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Articles Archive for April 2016

Columns »

[27 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

Life sometimes imitates art as author and political commentator Professor Ross Fitzgerald knows only too well. His recent satirical novel ‘Going Out Backwards’ (which he wrote with comedian Ian McFadyen, who lives on Brisbane’s bayside) is a farce but was eerily prescient in its take on national politics.
Writing of an Australia where a lunatic fringe , including Grafton Everest himself , holds the balance of power in Canberra was certainly on the money.
Professor Fitzgerald, emeritus professor in history and politics at Griffith University, has written histories of Queensland and a …

Reviews »

[22 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

Review of ‘Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football’, edited by Ross Fitzgerald, Connor Court, $32.95 & ‘From the Outer’, edited by Alicia Sometimes & Nicole Hayes, Black Inc, $27.99.
It may seem surprising – given that internet blogging and self-publishing have afforded anyone who feels they have something to say about football – that, for a long time, there was not a lot of published fan-writing on the game. Even on Australian football, which has held many people in its grip for generations.
One of the mottos of Australian football has been …

Books »

[19 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

POLITICAL HISTORY
The Labor Split spillover
http://www.newsweekly.com.au/picture.php?id=2261
Alan Reid’s ‘The Bandar Log: A Labor Story of the 1950s’ (Connor Court, 2015, $30), was reviewed in ‘News Weekly’ in the July 18, 2015, issue by Patrick Morgan. Here, longtime NW contributor Hal G.P. Colebatch takes a more personal look at the novel.
This book, by “The Red Fox, veteran insider political journalist the late Alan Reid, is a fictionalised account of the great Labor Split which led to the formation of the Democratic Labor Party and consigned Labor to the wilderness until the rise …

Columns »

[18 Apr 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

Last week, former prime minister Bob Hawke came out in favour of voluntary-assisted dying. The fact is that many attempts over the years have been made to pass a voluntary assisted dying law in Australia, but none has succeeded.
This is despite overwhelming public support (between 70 and 80 per cent) for the idea that terminally ill people who are suffering unbearably should be able to ask a doctor to help them end their life quickly and painlessly.
This level of support exists across all the survey categories of gender, age, religion …

Columns »

[16 Apr 2016 | One Comment | ]

Last week, former prime minister Bob Hawke came out in favour of voluntary-assisted dying. The fact is that many attempts over the years have been made to pass a voluntary assisted dying law in Australia, but none has succeeded.
This is despite overwhelming public support (between 70 and 80 per cent) for the idea that terminally ill people who are suffering unbearably should be able to ask a doctor to help them end their life quickly and painlessly.
This level of support exists across all the survey categories of gender, age, religion …

Columns »

[11 Apr 2016 | 12 Comments | ]

Up till now, the only political party I ever considered joining was the Communist Party of Australia.
When I was a 15-year-old student at Melbourne High School, along with fellow student and future millionaire, Alan Piper, with whom I played for the Victorian schoolboys cricket team, I met a Communist Party of Australia organiser outside the Bryant and May match factory in Richmond. The organiser paid no attention to Alan but after listening to me for less than a minute he put up his hands and said “I think you can …

Reviews »

[9 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

Review of ‘Growing Wild’
By Michael Wilding
Arcadia, 302pp, $39.95
“I do wish you would write your campus farce rather than live it all the time, one of Michael Wilding’s colleagues once suggested. He proceeded to do both — though Wilding delayed publishing ‘Academia Nuts’ until he had safely taken early retirement.
Appointed to a lectureship at the University of Sydney in his 20s, the English-born Wilding encountered a strange new world, with figures such as Germaine Greer holding forth at morning tea about suckling her kitten in the bath. He also came …

Columns »

[6 Apr 2016 | 2 Comments | ]

Six months ago, when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, many people breathed a sigh of relief. Abbott had never been personally popular and had compounded this by knighting Prince Philip on Australia Day, persisting with an over-generous parental leave scheme at a time when other spending was being cut, and introducing the 2014 horror budget that Australia needed but that appeared to break pre-election commitments. Abbott, it seemed, was almost as bad as Julia Gillard who had promised no carbon tax but then brought one in.
On the …

Reviews »

[5 Apr 2016 | No Comment | ]

Review of ‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure’.
By Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen, Hybrid Publishers, $26.95
Professor Dr Grafton Everest is said to be a ‘wonderful creation’. Depends on how you assimilate his tedious long-winded repartee.
This is not fact, but fiction: an incoherent academic accidently finds himself elected to the Australian Senate. What’s more, he has somehow ended up holding the balance of power. On top of it all, Australia is facing natural disaster from Tectonic Change.
It sounds like a familiar scenario, but Everest’s personal life does not run smoothly.
He …