Best who mumbled something and continued to mumble briskly from room to room.

Tony Eggleton rang and said Mr Snedden would be at least a few hours late due to technical problems with the David Frost Show.

While we waited we ordered some Chivas Regal and expensive food on Mr Snedden’s bill, and watched our commercials on TV. The food was lousy. The Scotch excellent.

Tony Eggleton, press secretary or something, arrived first and argued with me about the philosophy of our anti-Labor commercials. I asked him which commercials he was referring to. He told me he had not had time to see any.

A discussion was then held with Bill Snedden (who arrived 4 hours late), his wife, Gordon, and myself. He turned out to be a very pleasant, well-meaning man. Just like in the Pickering cartoons.

He explained what he wanted to do. He explained the key issue was inflation. Wow! He explained how wrong Mr Whitlam’s systems were of dropping housing interest by income tax rebates, etc. etc.

Ad infinitum. He explained to me in detail and in plain man’s terms. Step by step. Point by point for at least 15 minutes. A plan at least as irrelevant as Whitlam’s. And at least as boring too. He asked me if I understood.

“No. Not at all.”

I then suggested to Snedden the problem was that if I didn’t understand what he was talking about after 15 minutes, I didn’t have one hope in hell of explaining whatever it was to everyone else in one minute on TV.

I said:

Look, the only thing you’ve got going for you isn’t your policies, and it isn’t you.

But some of you guys like Anthony, Peacock, Frazer, Lynch, Gorton, Cotton, McMahon, etc. scrub up pretty good alongside waks like Connor, Crean, Murphy, etc.

I reckon that’s about all you can talk about that even starts to make sense.

Snedden didn’t agree or disagree, but he did do the commercial.

BILL SNEDDEN:
I’m going to say something, I don’t think any other leader of any other major Party in Australia has ever said before. I DO NOT ask that you vote just for me personally on Saturday. Instead I ask you to vote for the team I lead.

I have been elected by these men as their leader because I have earned their respect in Government and in opposition. But a lot of things can happen in life, and you can see yourself any members of my team as strong enough and trustworthy enough to lead Australia; Doug Anthony, Phil Lynch, Ian Sinclair, Andrew Peacock, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Cotton, in fact any of our Liberal/Country Party cabinet.

But I can’t honestly and unfortunately say the same about their opposition.

Can you imagine Australia led by Barnard, Cairns, Crean, Cameron, Connor, McLelland or Lionel Murphy??? I’m the leader of a team of men. I ask you only to consider how you trust my leadership of these men compared to how you could possibly trust the alternative team.

Think about both teams and I think you’ll know exactly what the choice is we have to make. And may the best team win.

… May the best team win.

GOD HELP US IF IT DID.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  2. Singo and Howard Propose Privatising Bondi Beach
  3. Singo and Howard Speak Out Against the Crackpot Realism of the CIS and IPA
  4. Singo and Howard on Compromise
  5. Singo and Howard on Monopolies
  6. Singo and Howard Support Sydney Harbour Bridge Restructure
  7. Singo and Howard on Striking at the Root, and the Failure of Howard, the CIS and the IPA
  8. Singo and Howard Explain Why Australia is Not a Capitalist Country
  9. Singo and Howard Call Democracy Tyrannical
  10. Singo and Howard on Drugs!
  11. Simpleton sells his poll philosophy
  12. Singo and Howard Decry Australia Day
  13. Singo and Howard Endorse the Workers Party
  14. Singo and Howard Oppose the Liberal Party
  15. Singo and Howard Admit that Liberals Advocate and Commit Crime
  16. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  17. John Whiting's Inaugural Workers Party Presidential Address
  18. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  19. Singo and Howard on Aborigines
  20. Singo and Howard on Conservatism
  21. Singo and Howard on the Labor Party
  22. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  23. John Singleton changes his name
  24. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  25. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  26. Singo and Howard introduce Rip Van Australia
  27. Singo and Howard on Knee-Jerks
  28. Singo and Howard on Tax Hunts (Lobbying)
  29. Singo and Howard on Rights
  30. Singo and Howard on Crime
  31. Singo and Howard on Justice
  32. Singo and Howard on Unemployment
  33. John Singleton on 1972 cigarette legislation
  34. Singo and Howard: Gambling Should Neither Be Illegal Nor Taxed
  35. Holed up, hold-up and holdout
  36. The libertarian alternative vs the socialist status quo
  37. Workers Party Platform
  38. Singo and Howard Join Forces to Dismantle Welfare State
  39. Singo and Howard on Business
  40. Singo and Howard on Discrimination
  41. Singo and Howard on the Greens
  42. Singo and Howard on Xenophobia
  43. Singo and Howard on Murdoch, Packer and Monopolistic Media
  44. Singo and Howard Explain that Pure Capitalism Solves Pollution
  45. Singo and Howard Defend Miners Against Government
  46. Singo and Howard on Bureaucracy
  47. Singo and Howard on Corporate Capitalism
  48. The last words of Charles Russell
  49. Ted Noffs' Preface to Rip Van Australia
  50. Right-wing anarchists revamping libertarian ideology
  51. Giving a chukka to the Workers Party
  52. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  53. "A beautiful time to be starting a new party": Rand fans believe in every man for himself
  54. Introducing the new Workers' Party
  55. Paul Rackemann 1980 Progress Party Election Speech
  56. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  57. Voices of frustration
  58. Policies of Workers Party
  59. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  60. AAA Tow Truck Co.
  61. Singo and Howard on Context
  62. Singo and Howard Blame Roosevelt for Pearl Harbour
  63. Singo and Howard on Apathy
  64. Workers Party is "not just a funny flash in the pan"
  65. Singo and Howard on Decency
  66. John Singleton in 1971 on the 2010 Federal Election
  67. Matthew, Mark, Luke & John Pty. Ltd. Advertising Agents
  68. Viv Forbes Wins 1986 Adam Smith Award
  69. The writing of the Workers Party platform and the differences between the 1975 Australian and American libertarian movements
  70. Who's Who in the Workers Party
  71. Bob Howard interviewed by Merilyn Giesekam on the Workers Party
  72. A Farewell to Armchair Critics
  73. Sukrit Sabhlok interviews Mark Tier
  74. David Russell Leads 1975 Workers Party Queensland Senate Team
  75. David Russell Workers Party Policy Speech on Brisbane TV
  76. Bludgers need not apply
  77. New party formed "to slash controls"
  78. The Workers Party
  79. Malcolm Turnbull says "the Workers party is a force to be reckoned with"
  80. The great consumer protection trick
  81. The "Workers" speak out
  82. How the whores pretend to be nuns
  83. The Workers Party is a Political Party
  84. Shit State Subsidised Socialist Schooling Should Cease Says Singo
  85. My Journey to Anarchy:
    From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
  86. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  87. Singo and Howard on Freedom from Government and Other Criminals
  88. Singo and Howard on Young People
  89. Singo and Howard Expose how Government Healthcare Controls Legislate Doctors into Slavery
  90. Singo and Howard Engage with Homosexuality
  91. Singo and Howard Demand Repeal of Libel and Slander Laws
  92. Singo and Howard on Consumer Protection
  93. Singo and Howard on Consistency
  94. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  95. Political branch formed
  96. Government seen by new party as evil
  97. Singo and Howard on Non-Interference
  98. Singo and Howard on Women's Lib
  99. Singo and Howard on Licences
  100. Singo and Howard on Gun Control
  101. Singo and Howard on Human Nature
  102. Singo and Howard on Voting
  103. Singo and Howard on
    Inherited Wealth
  104. Singo and Howard on Education
  105. Singo and Howard on Qualifications
  106. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  107. Singo and Howard Hate Politicians
  108. Undeserved handouts make Australia the lucky country
  109. A happy story about Aborigines
  110. John Singleton on Political Advertising
  111. Richard Hall, Mike Stanton and Judith James on the Workers Party
  112. Singo Incites Civil Disobedience
  113. How John Singleton Would Make Tony Abbott Prime Minister
  114. The Discipline of Necessity
  115. John Singleton on the first election the Workers Party contested
  116. Libertarians: Radicals on the right
  117. The Bulletin on Maxwell Newton as Workers Party national spokesman on economics and politics
  118. Singo and Howard: Australia Should Pull Out of the Olympics
  119. Singo and Howard Like Foreign Investment
  120. Mark Tier corrects Nation Review on the Workers Party
  121. The impossible dream
  122. Why can't I get away with it?
  123. The bold and boring Lib/Lab shuffle
  124. Time for progress
  125. The loonie right implodes
  126. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  127. John Singleton on refusing to do business with criminals and economic illiterates
  128. Censorship should be banned
  129. "Listen, mate, a socialist is a bum"
  130. John Singleton on Advertising
  131. John Singleton on why he did the Hawke re-election campaign
  132. Sinclair Hill calls for dropping a neutron bomb on Canberra
  133. Bob Howard in Reason 1974-77
  134. John Singleton defends ockerism
  135. Singo and Howard talk Civil Disobedience
  136. The Census Con
  137. Singo and Howard Oppose Australian Participation in the Vietnam War
  138. Did John Singleton oppose the mining industry and privatising healthcare in 1990?
  139. Bob Carr in 1981 on John Singleton's political bent
  140. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  141. John Singleton on elections: "a Massive One-Day Sale!"
  142. John Hyde's Progress Party praise
  143. King Leonard of Hutt River Declares Defensive Just War Against Australia the Aggressor
  144. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  145. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  146. John Singleton bites into Sinclair Hill's beef
  147. Save Parramatta Road
  148. 1979 news item on new TV show John Singleton With a Lot of Help From His Friends
  149. Smoking, Health and Freedom
  150. Singo and Howard on Unions
  151. Singo and Howard Smash the State
  152. Singo and Howard on the big issue of Daylight Saving
  153. Come back Bob - It was all in fun!
  154. A few "chukkas" in the Senate for polo ace?
  155. Country Rejuvenation - Towards a Better Future
  156. Singo and Howard on Profits, Super Profits and Natural Disasters
  157. John Singleton's 1977 pitch that he be on a committee of one to run the Sydney 1988 Olympics for profit
  158. Thoughts on Land Ownership
  159. 1975 Max Newton-Ash Long interview on the Workers Party
  160. The Electoral Act should allow voters to choose "none of the above"
  161. The great Labor Party platform: first or last, everybody wins a prize
  162. The politics of marketing - laugh now, pay later
  163. Singo and Howard call Australia fascist and worse
  164. The mouse will roar
  165. Viv Forbes and Jim Fryar vs Malcolm Fraser in 1979
  166. Quip, Quote, Rant and Rave: four of Viv Forbes' letters to the editor in The Australian in 1979
  167. Australia's First Official Political Party Poet Laureate: The Progress Party's Ken Hood in 1979
  168. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  169. Harry M. Miller and The Australian disgrace themselves
  170. Ocker ad genius takes punt on art
  171. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  172. John Singleton mocks university students on civil liberties and freedom of choice in 1971
  173. Murray Rothbard championed on Australian television in 1974 (pre-Workers Party!) by Maureen Nathan
  174. John Singleton profile in 1977 Australian MEN Vogue
  175. I think that I shall never see a telegraph pole as lovely as a tree
  176. Ralph Nader vs John Singleton on Consumer Protection
  177. John Singleton's first two "Think" columns in Newspaper News, 1969
  178. Singo and Howard on Ballet
  179. Product innovation comes first
  180. Protect who from a 'mindless' wife?
  181. A party is born
  182. Tiny Workers' Party gives us a hint
  183. John Singleton on the ad industry, consumerism and innovation
  184. Workers Party Economic Policy Statement, December 1975
  185. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  186. John Singleton and Howard on Government Largesse
  187. Counterculture must exclude government handouts
  188. John Singleton's 1974 Federal Liberal Election Campaign Ads
  189. John Singleton believes in the Workers Party
  190. Write-up of John Singleton's 1978 speech to the Australian Liberal Students Association
  191. Singo in 1987: "Joh doesn't go far enough ... I want absolute deregulation of the economy"
  192. Maxwell Newton chapter of Clyde Packer's No Return Ticket (1984)
  193. Singo and Howard on Totalitarian Socialism and Voluntary Socialism
  194. Rip Van Australia on Ripoff Vandals Taxing Australia
  195. Singo and Howard beg for tolerance
  196. John Singleton's 1985 advertising comeback
  197. Singo and Howard Demand End to Public Transport
  198. John Singleton and Howard on Fred Nile, Festival of Light, FamilyVoice Australia and the Christian Lobby
  199. Capitalism: Survival of the Fittest
  200. Return Australia Post to Sender
  201. Singo and Howard on Public Utilities
  202. John Singleton and Howard say monarchy should be funded by monarchists alone
  203. John Singleton on cigarette advertising
  204. Singo in 1972 on newspapers' demise
  205. John Singleton farewells Bryce Courtenay
  206. John Singleton on Australian political advertising in 1972
  207. Gortlam rides again
  208. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  209. John Singleton on trading stamps, idiot housewives and government
  210. 1975 John Singleton-Sir Robert Askin Quadrant Interview
  211. Singo asks two prickly questions
  212. VIOLENCE, TV BAN, DRINK - SINGO SPEAKS HIS MIND
  213. Why John Singleton can't keep a straight face
  214. Why John Singleton Defends Smokers Rights
  215. Tony Dear on Paul Krutulis, the Workers Party and murder
  216. An Ode to Busybodies
  217. Progress Party and Workers Party lead The Australian
  218. How many tits in a tangle?
  219. Viv Forbes in 1978 on loss-making government, the Berlin Wall and misdirected blasts of hot-air
  220. John Singleton wants the Post Office sold and anti-discrimination legislation scrapped
  221. A speech from the Titanic
  222. A crime must have a victim
  223. John Singleton vs Australia Post
  224. Minimum wages the killer
  225. Has Fraser got his priorities all wrong?
  226. John Singleton says "the royal family should be flogged off to the U.S."
  227. John Singleton vs Don Chipp and the Australian Democrats
  228. John Singleton vs Don Lane
  229. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  230. John Singleton's 1986 reflection on the Workers Party
  231. Bob Howard in 1978 on libertarianism in Australia
  232. John Singleton on the stupidity of anti-discrimination laws
  233. Thou shalt know the facts ... before thou shoot off thou mouth
  234. Charity: An Aesop Fable
  235. Bob Howard announces the Workers Party in freeEnterprise
  236. New improved moon
  237. Announcing people ... YES, people!
  238. Creativity in advertising must be pointed dead on target
  239. John Singleton on barriers to, and opportunities for, effective communication
  240. Wayne Garland on John Singleton on Advertising
  241. John Singleton schools ad course
  242. John Singleton: advertising awards
  243. Mr Singleton Goes to Canberra for Australian Playboy
  244. John Singleton on his TV career for Australian Playboy
  245. John Singleton sacked for telling the truth about Medicare
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(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Come back Bob - It was all in fun!
  2. John Singleton's 1974 Federal Liberal Election Campaign Ads
  3. 1975 John Singleton-Sir Robert Askin Quadrant Interview
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