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Articles Archive for May 2017

Reviews »

[30 May 2017 | No Comment | 209 views ]

Labor and Santamaria by Robert Murray
Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2017
103 pages, $24.95
A disastrous division in its ranks in the mid-1950s kept the Australian Labor Party out of power federally for twenty-three years. Until Gough Whitlam was elected Prime Minister in 1972, there hadn’t been a federal Labor government since 1949, when Ben Chifley was defeated. The infamous Labor Split fundamentally reshaped Australian politics, both nationally and in the states, especially in Victoria and Queensland.
In 1970 Robert Murray published ‘The Split’, a groundbreaking analysis of Labor in …

Books »

[24 May 2017 | 2 Comments | 404 views ]

A book set in a fictitious Queensland that seems frighteningly familiar is up for the country’s only award for humour writing which is held every two years.
Local writer Ian McFadyen and Sydney-based historian and author, Professor Ross Fitzgerald, collaborated on GOING OUT BACKWARDS, which is subtitled A GRAFTON EVEREST ADVENTURE. It has been short-listed for the 2017 Russell Prize for Humour Writing which is run by the State Library of New South Wales.
The book is set in Mangoland and in it the protagonist, the shambolic Dr Professor Grafton …

Reviews »

[20 May 2017 | No Comment | 207 views ]

Smile, Particularly in Bad Weather
By Prudence Black
UWA Publishing, 310pp, $29.99
The air hostess was an immediate symbol of the jet-set era. The hair, the uniforms, the fashions were all synonymous with the world of glamour and international travel.
We don’t call them air hostesses any more because that’s politically incorrect. Prudence Black’s fine book about Australian air hostesses is a nostalgic and engaging backwards glance at their heyday.
Some years ago, a friend in Brisbane put a personal ad in a paper that read: “Wanted — grounded Qantas hostie.” It worked. He …

Columns »

[19 May 2017 | No Comment | 202 views ]

Liberal? Labor? Is there any visible difference between our two major parties?
The budget week just gone has marked the moment when both sides of politics officially gave up on budget repair and economic reform. Barring a change of leadership on the Coalition side or a change of heart from Labor, Australia now faces budget deficits as far as the eye can see and is set on an indefinite period of ever higher spending chased by ever higher taxes.
Going down the European path is likely to give us the European …

Columns »

[4 May 2017 | No Comment | 221 views ]

Conventional wisdom holds that an elected government’s first budget should be its bravest. Albeit with a micro-majority, Malcolm Turnbull is an elected prime minister, rather than merely a coup leader. So next week’s budget should be an opportunity to place his economic stamp on the country.
It’s becoming clearer what the budget is likely to contain: there’ll be ‘good’ borrowing to fund more infrastructure, especially railways; there’ll be some superannuation concessions for seniors who downsize the family home; there’ll be some savings that will annoy the hell out of the impacted …