Celebration

Queen's Birthday 2014
 

Lyndal and Ross

Christmas 2013
 

Ross and Emily

Christmas 2013
 

Book launch

Australia‘s Game
 

Archibald 2013

 

With Gerry Adams

 

My dog Maddie

 

With Austen Tayshus

 

Book launch

Alan "The Red Fox" Reid
 

Book launch

My Name is Ross
 

Lyndal and Ross

 

Reviews »

[16 Aug 2014 | No Comment | 10 views ]

POLITICS
The Fights of my Life
GREG COMBET, WITH MARK DAVIS
MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY PRESS, $32.99
Hockey: Not Your Average Joe
MADONNA KING
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND PRESS, $32.95
REVIEW BY ROSS FITZGERALD
When Greg Combet resigned from federal parliament last year, MUP’s indefatigable chief executive, Louise Adler, was on his case. She wanted him to write a book detailing his highly public roles in the Australian union movement and in the federal parliamentary Labor party.
The result may not be as sensational as Adler hoped, but ‘The Fights of my Life’ is certainly a …

Columns »

[16 Aug 2014 | One Comment | 76 views ]

IN a remarkable and largely overlooked statement on Radio 3AW with Neil Mitchell on April 29, Tony Abbott admitted the war on drugs is “not a war we will ever finally win”.
“The war on drugs is a war you can lose,” the Prime Minister said. “You may not ever win it, but you’ve always got to fight it.”
This game-changing statement followed a press conference about the release of an Australian Crime Commission report on illicit drugs, which admitted that “despite record seizures and arrests we are still only detecting the …

Reviews »

[9 Aug 2014 | No Comment | 10 views ]

Review of ‘Tony Windsor: The Biography.’
By Ruth Rae
Allen & Unwin, 336pp, $35
ACCORDING to author Ruth Rae, this book — an authorised biography of the former independent federal MP for New England, Tony Windsor — was written “because there was a gap in (our) political history”. Fair enough. But whether its subject, who before he was elected to federal parliament in 2001 had previously been an independently minded independent member in the NSW Legislative Assembly, deserves a 300-plus page treatment is moot.
What is indisputable is that Windsor, a popular state member …

Columns »

[2 Aug 2014 | No Comment | 30 views ]

IN Australia, Labor has been much better than the Liberals at remembering its history and, in the process, denigrating its opponents. Witness the sustained historical work of leading leftist historians, the prolific Professor Stuart Macintyre and Dr David Day — which in part at least has effectively undermined previous conservative governments, especially those of Robert Menzies and John Howard.
This is despite the fact that since the formation of the Liberal Party in 1944 the Coalition has been in power for two-thirds of the time — in particular, Menzies from 1949 …

Reviews »

[24 Jul 2014 | No Comment | 23 views ]

Review of AUSTRALIA’S SECRET WAR: HOW UNIONS SABOTAGED OUR TROOPS IN WORLD WAR II BY HAL COLEBATCH
QUADRANT BOOKS
H/B, 2013, RRP $44.95 ISBN 9780980677874
It is useful to be reminded that, as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, signed on 21 August 1939, Hitler and Stalin were allies. This meant that, at that time, Australian Communists loyal to Moscow were obliged to support the German war machine.
As Hal G P Colebatch points out, in his provocative new book ‘Australia’s Secret War’, this arrangement lasted until Hitler invaded Russia on 22 June …

Columns »

[21 Jul 2014 | No Comment | 22 views ]

Campbell Newman’s iron grip on Queensland government is now looking decidedly limp-wristed following the disastrous Stafford byelection result.
The Premier’s Liberal National Party suffered an 18.6 per cent swing in the Brisbane bayside electorate, Labor’s victory giving it a ninth MP in the Queensland Parliament.
Historian Ross Fitzgerald predicted Mr Newman would definitely lose his own seat of Ashgrove at the Queensland election, expected within 11 months.
”‘When they say the swing is on in Queensland, it goes bananas. And historically, it is most certainly is on,’’ Professor Fitzgerald said.
‘‘The Premier won the …

Reviews »

[19 Jul 2014 | No Comment | 33 views ]

Review of ‘Gravity: Inside the PM’s Office During Her Last Year and Final Days’
By Mary Delahunty
Hardie Grant, 242pp, $29.95
ON the night of June 24, 2010, Labor’s then deputy prime minister, the popular and respected Julia Gillard, was catapulted into office to become Australia’s first female PM.
The next morning, Gillard emerged to a stunned nation, as award-winning journalist Mary Delahunty aptly puts it, “like a butterfly from its chrysalis”.
It is intriguing to remember that at the time Gillard didn’t fully explain why she was there, saying only that “a good government …

Columns »

[19 Jul 2014 | One Comment | 38 views ]

AS many Australians, including federal Attorney-General George Brandis, are now fully starting to realise, protecting free speech and freedom of expression is an uphill struggle that needs to be fought over and over again.
These days in this country, as in much of the West, fewer and fewer people actually believe in freedom of speech. They may believe in freedom of speech for themselves, but they tend not to believe in freedom of speech and expression of opinion that contravenes their own deeply held beliefs, be they religious, political, racial or …

Columns »

[5 Jul 2014 | 2 Comments | 27 views ]

THE democratic process in Australia is driven by two competing, often conflicting, imperatives. Governments are often faced with critical decisions for the long-term good that are potentially unpopular in the short term.
For politicians it would seem there is little point in making decisions for the long-term national good if it results in an election loss, with an incoming government reversing any gains. In recent history two federal governments have managed the competing demands of the short-term electoral cycle and the longer-term national interest.
The Hawke-Keating government floated the Australian dollar to …