The Forgotten People
"The Forgotten People" is a famous 1942 speech and campaign slogan by Robert Menzies, an Australian politician who was repeatedly chosen as Prime Minister of Australia by emphasising his links to ordinary non-elite citizens.
The speech, delivered on 22 May 1942, defines and exalts Australia's middle class, which Menzies termed "the forgotten people". Menzies used the speech to outline the values and constituency that would form the basis of the Liberal Party of Australia. Menzies had previously served as Prime Minister as leader of the United Australia Party from 1939-1941. From 1942 onward, Menzies had maintained his public profile with his series of “Forgotten People” radio talks, similar to Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” of the 1930s, in which he spoke of the middle class as the "backbone of Australia" but as nevertheless having been "taken for granted" by political parties and of being effectively powerless because of lack of wealth on the one hand, and lack of organisation on the other.
Contemporary Australian politicians continue to invoke Menzies' sentiments.
Liberal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott echoed the Menzian rhetoric is his first budget-reply speech to the Gillard Government in May 2011, addressing his remarks to the "forgotten families" of Australia.
In delivering his first budget speech on 13 May 2014; Liberal Treasurer Joe Hockey made reference to 'lifters and leaners' in his concluding remarks. Two days later, opposition leader Bill Shorten remarked in his reply speech that the Government had 'forgot a lot of people on Budget night'.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- "The Forgotten People – Speech by Robert Menzies on 22 May 1942. Liberals.Net: Liberal Party of Australia". Liberals.net. 22 May 1942. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Judith Brett, Robert Menzies' Forgotten People (2007)
- "Howard forgetting the battlers: Rudd - Breaking News - National - Breaking News". Theage.com.au. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
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