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[3 Jan 2017 | 2 Comments | 74 views ]

As prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull knows he’s in trouble. Why else would he have said that polls don’t matter, when losing 30 polls in a row was his justification for knifing Tony Abbott? With the regicide genie well and truly out of the bottle, and with no polls won since the all-but-lost federal election, his colleagues won’t need another 24 bad polls to conclude that leadership change is needed.
What’s becoming blindingly obvious is that there’s no politically palatable way to cut spending – which is what Australia urgently needs.
Yet even …

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[28 Dec 2016 | One Comment | 160 views ]

The business of politics is a matter of the utmost seriousness for many Australians. As Paul Keating famously used to say, if you change the government you change the country. Yet, for the dedicated follower, the political game also provides experiences and entertainment akin to theatre.
A great source of fun is the observation of the speeches of leaders when an election result is known. Traditionally the winners promise to govern “for all Australians”. But what the ordinary punters receive is often something else again!
Occasionally, election night speeches provide unforgettable rhetoric. …

Reviews »

[28 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 22 views ]

Book Review
By Rama Gaind
‘Going Out Backwards: A Grafton Everest Adventure.’
By Ross Fitzgerald & Ian McFadyen, Hybrid Publishers, $26.95
Professor Dr Grafton Everest is said to be a ‘wonderful creation’. Depends on how you assimilate his tedious long-winded repartee.
This is not fact, but fiction: an incoherent academic accidently finds himself elected to the Australian Senate. What’s more, he has somehow ended up holding the balance of power. On top of it all, Australia is facing natural disaster from Tectonic Change.
It sounds like a familiar scenario, but Everest’s personal life does not …

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[27 Dec 2016 | One Comment | 44 views ]

Sometimes fiction is much more illuminating than fact. A case in point is a new novel by Michael Wilding, one of the stalwarts of Australian contemporary fiction. The Sydney writer’s ‘In the Valley of the Weed’, released this week, examines some key issues and implications of the move to decriminalise marijuana, a hot topic nowadays.
One of the leading characters of Wilding’s deeply subversive novel is Tim Vicars – an academic suspended because of his politically incorrect emails, who disappears. Then there’s Plant, the private detective hired to find him. Vicars’ …

Reviews »

[24 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 50 views ]

BOOKS OF THE YEAR FOR 2016.
By Professor Ross Fitzgerald
For me, the most important book of the year is a co-authored work published by the nimble Melbourne publisher, Hybrid. This finely researched and brilliantly written, hugely significant and thoroughly accessible scholarly work is by Australian Jewish writers Sam Lipski & Suzanne D. Rutland – “Let My People Go: The untold story of Australia and the Soviet Jews 1959-89.”
Two extremely revealing books about communism follow this fine work of and about Australian history and politics. The first fearless expose is Sheila …

Books »

[23 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 19 views ]

PROF. ROSS FITZGERALD AM
Melbourne High School EXIT 1961
Ross Fitzgerald has recently published his 39th book “Heartfelt Moments in Australian Rules Football”.
Ross lives in Redfern, Sydney with his wife, Lyndal Moor Fitzgerald.
Published by Connor Court, HEARTFELT MOMENTS is a collection of 37 original essays about Aussie Rules. including a piece by Ross entitled “The Death and Life of Darren Millane”.
The book can be purchased at:
http://www.connorcourt.com/catalog1/index. php?main_page=product_info&products_id=363#.
MHSOBA Newsletter, December 2016

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[19 Dec 2016 | 2 Comments | 56 views ]

The stark, unpalatable reality is that the numbers of prisoners in Australia grew 8 per cent from 36,134 in 2015 to 38,845 in 2016. This is nothing short of scandalous.
The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world – with fewer than 5 per cent of the world population but about 25 per cent of its prisoners. Yet the US has started reducing the size of its prison population – quite significantly in some states, including Texas. This is because it is evident that there are cheaper, more effective …

Books »

[10 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 34 views ]

It’s great to see avid (but not uncritical) MWD reader Lisa Gorton on the PM’s Christmas reading list — her novel was equal winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Fiction in 2016. Also it is interesting to note that Malcolm Turnbull will be reading the works of Sheila Fitzpatrick and Tim Winton” both of whom were rewarded in the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Non-Fiction as a co-winner and a shortlist-recipient, respectively. The judging panel of which was the awesome (literary) foursome of Gerard Henderson (chair), Peter …

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[9 Dec 2016 | 3 Comments | 78 views ]

There is probably no other issue in Australian public life that can claim such increasing levels of support over the past decade. On the most recent polls, 84 per cent of ALP voters and 82 per cent of Coalition voters support it. Even 77 per cent of Catholics and 88 per cent of Anglicans want to see reform of the laws around it. These levels of support are also recorded in many modern European and Scandinavian democracies.
What we are talking about is dying with dignity, or voluntary euthanasia.
With such overwhelming …

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[6 Dec 2016 | No Comment | 40 views ]

A rebel union set up in opposition to the main shop assistants union is facing claims of deception for using a university lecturer posing as a shelf stacker in a promotional video on its website.
La Trobe University academic Lachlan Clohesy, an expert in Soviet infiltration and executive member of the hard-Left National Tertiary Education Union, appears in the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union video posing as a retail worker claiming he is owed thousands in unpaid salary from stacking shelves at Coles.
The video from the union, which has …

Columns »

[3 Dec 2016 | One Comment | 56 views ]

Recent opinion polls on intended voting patterns relative to federal politics in Australia have been at once fascinating and deeply uncertain.
It is clear that a significant percentage of former Liberal/National voters have departed to support Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Such a move was entirely predictable. Many Australian voters hold deeply conservative views. There were sufficient of them at the Federal election before last to give Tony Abbott victory with a large majority.
Yet within the first term of that government Abbott was deposed, not by voters but by members of his …