Articles in the Columns Category
High-risk gambling and high-risk drinking overlap greatly.
The distribution of consumption is very similar, with a minority of consumers accounting for most of the demand.Plusthere is a huge over-representation of vulnerable groups in those addicted to gambling and to alcohol.
The enormous social costs of gambling in Australia are still not fully understood.
But many studies accurately demonstrate that gambling imposes a heavy burden, especially on low-income groups and some ethnic populations. They and their families not only lose loved ones from suicide but many families and relationships are destroyed by …
The First Labor Government in the World proved a week was a long time in politics
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Queensland has had many political firsts. These include the fact that Australia’s only Communist Party MP, Frederick Woolnough (“Fred”) Paterson, was a two-term member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.
Widely known throughout Queensland as “The People’s Champion”, Paterson represented the state seat of Bowen for the Communist Party of Australia from 1944 to 1950. This was until his electorate was gerrymandered out of existence by the state Labor government.
On St Patrick’s Day 1948, during …
Unrepresentative Victorian swill
Preference trading corrupts Victorian politics
by ROSS FITZGERALD
The Victorian election promises to deliver one of the most bizarre legislatures that Australia has ever seen. This is due to an electoral system in the Upper House that is so easily manipulated.
Victoria is the only state that persists with a Group Voting Ticket (GVT) – a list of written preferences that parties instruct the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) to adhere to when distributing votes. This system enables micro parties to be elected with less than a few hundred votes. At the …
Regarding “ ‘No body, no parole laws’ a win for family” (14/10), on the face of it the law passed in NSW parliament on Thursday for convicted murderers who don’t co-operate with authorities in finding their victims’ bodies to never be granted parole might seem to be a very good idea.
But without any reference to a specific case, what if a convicted murderer is innocent? As someone who was a long-time community member of the Queensland Parole Board and then of the NSW State Parole Authority, I wonder: what …
A tragic yet sometimes darkly comic story of a lifelong alcoholic and addict, and the people who loved him enough to help save his life.
By ROSS FITZGERALD
My last drink of alcohol was at the same place as where, when I was barely fourteen, I had my first one. This was at Her Majesty’s Hotel in South Yarra. Commonly called Maisies, it was very close to Melbourne Boys High School at which, in 1958, I’d just began Third Form.
My first alcoholic drink was about eleven in the morning, after I’d had …
The well-funded Monique Ryan who is standing against Josh Frydenberg in the Melbourne seat of Kooyong is an utterly fake Independent. Despite securing more than $1 million in funding primarily from Climate 200 supremo Simon Holmes a Court, Dr Ryan is clearly a hard left candidate. She certainly has much more in common with the Labor Party and the Greens than the Liberals. Dr Ryan has every right to be so aligned but she shouldn’t be angry or embarrassed when she’s called out on this important fact. As it …
Where I regularly find solace is at meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, which even though I’m now 52 years sober (i.e. free of alcohol and other drugs), I still attend two or three times a week.
It is especially at my home AA group at South Sydney, where I am known as ‘Redfern Ross’, that I feel a sense of peace and serenity and usefulness. As I often say, ‘You don’t have to like me, but I’m a remarkable example of how AA can transform a person who was so damaged …
Political Marriages That Worked … and Didn’t
BY PROFESSOR ROSS FITZGERALD
I have only ever made two political predictions. The first concerns Peter Beattie, when he was a beleaguered Labor backbencher in Queensland’s one-house parliament. I then predicted that Beattie would become Premier of the Sunshine State. And so he did, and a long-serving and undefeated premier at that.
The second concerns current federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. Last year I predicted that, eventually, Frydenberg …
Contrasting Conservatives: Wilfred Kent Hughes and Keith Feiling
by ROSS FITZGERALD and STEPHEN HOLT
Notoriously stubborn and abrasive, strongly anti-communist and for a time pro-fascist, Sir Wilfred Kent Hughes (1895 – 1970) had a long career in state and federal politics, most notably as a minister under Liberal Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. As an athlete and organiser, Kent Hughes also had a long-standing involvement with the Olympic movement. At the 1920 Antwerp Olympics he represented Australia in hurdling, and in 1956 he helped organise the Melbourne Olympics.
Noted for his conservative interpretation of the past …
by Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen
Ross Fitzgerald writes:
One of my favourite stories concerns two Liberal Party politicians, both of whom were later knighted. One of them was arguably Australia’s most hopeless and devious prime minister, William (“Billy”) McMahon. He was in office from March 1971 until December 1972, when the coalition lost office to Labor under Gough Whitlam – who had famously described McMahon as “Tiberius with a telephone.” The second was James (“Jim”) Killen, who liked more than an odd beer on a hot day and who had served …
by ROSS FITZGERALD
The ambush on Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison at his Canberra Press Club address last week was extraordinary. So too was the subsequent leaking of a damaging text message from Deputy PM and leader of the federal Nationals, Barnaby Joyce, who allegedly called Morrison a ‘hypocrite and a liar’.
The deputy Prime Minister’s attack on Morrison certainly added fuel to the fire, coming as it did from the second highest level of the federal Coalition government.
But as scathing as were Mr Joyce’s comments, they were nowhere near as damaging …