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Articles Archive for January 2012

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[30 Jan 2012 | One Comment | 2,508 views ]

ALEX Mitchell began his journalistic career as a cadet reporter on the Townsville Daily Bulletin. After working at the Mount Isa Mail, Mitchell joined Rupert Murdoch’s tearaway tabloid The Daily Mirror, first in Sydney and then in the Canberra press gallery in 1964. This was a time when competition with rival The Sun, owned by the Fairfax family, was at its fiercest.
As this insightful and racy memoir makes clear, not only was Murdoch a hands-on proprietor but he was, for a time, quite radical and reformist in his views – …

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[28 Jan 2012 | One Comment | 1,897 views ]

THE irrepressible Mungo MacCallum has for decades been one of our most entertaining political journalists. This breezy book is vintage Mungo, although one can’t help noticing it contains neither footnotes nor an index.
Researching his subjects, MacCallum has leaned heavily on The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Prime Ministers, edited by Michelle Grattan, and Colin Hughes’s much earlier book Mr Prime Minister. He has filled in the gaps, often via news reports and what he loosely terms as “anecdotes”, of which he has a stash.
Since Australia became a nation in 1901, …

Columns »

[28 Jan 2012 | 3 Comments | 9,355 views ]

AFTER taking a record number of public submissions, the Australian Law Reform Commission has now released its final discussion paper on a new Classification Scheme.
The ALRC has come up with 44 proposals to reform classification and official censorship in Australia. Chief among these is a new Classification of Media Content Act. The main thrust of the commission’s proposals is that the online media environment has fundamentally changed the way that people access media and that soon it will be possible that all media will be available on one screen. Therefore …

Columns »

[27 Jan 2012 | 3 Comments | 2,527 views ]

ATTENDANCE at Alcoholics Anonymous is the best method of helping alcoholics remain sober. There are no dues or fees for membership in this unique organisation, which is entirely self-supporting. The only requirement for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous is a desire, no matter how inchoate or half-hearted, to stop drinking.
In terms of long-term abstinence from alcohol and other drugs, AA has the numbers. Even so, not all alcoholics remain receptive to AA’s simple message that, for an alcoholic, it is the first drink that does the damage. No matter how long …

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[15 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 1,206 views ]

IN the modern age, autobiography is a strange and wonderful genre. Or should we be talking memoir here? I refer to the unexpurgated recollections of H.G. Nelson (aka Greig Pickhaver), which, rather like the ”autobiography” of Dame Edna Everage, is supposedly penned by the writer’s alter ego.
Intriguingly, unlike Barry Humphries’s hugely successful and ever-evolving creation, in My Life in Shorts the real person behind the comic character doesn’t crack a mention. This is consistent with the character but also a bit frustrating.
Never mind. As for the veracity of it all, …

Columns »

[14 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 1,308 views ]

NOT very many Australians know that Andrew Robb chairs the federal Coalition policy development committee, with its deputy chairman being the former adviser to Peter Costello and now Victorian member for Casey, Tony Smith.
This important committee has been working overtime to ensure the Tony Abbott-led opposition will go to the next federal election with a policy platform that adds up politically, philosophically and fiscally. Systematically but unobtrusively and in the main under the political radar, Robb and Smith have been dotting their policy i’s and crossing their costing t’s.
After the …

Columns »

[6 Jan 2012 | One Comment | 1,605 views ]

WHEN John Howard first spoke of a relaxed and comfortable Australia 16 years ago, his critics labelled him small-minded and lacking vision.
But in the new year, this would strike a chord with many who are looking for stability and certainty in the face of the increasingly uncomfortable events circling us.
Every day we see media reports from around the globe painting a picture of instability. Whether it is financial and political upheaval in Greece and Italy, the Occupy protest movement, instability throughout the Middle East, or the possibilities of worldwide earthquakes, …

Columns »

[5 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 1,584 views ]

Tony Abbott knows he is landing the blows
OVER the past few months, Labor’s standard attack on Tony Abbott has been that he’s “too negative”. They’ve even published a pamphlet about the Opposition Leader: The Little Book of Dr No.

Apart from breaking the first rule of politics – don’t advertise the other side – this just sets up Abbott to show another facet of his versatile political personality.
From the word go, Abbott has always said that he had two jobs: first, to discredit a bad government and, second, to establish the …