Crikey subscribers are smart cookies, but how many of you remember those characteristically humble words with which Gough Whitlam greeted the calling of the 1972 election? “The second day of December is a memorable day. It is the anniversary of Austerlitz. Far be it from to wish or appear to wish to assume the mantle of Napoleon; but I cannot forget that 2 December was a date on which a crushing defeat was administered to a coalition, another ramshackle, reactionary coalition.”
So, what happened on October 9 and what does it mean? Political editor Christian Kerr reads the tea leaves:
· In the year 1,000, Norseman Leif Ericson discovered what he called Vinland – part of North America. Will Australians find a new world on October 9?
· In 1446, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed II, was forced to abdicate by the Janissaries. So it’s not all bad, hey Peter!
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· Scandal struck baseball on October 9 in 1919, when the Cincinnati Reds “won” the World Series in the Black Sox scandals. Ah, liars may prosper – but they get caught.
· On October 9 1940 Winston Churchill was elected head of the Conservative Party. If he wins, will John Winston also not let senility stop him hanging on to the top job?
· Australia formally became autonomous from Britain on this day in 1942 with the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act. Does this mean Malcolm Turnbull will win Wentworth?
· Che Guervera was shot on October 9, 1967. A bad omen for latte lefties.
· The Khmer Republic was proclaimed in Cambodia on this day in 1970 – but surely a Green government isn’t going to be elected here?
There’s a good list of birthdays for October 9 for pundits, too:
Let’s start with Camille Saint-Saens, the French composer, born this day in 1835. October 9 will be a fitting end to our very own Carnival of the Animals.
Alfred Dreyfus, as in L’affaire Dreyfus was born on October 9 1853. We all know John Howard would like to send Mike Scrafton, Major-General Powell, Commander Noonan and the daiquiri diplomats to Devils Island.
In case you need a reminder of what a nasty business politics can be, October 9 was also the birthday of prominent purge victim Nikolai Bukharin.
Would be Tory leader Quinton Hogg came into the world on October 9 1907. Perhaps it’s not a good day for conservative pretenders after all, Coz.
French actor, director and screenwriter Jacques Tati was born on October 9, 1909. He’s got nothing to do with politics, but if you’ve never seen any of his films, fix it quickly.
Indeed, there are a whole pile of utterly gratuitous October 9 birthdays – actor Brian Blessed (1937), hippie fraud John Lennon (1940), failed Republican Senate leader Trent Lott (1941 – and watch out Hilly, Lott was another draft dodger), Who bassist John Entwistle (1944), reggae muso Peter Tosh (also 1944), Sharon Osbourne (1952), Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee (1962), indie muso P J Harvey (1969) and golfer Annika Sorenstam.
Porn star Savannah and even bigger hippie fraud Sean Ono Lennon were also born on October 9. This might point to some decent novelty candidates and more successes for the Greens on our big day.
Entrail readers will find more gutsy material to analyse at http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/9%20October