Apr 23, 2007

Robert Askin: the legacy that dare not speak its name

The most successful Liberal premier in NSW -- and only two have won elections -- would have been 100 this month. But no one bothered (or dared) to remember.

The most successful Liberal premier in NSW -- and only two have won elections -- would have been 100 this month but no one bothered (or dared) to remember. I am referring to the late Sir Robert Askin, who died 26 years ago, and is recalled nowadays merely as a corrupt politician best forgotten (especially by the Liberal Party).

Askin won four elections in his reign from 1965 to his retirement in 1975, and only Nick Greiner has joined him in the Liberal winners’ list with two. It all began after Askin died in 1981, when a journalist wrote about him on the day of his funeral, calling him a friend of crooks, quoting unnamed sources.

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