Articles in the Columns Category
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 …
The West is paying the price of constant appeasement
There’s a very clear reason why Ukraine is now exposed to a Russian invasion while other small countries, such as the Baltic states, that were once part of Russia are not. Ukraine is not part of NATO while Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia are.
Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation charter states that ‘an attack against one…of them…shall be considered an attack against all of them’ precipitating ‘the use of armed force to restore …
By ROSS FITZGERALD
Last time Scott Morrison faced a federal election, he pulled off a self-confessed “miracle” victory. That happened in 2019, but it may not happen again. This is because the Prime Minister faces a pincer movement from the left and the right. Also, the never-ending Covid saga finds him increasingly trapped between a rock and a very hard place.
The coming election will most likely turn on the public’s perception of who can best keep us safe. But regardless of its outcome, securing our personal health and safety is set …
by ROSS FITZGERALD
Not long ago, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge wondered out loud whether today’s school kids would be willing to fight for a country they’d been taught not to believe in.
It’s a fair question: why would young people be willing to risk their lives for an Australia they’d been taught to believe was fundamentally illegitimate, had a sub-optimal culture and was helping to destroy the planet by exporting coal to the wider world?
Yet that’s the intellectual subtext for every course these days, given the national curriculum’s insistence that all …
By Ross Fitzgerald
He’s the man who would be king, but Josh Frydenberg originally wanted to be a tennis pro rather than a politician. No doubt we will be going through his biography with a fine-tooth-comb if he eventually takes over as Liberal party leader.
If he does, he could become Australia’s first Jewish Prime Minister. His ascendancy is not guaranteed however because we all know that politics is an uncertain game. Frankly, who thought Scott Morrison would ever be PM?
After leaving school at Mount Scopus College, Frydenberg trained at a tennis …
In terms of damage, alcohol is society’s most dangerous drug.
Helen Trinca makes it clear how integral alcohol is to socialising in the workplace, including Parliament House (“Welcome to the house of blokes, booze and bullies” (12/2)
She rightly supports Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who wants alcohol policies implemented “with a view to restricting availability in line with work health and safety obligations, and the principle of harm minimisation.”
Our policy priorities are wrong-headed. How stupid it is, for example, that during our lockdowns , bottle shops were regarded as essential services …
THE LOWEST DEPTHS
By Ross Fitzgerald, Ian McFadyen
Hybrid Publishers, Fiction
Reviewed by Cheryl Akle
Ross Fitzgerald and Ian McFadyen team up again to write the 8th book in their amusing Grafton Everest series.
When we last saw Dr Professor Grafton Everest, he’d become President of the Republic of Australia, spending most of his term on a goodwill tour of the US.
In The Lowest Depths he’s the ex-president, his wife has left him to travel, and he’s caught up in a web of trouble and intrigue. An assignment with the UN results in some interesting information …
by ROSS FITZGERALD
The Collingwood Magpies desperately need a coach of the calibre of newly appointed Craig McRae. Nicknamed “Fly”, McRae featured prominently in my warts and all study of the 1995 footy season in which Brisbane made the AFL finals for the first time. McRae’s nickname derived from the fact he was such a nuisance to opposing players.
McRae, who in 1995 kicked 28 goals, was one of only five Brisbane Bears players that year to appear in all 23 games. He wore the number four guernsey for the Bears …