You can’t defame the dead and now Sir Joh’s true legacy is under scrutiny.
Phillip Adams in The Australian
Joh ran the closest thing to a police state this country has seen, with his own Stasi collecting files on everyone and his dog. The worst sort of political bully, the old hypocrite cloaked his chicanery in the sheep’s clothing of Christian virtue.
He remains one of the biggest blots on our landscape and any attempt to sentimentalise him is as ludicrous as all those vomitous lies at Richard Nixon’s graveside.
Phil Dickie in The Australian
The hypocrisy continued to the end and in the end became something pitiful. Bjelke-Petersen – who trampled civil liberties almost as a political reflex, resorted to the tort of defamation with a rare vindictiveness and abused his office to damage or destroy any number of political, police and public service careers – effectively spent his last decade bleating about the harm done to his reputation and finances by the state.
Ross Fitzgerald in The Australian
Bjelke-Petersen presided over a corrupt and vicious regime that blighted the lives of tens of thousands of people. This applied not just to targeted minorities, such as Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, civil libertarians and trade unionists, but to ordinary citizens, including small-l liberals, who had the temerity to oppose his regime.
David Humpheries in The Australian
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Bjelke-Petersen…will be remembered by critics as a mumbo-jumbo political crank, the iron-fisted leader of corrupt and inept governments, a prisoner of his own contradictions and a mean-spirited yet courteous megalomaniac.
At the conclusion of the state funeral for Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the police should round everyone up and drag them off to the paddy wagons, just for old time’s sake.
Sandra K. Eckersley Marrickville