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Articles Archive for October 2015

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[30 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 152 views ]

Three reviews by Ross Fitzgerald in The Sydney Institute Review, October/November 2015
1. ‘The Real Archbishop Mannix , From The Sources’.
Edited by James Franklin, Gerald O Nolan and Michael Gilchrist
Connor Court
ISBN 9781925138344
RRP , $29.95
Reviewed by Ross Fitzgerald
In addition to Brenda Niall’s ‘Mannix’, also published this year is ‘The Real Archbishop Mannix: From the Sources’, edited by three scholars , James Franklin, Gerard O. Nolan and Michael Gilchrist. Their fascinating assembly of primary sources, including letters and speeches by and about him, further illuminates our …

Reviews »

[24 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 210 views ]

Solomon’s Noose: The True Story of Her Majesty’s Hangman of Hobart
By Steve Harris
Melbourne Books, 328pp, $29.95
In the mid-19th century, of all the far-flung outposts of the British Empire none was as remote as Van Diemen’s Land. It was, for all intents and purposes, the end of the world.
It was to this distant island fortress that Solomon Bleay (better known as Blay), a 20-year-old English convict suffering from syphilis, was transported for 14 years for the crime of counterfeiting. Blay had previously been sentenced to jail for four months and 12 …

Columns »

[24 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 111 views ]

Despite bipartisan Labor and Liberal Party support, the highly respected president of the Victorian upper house, Bruce Atkinson — a long-serving member of the Liberal Party — voted against the Victorian Criminal Organisations Control Amendment (Unlawful Associations) Bill 2015. Nonetheless, it was passed on Thursday, October 8, in the Legislative Council of Victoria.
So why did this senior Liberal MP stand with Fiona Patten from the Australian Sex Party and members of the Greens to oppose this law?
Atkinson’s position was akin to crossing the floor, but many saw it for what …

Books, Featured »

[18 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 75 views ]

Bumbling Mangoland academic, Professor Dr Grafton Everest, has been elected to the Australian Senate, without really knowing why, and due to the influx of weird independents, finds himself holding the balance of power. Despite this, his personal life is a train wreck. A prostatectomy has left him impotent, his daughter is staging a theatrical event with an outlaw motorcycle gang and he suspects his wife is planning to have him put to sleep. On top of it all, Australia is facing natural disaster from Tectonic Change. Can Grafton save his …

Columns »

[17 Oct 2015 | One Comment | 87 views ]

I have just returned from the continental US, and from New York in particular. As a result I can confirm — unambiguously and once and for all — that the US economy is back with a vengeance.
Unemployment in the US sits at just above 5 per cent. Most countries in the world would kill to have that jobless rate.
Jobs have been created in the US in every month on a net basis for the past five years. This is a huge achievement
US consumer spending is up — and that’s a …

Columns »

[13 Oct 2015 | One Comment | 285 views ]

Art tends to imitate life in the latest novel featuring one of the most shambolic and hilarious figures in Australian fiction.
Grafton Everest, the protagonist (we can’t say hero) of a string of satires by historian and novelist Ross Fitzgerald is loved and loathed in equal measure.
In Fitzgerald’s new book, ‘Going Out Backwards : A Grafton Everest Adventure’, co-written with comedy legend Ian McFayden, Professor Dr Grafton Everest. the bumbling Mangoland academic has been elected to the Australian Senate, without really knowing why and he finds himself …

Reviews »

[10 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 147 views ]

All Fall Down
University of Queensland Press, $32.95. Buy now on Booktopia
‘All Fall Down’ is an exquisite finale to Matthew Condon’s epic analysis of crime and corruption in mid-to-late-20th-century Queensland. This fascinating, clearly written, final volume of Condon’s true-crime trilogy, ‘The Three Crooked Kings’, is buttressed by an enormous amount of research, including face-to-face interviews with leading players at that critical time in Queensland’s political and criminal history.
This book features diary entries and a score of interviews with the police commissioner, Terence (Terry) Lewis, who despite having been found guilty …

Columns »

[10 Oct 2015 | No Comment | 125 views ]

A satirical writing duo offers this sardonic take on a certain well-known TV panel show
Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen
“Good evening and welcome to QED, Roger began with great verve. “Tonight, two controversial issues that are currently a headache for the government — education and the environment. And so commenced the discussion.
Although Professor Dr Grafton Everest found QED tedious to watch, he discovered that being on the show was like being on a runaway train. Every time you formulated something to say on a topic, the discussion moved on to something …