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[Page 445]


Morrison's low political profile had advantages. He maintained contacts in the conservative establishment, particularly within sporting groups and the hierarchy of the  Daily. By assessing the mood of our opponents, he could suggest appropriate means of dealing with them.

We continued to obtain results from the university sampling of the electorate. A friendly academic attended policy committee meetings to interpret this data. He and Morrison often had heated arguments on the relative importance of issues, and what we should do about them.

Rod Power, an irrelevant devil's advocate, would interject, and try to find faults with each proposition. John Coombs QC, recruited for his legal expertise and debating skills, would sit and listen, and then provide us with a summing-up of the arguments. Alf Thorpe gave us the view from the Corso and kept an eye on finance. Sid Payne, long time secretary of Manly ALP, was an old fox who advised on political manouvers. Joan Byrne, a radical feminist, contributed ideas on womens' issues. Willie was minutes secretary, and I chaired the committee.  

I tired to encourage a vigorous informal debate. Every member of the policy committee had to be prepared to justify their arguments. Any advice or criticism was welcome, but in the end the decisions and the responsibility had to be mine alone.  


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