All of us knew Owen Harries, the three instigators of this book, Tom Switzer, Sue Windybank, and me. We admired his thinking, his ideas, the craft he applied to wordsmithing, the jesting and jostling in debate, the integrity he displayed respecting others’ viewpoints, the originality he brought to important questions.
On one view, Gough Whitlam was a passing flash, whose government was not around long enough to have had an appreciable impact on Australian foreign policy. On another, Whitlam’s foreign policy changes were immense and long lasting. This chapter, necessarily briefly, discusses the promise, creativity, problems, and influence of Whitlam’s foreign policy. Through such analysis, mature reflection on Australia’s legacy in relation to its obligations to and treatment of our alliances, commitment to the region, and human rights is enabled.
Rare is the book that with verve, clarity, enthusiasm, and authority establishes the claim that a thinker demands reappraisal and even celebration.
Of course, everyone wants better relations with China.
There is a widespread conceit that, because Australian Jewry is largely economically successful, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) can write them off as unlikely supporters of progressive candidates in elections. This is egregious nonsense — for at least four reasons.
Tom McDonald was a building union leader and building industry reformer, superannuation pioneer, pro-Moscow communist turned “broad left” warrior, and celebrated elder of the Australian labour movement.
This thoughtful, well-researched, yet sometimes frustratingly opinionated book, The Party, covers the history of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) from 1940 to 1970.
Anyone who thrived in the Bear Pit of the NSW Parliament, where the finer points of civil debating etiquette are not rigorously followed, is bound to be colourful in argumentation. Which brings me to Bob Carr’s polemical article ‘Is criticism of Israeli settlement policy anti-Semitic? Israeli nationalists insist it is’ (Pearls and Irritations, June 6).
A community as diverse, educated, and dynamic as Australian Jewry is bound to have a variety of opinions and outlooks.
This 73-page booklet by David Clune, one of a series commissioned and edited by Scott Prasser for the Connor Court Australian political biographical monographs, provides an excellent overview of the life of Sir William McKell KC KSG (1891-1985; NSW Labor Leader, 1939-47; Premier of NSW, 1941-47; Governor-General of Australia, 1947-53) who in 1939 inherited the leadership of a party in total disarray and then fashioned a winning combination and style known ever since as the McKell Model.