Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has been in the news recently due to the fact that he very publicly quit the Liberal party for pretty f*&king compelling reasons, if you ask me. Not that you did. Not that I would ever be a member of the Liberal party in the first place.
But it pays to look to history for context, and as far as entertainment value goes, it’s not his best work.
Malcolm Fraser, prime minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983, would later tell a reporter that he had no idea how he’d come to be at this place, this Admiral Benbow Inn, on this night in 1986. He had given a talk at the Economic Club of Memphis, taken a cab down to Beale Street from the Memphis Country Club to see the sights, and then he’d strolled over to The Peabody. Then, whammo, he woke up early, minus pants and passport.
I was talking about this with some friends the other day, and quite apart from the hilarity factor (which is high), it demonstrates how much we all love a politician who slips up and lets their raw humanity show. Bill Clinton’s philandering is almost revered in a warm, affectionate and nostalgic way. Kevin Rudd’s popularity shot up (pun intended) when it was discovered he’d spent some time in a New York strip club. And Malcolm Fraser seemed to be perceived as a bit of a crusty old fish until he lost his pants.