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Life imitates art yet again

27 April 2016 223 views 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 plethora of other books on politics and sport including his most recent, the anthology ‘Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football.’

Fitzgerald’s novels featuring his protagonist, Queensland academic Grafton Everest , a character that has a lot in common with Sir Les Patterson , are hilarious and feature all sorts of unlikely scenarios that often come to fruition in real life.

‘Going Out Backwards’ is set in Sydney (where Fitzgerald now lives), Canberra and in Mangoland which may or may not resemble Queensland, where he lived for 25 years.

Now in a scenario straight from one of his satire’s Professor Fitzgerald has, for the first time in his life, joined a political party , The Australian Sex Party. (He did try to join the Communist party once but they rejected him) whose founder, Fiona Patten, is now an upper house MP in Victoria.

Fitzgerald says he joined because he agrees with Patten’s policies including taxing religious organisations, free speech, drug reform including legalising and taxing marijuana, same sex marriage and other progressive reforms.

What next for Professor Fitzgerald? A tilt at politics himself? Truth is stranger than fiction so stay tuned.

Phil Brown, The Courier-Mail, April 27, 2016.

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