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Articles Archive for November 2016

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[24 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 135 views ]

How many punters missed the bravura performance of former NSW State National Party parliamentary deputy leader Adrian Piccoli on Thursday November 16? Television news services and the front page of ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ displayed Piccoli on the floor of the House lambasting the state’s Labor opposition regarding their preferencing the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party at the recent by-election for the seat of Orange.
As a result of a record 34 per cent swing against it, the National Party have lost this hitherto blue-ribbon seat to the Shooters, Fishers and …

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[16 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 109 views ]

It got less attention but something else significant happened on election night in America. As Donald Trump was being made President-elect, citizens in four states‚¬ California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine — voted to tax and regulate recreational cannabis. As well, voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas approved medical marijuana initiatives, while voters in Montana rolled back restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law.
This means that eight American states out of 50 have now voted to regulate cannabis and 28 states out of 50 have now either voted for or …

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[12 Nov 2016 | No Comment | 94 views ]

Shared awards at PM’s literary night of nights.
“Malcolm Turnbull was a good boy and did as he was told.” — so one of the judges of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards told me, in jest I hasten to add, after there were dual winners for the third year in a row. The point is that, unlike Tony Abbott in the fiction award three years ago, Turnbull did not use his prime ministerial prerogative to make a “captain’s call”. I understand the judges agreed to split the history prize between Geoffrey …

Reviews »

[12 Nov 2016 | No Comment | 378 views ]

Victory at Villers-Bretonneux: Why a French Town Will Never Forget the Anzacs
By Peter FitzSimons
William Heinemann, 764pp, $49.99 (HB)
Writing about defeats is an honourable and necessary part of any war historian’s job, but it is refreshing to read about a victory.
‘Victory at Villers-Bretonneux’ is the third instalment in Peter FitzSimons’s fine trilogy about the experiences of soldiers on both sides in World War I.
Having previously written about Gallipoli and the twin battles of Fromelles and Pozieres, FitzSimons now deals with what was arguably the Anzacs’ greatest triumph, the second battle of …

Columns »

[5 Nov 2016 | One Comment | 160 views ]

There are five reasons why Malcolm Turnbull should restore Tony Abbott to federal cabinet.
First and foremost, he’d do a very good job in a government that’s seriously short of ministerial star power. Under John Howard, Abbott was the employment minister who made the Job Network a success and Work for the Dole a reality. He was the workplace relations minister who established the Cole Royal Commission as a prelude to the ABCC. He was the health minister who ended the medical indemnity crisis, restored bulk-billing, doubled medical research funding, …