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Articles Archive for September 2018

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[29 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 33 views ]

JACKIE’S OLD BONES
OR HOW, HALF A CENTURY AGO, ESSENDON WAS ROBBED OF A GRAND FINAL WIN AGAINST CARLTON — DUE TO THE FALL
Jackie’s (male) co-owner has never got over two disappointments in his life. Firstly, the fact that star Essendon full-forward John Coleman was disqualified for four matches having been found guilty by the Victorian Football League Tribunal of striking Carlton’s Harry Caspar in the last home-and-away game for 1951 — at Princes Park in Carlton. Caspar hit Coleman first — he was suspended for four matches. And Coleman received …

Columns »

[26 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 36 views ]

Readers will find it even harder to take ‘The Saturday Paper’ seriously after its shameful shenanigans in trying to censor its own nonfiction award, the $15,000 Horne Prize for reportage on contemporary Australia. On Monday The Saturday Paper’s editor-in-chief, Erik Jensen, capitulated after The Weekend Australian exposed the competition’s ban on entries about the experiences of Aborigines, gay people and other minorities unless the author was a member of such a group.
Exposure of the rules also prompted the resignations, to their credit, of two of the judges: author Anna Funder, …

Columns »

[24 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 36 views ]

By Justin Burke
Celebrated author Anna Funder has quit the judging panel for the Horne Prize for essays, after rule changes were made banning entries about the experiences of Aborigines, gay people and other minorities without the writers belonging to these respective groups.
Funder, who won the Miles Franklin Award in 2012 for her work of fiction set in Nazi Germany, told The Australian the judges weren’t consulted in advance about the controversial changes to the $15,000 award.
“I really disagreed with them, and I felt like a lot of my work would …

Columns »

[24 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 35 views ]

BY ROSS FITZGERALD
By-elections matter. The Bass by-election in 1975 presaged the defeat of the Whitlam government. The Canberra by-election in 1995 predicted the defeat of the Keating government. The Aston by-election in 2004 foreshadowed the recovery of the Howard government. And most recently, the Longman by-election set in train the downfall of Malcolm Turnbull.
On the other hand, winning the Flinders by-election in late 1982 didn’t save the Fraser government at the general election just a few months later.
Winning next month’s Wentworth by-election won’t improve the Morrison government’s fortunes, but losing …

Columns »

[23 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 48 views ]

TURNBULL’S POLITICAL SUICIDE
by ROSS FITZGERALD
The Canberra press gallery can’t work out why their favourite Liberal is no longer prime minister because they have almost no understanding of how the Liberal Party actually works. Political journalists rarely talk to anyone outside the Canberra bubble and their Liberal contacts are nearly always from the party’s progressive wing. That’s why they didn’t see Malcolm Turnbull’s demise coming and have difficulty grasping what actually happened. It was much less …

Reviews »

[8 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 45 views ]

Review
‘Sex, Drugs and the Electoral Roll’
By Fiona Patten
Allen & Unwin, 366pp, $32.99
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Most political memoirs should come with a warning that there might be boring bits. Fiona ­Patten’s is anything but boring. Indeed, and I know this is a big call, it may well be the most unusual and provocative political memoir to written to date by a sitting member of an Australian parliament.
First a disclaimer: at the 2016 federal election I was the lead Senate candidate in NSW for ­Patten’s Australian Sex Party. And shortly ­before I met …