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Articles Archive for October 2010

Reviews »

[31 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on A fading light on the hill | 1,452 views ]

Challenged by the Greens and riven by infighting, Labor seems to have lost its way. It’s time to examine what went wrong and how it can be fixed.
In a historic result in this year’s federal election, Adam Bandt replaced the retiring Lindsay Tanner, the ALP’s finance minister since 2007, to become the Greens MP for Melbourne.
Echoing key concerns of All That’s Left in his maiden speech, Bandt thanked the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union, which contributed a staggering $325,000 to the Greens’ campaign. Bandt made it clear that …

Reviews »

[31 Oct 2010 | One Comment | 2,718 views ]

A gripping account details the exploits of a small force of Australian commandos in World War II.
Review of Paul Cleary, THE MEN WHO CAME OUT OF THE GROUND Hachette Australia, 382pp, $35
This account of the guerilla war waged in Portuguese Timor in 1942 by
the 2/2 Australian Independent Company, widely known as Sparrow Force, is
breathtaking in its scope and riveting in its research.
In this intensely readable history, Paul Cleary documents how 400
Australian commandos – who trained in 1941 at the rugged and windswept
Wilsons Promontory in Victoria – the next year kept …

Columns »

[30 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Anything but politics as usual | 2,659 views ]

THIS brilliantly conceived and elegantly constructed biography of militant politician Percival Stanley Brookfield provides a unique insight into radical politics in Australia, and in Broken Hill and Sydney in particular, during a period of revolutionary politics and industrial militancy, especially around the time of the great Russian revolutions of March and October 1917.
As the extremist representative of the miners and other workers of Broken Hill from 1917 to 1921, Lancashire-born Brookfield is regarded as the most radical class warrior and anti-politician elected to an Australian parliament. For much of his …

Columns »

[23 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Nowhere man faces the storm | 1,139 views ]

Peter Garrett’s new job is a reflection of the government’s precarious position, not his abilities

THE release of the Australian National Audit Office report into the home insulation scheme last week revealed departmental bungling and flawed governance and the minister responsible, Peter Garrett, should have done the honourable thing and fallen on his sword.
Meanwhile the Labor government seems unrepentant and has suggested this disaster was not its fault but the fault of the Department of the Environment. But with insufficient resources and inadequate measures in place …

Books »

[9 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Miracle amid a Pacific bloodbath | 2,058 views ]

THIS is an utterly fascinating book. At one level, the story of the murder of 21 Australian nurses on Radji Beach, Banka Island, on the morning of February 16, 1942, is a minor part of the much wider story of Australians in the Pacific war.
But at another, deeper, level it is a compelling tale of what happened to scores of young women after the dramatically unexpected fall of Singapore to the Japanese. It is also a powerful counter-factual history of what might have been had things been different.
Among hundreds of …

Columns »

[9 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Two decades after Fitzgerald inquiry, police culture still needs change | 3,284 views ]

THE extraordinary revelations at the Fitzgerald inquiry between 1987 and 1989 shattered the public’s confidence in the Queensland police force, destroyed the then National Party state government, and led to the election of the first Queensland Labor government in 32 years.
The head of the inquiry, Tony Fitzgerald, identified widespread police and political corruption and the use of selected leaks to manipulate journalists and makers of public opinion, along with other matters of significant malfeasance.
As Fitzgerald said in his report: “The media is able to be used by politicians, police officers …