(2022) From Bear Pit to Smear Pit

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).

(2022) McKell

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.

(2022) Energy Policy and Labor’s Future

When Labor’s 2030 climate change policy, Powering Australia, was released early last December, relief by Labor supporters followed a fresh reckoning for the author – one of the ablest in Labor’s ranks, Chris Bowen, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy and Member for McMahon in Sydney’s west. In Australian politics, never has “McMahon” been linked to clever policy development.

(2022) Large in Stature and Character: Peter McMahon

16 July 1931 – 13 March 2022

Peter McMahon, champion of garbologists – as he proudly said, local government union leader, NSW Upper House Labor politician, industrial tribunal member, historian, and community activist, had many significant achievements, including improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of employees, and recruiting Paul Keating to work as a young research officer for the Municipal Employees’ Union (MEU) before the budding politician propelled himself, aged 25, into the Federal parliament in 1969.