What would Gough do

LAST Sunday a few friends and I went down to our local pub on the Gold Coast to enjoy a few quiet beers and raise a glass to the late Edward Gough Whitlam.

Glasses were clinked, laughs were had, a great man and the ideals he stood for were remembered.

At around 2pm two of the lads opted for a move from the amber nectar to the spirit section.


The pair offered to buy their own drinks from that point but the rest of us wouldn’t hear of it.

“How much more expensive can they be?” I said .

“Let’s just stay in a shout, besides; it is what Gough would have done.”

It was shortly after this point in my story that I was charged $10.60 for a 355ml stubby of Jim Beam and Cola.


I had to do a quick double-take just to check I wasn’t in a terminal bar at Kuala-Lumpur airport!

‘They are $11 at the pub down the road’, said the publican, looking at me as if he was doing me a favour by undercutting his neighbour by 40 cents.

Who gives a flying dismissal what the pub down the road is doing!

That is like a thief who steals one purse saying ‘but that guy over there stole two purses’

…you are still both bleedin thieves!

We the public can go into almost any bottleshop and buy a carton of jimmy cans or stubbies for around $75 – sometimes as low as $65!

The pub we were at was getting $246 per carton.

How can people afford to buy one, let alone have a night on the town?

My friends and I resolved to ask ourselves one simple question – what would Gough do?

Poverty, ignorance, inequality, the closing of minds, the entrenching of privilege and power – such were the things that Whitlam fought against.

As it turns out, we decided that Gough would have finished his drink, politely informed the publican that he would be back when prices were fair and not before, and walked out.

So next time you have to sign over a small mortgage just to have a drink from the spirit shelf, don’t do it. Simply refuse to pay, turn around and walk out.

The publicans of the Gold Coast will get the point soon enough.

And in the mean time, you can enjoy sitting at home in the company of friends, sipping on your $2.50 scotch/bourbon or rum pondering ‘what would Gough do now?’

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