After years of being hated by the ALP and those on the Left of the political spectrum, Malcolm Fraser’s public persona underwent a significant change during the 1990s.
Fraser was a supporter of a Republic, a critic of globalisation, and urged scepticism towards our alliance with the United States. He joined with Gough Whitlam to oppose media ownership regulations.
Most notably, he became an active supporter of Aboriginal Reconciliation and Native Title, and a critic of the Howard government over issues such as Manadatory Sentencing, the Stolen Generations and Refugees.
Pilita Clark, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, analysed the changes in perceptions of Fraser.
[Extracts from “The Winter Of My Malcontent”, by Pilita Clark, January 5, 2002, Sydney Morning Herald.]
..We grew up amid the bucolic charms of south-west Victoria and for all of my formative years our local member was Malcolm Fraser.
I was reminded of this when I returned at Christmas to the family home, where one of my brothers was waiting to give me a highly singular gift.