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Articles Archive for February 2011

Columns »

[26 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Labor’s harbingers are already on run in NSW | 1,077 views ]

THERE’S a saying in politics that the best day in opposition is never better than even the worst day in government. If this is true then the state election to be held a month from today in NSW will usher in some very bleak times for Labor.
Premier Kristina Keneally and her state Labor Party have become poisonous to voters. NSW Labor’s only chance to recover anything from this election is to dampen down expectations.
Hence Labor “insiders” have been active in the media downplaying their prospects and talking of utter annihilation. …

Reviews »

[19 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Revisionist look at a fleeting history | 3,272 views ]

ALONG with Geoffrey Blainey and Geoffrey Bolton, Alan Frost is the leading historian of the foundation and development of Botany Bay.
Indeed some of the work in Botany Bay: The Real Story was published in Frost’s seminal 1980 book Convicts and Empire: A Naval Question and in his 1994 book Botany Bay Mirages: Illusions of Australia’s Convict Beginnings .
For the past 35 years, Frost, emeritus professor of history at La Trobe University, has toiled in archives here and overseas (especially the Public Record Office, now the National Archives, in London) to …

Columns »

[15 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Moore’s stand on alcohol is a model to follow | 1,734 views ]

If Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is successful in her attempts to change late-night drinking patterns and the trouble that goes with it, she will earn a significant place in our history. Indeed, her plan should be regarded as a template for how councils and governments should deal with the liquor industry in Australia.
The truth is that most politicians municipal, state, and federal don’t have the gumption to tackle a problem that is endemic in Australia: booze-related violence.
It indisputable that increased trading hours of licensed premises, in particular 24-hour liquor …

Columns »

[12 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Let us stop pussyfooting around our censorship laws | 5,758 views ]

FEDERAL Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor have announced a shake-up of censorship law in Australia through a review of the 1995 Classification Act.
This act determines where the line is drawn on various categories and forms of media. It legislates different levels of “intensity and explicitness” in images and words, setting out what can be accessed by various age groups in Australia. It designates whether different media can be viewed in private (for example by a couple in their home) or in public, such as at a movie …

Books »

[5 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Pressman | 3,954 views ]

SOME locations are perfect for reading particular books; those that foster an extra connection to history as lived by the protagonists.
Now that the labyrinthine corridors of Old Parliament House have been opened to all, climb the rickety staircase to the press gallery, Ross Fitzgerald and Stephen Holt’s book in hand, to reach the cramped den of power of their vulpine subject.
Among the evocatively recreated rooms and the very pipework of the building that, we learn, literally leaked the scoops from the House of Representatives below, the cigaretteaddled voice of ‘The …

Columns »

[2 Feb 2011 | Comments Off on Anna Bligh has tapped into the frontier state’s exceptionalist mindset. | 4,382 views ]

AT the height of the catastrophic floods that last month engulfed much of Queensland, including Brisbane, Labor Premier Anna Bligh begged the state’s citizens to “remember who we are”.
In rhetoric reminiscent of Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Peter Beattie and other long-serving premiers, Labor and conservative alike, Bligh’s answer to the conundrum of how to be optimistic and survive this natural disaster was crystal clear. We are, she said, lips aquiver, “Queenslanders. We’re the people that they breed tough, north of the border. We’re the ones that they knock down, and we …