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"Keep your bloody head down when the flack starts flying in here, or you'll get it shot off," the rough hewn Deputy Premier had cautioned. Landa went on to acknowledge the lessons Ferguson had taught him.

Ken Turner outlined the remarkable story of how a humble brick layer had risen through the ranks of the union movement to become Deputy Premier. It was a classic in the tradition of the struggle of the working class. He also explained that there was a great deal more to Ferguson than met the eye.

Feeling his lack formal education, Jack Ferguson had methodically set about schooling himself: consuming books with a voracious appetite. Although he still used the language of the workers, his mind had been honed by Greek phylosophers and poets. He affected little polish in his manner, but was far better read than many of the parliamentarians who came from "learned" professions.

Ferguson had been an outstanding product of his time, having overcome many obstacles to achieve high office and to contribute much to the Labor Party and the Wran Government. According to Turner, the trend was now for the younger generation of MPs to have tertiary qualifications. He was pleased to see that, at last, several of the newer members had degrees in political science.

When I rose to speak, I reminded Turner that: "Some of us are graduates in the natural sciences!"

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