Reviews »

[6 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 35 views ]

‘The House’
By Helen Pitt
Allen & Unwin, 411pp, $32.99
Review by ROSS FITZGERALD
It’s one of the great untold Australian stories and it just happens to be about a Dane. A month after the death of Jorn Utzon in 2008, journalist Helen Pitt emailed publisher Richard Walsh, who was once her boss at ‘The Bulletin’. She thought he might be interested in a book about Utzon, the architect who designed the Sydney Opera House.
Pitt reckoned, rightly as it turns out, that it might be time for a narrative nonfiction book about the Utzon …

Speeches »

[1 Oct 2018 | No Comment | 31 views ]

Beating alcoholism
REV BILL CREWS AA ALCOHOLISM
When does drinking become ‘a drinking problem’? Rev. Bill Crews talks with recovering alcoholic Ross Fitzgerald about beating alcoholism.
Ross Fitzgerald is the author of: “My Name Is Ross – An Alcoholics Journey”
Rsadio 2GB, 4BC, & Canberra radio
10.30pm Sunday 30th September, 2018

Reviews »

[29 Sep 2018 | No Comment | 24 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 | 26 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 | 25 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 | 25 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 | 37 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 | 37 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 …

Columns »

[30 Aug 2018 | One Comment | 85 views ]

Here’s my lead article in Spectator Australia.
Thanks for nothing, Malcolm.
by ROSS FITZGERALD
One thing we can be sure of is that the Liberal prime minister who once tried to join the Labor Party won’t be attending too many Liberal party gatherings in his retirement.
Before he moved too far to the left, even Malcolm Fraser had accepted life membership and had a retirement tilt at the Liberal party presidency. John Howard is still a rock star at party fundraisers, campaigns for key candidates, and chaired a committee recommending …

Reviews »

[28 Aug 2018 | No Comment | 48 views ]

Edward Cranswick
The 1066 Committee and All That
‘So Far, So Good’
by Ross Fitzgerald & Antony Funnell
Hybrid Publishers, 2018, 214 pages, $22.95
I think it was Salman Rushdie who once opined that the Thatcher era was a great time for satire.
The whiff of ideology is a godsend for the able pen —satire the means by which we create distance from our partisan hallucinations. The same has not held true —or at least not true enough— in our own time.
If satire works by stretching a social or political tendency to its (preposterous) logical conclusion, …

Columns »

[16 Aug 2018 | No Comment | 39 views ]

AUSTRALIAN NOTES: Energy wars
by Ross Fitzgerald
It’s a brave observer of politics who disagrees with Paul Kelly, who is rightly regarded as the finest Australian political journalist of his generation. In a series of strongly argued pieces for The Australian, Kelly has urged support for the government’s National Energy Guarantee; not because it’s the best policy but because it’s the least bad option on offer, and the only way to end the energy policy wars that Kelly rightly says have bedevilled our politics for over a decade and helped to …