The Modest Member: The Life and Times of Bert Kelly
Paperback, 300 pages (approx)
The story of Bert Kelly, MP for the South Australian seat of Wakefield
from 1958 to 1977, is the story of one of the most influential
parliamentarians in the history of the Commonwealth. Bert Kelly was never
ambitious in the sense that is usually applied to politicians. His ambition was
not to attain high office but to change opinion within the parliament and the community
at large about protectionism and the harm which tariffs had done to Australia
since they were introduced by Alfred Deakin in 1902.
Bert Kelly was almost alone and isolated in this great
undertaking, but his gifts as a writer and as a political strategist
eventually brought success when, after he had retired from parliamentary
politics, the Hawke-Keating Government in 1984 began dismantling the
protectionist structure which had impoverished Australia for more than 80
He was known as “the Modest Member”, the title he used
for his influential column in the Australian Financial Review. His
powerful opponent , Sir John (Black Jack) McEwen, Deputy Prime Minister
and Minister for Trade, described him in the Parliament as “the modest member
with much to be modest about”. But it was Bert Kelly who won this great
contest, and his victory has been of inestimable benefit to all Australians.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 27 August, 2012.