Synopses & Reviews
For more than two decades no one had greater access to our national parliament and its politicians than Alan Ramsey. Informed, insightful, and unafraid, his columns in the Sydney Morning Herald were essential reading for many thousands of Australians. Here are 150 of his unflinching views of key political events of that era, among them: the often turbulent Hawke/Keating years, the 1990 recession they "had to have," Labor's stunning dumping of Bob Hawke in December 1991, the Howard Government's slavish subservience to the Bush White House, the insidious channeling of Hanson ism, John Howard's "never ever" GST, the invasion of Iraq, the disintegration of the Democrats, the manipulation by both sides of politics of the 2001 children overboard incident, and the scandal of the Governor-General who ultimately resigned. Yet Ramsey's keen eye often observed with affection the values and behavior of others in national life, and he was as ready to give credit as he was to lay into the humbug, pomposity, and deceit of political, personal, and sectional self-interest.
For more than two decades no one has had greater access to Parliament House and the politicians inside it than Alan Ramsey. Informed, insightful, and unafraid, his columns have been the first port of call for many thousands of readers, not least leading politicians. Collected here are Ramsey's unique and unflinching views of major political events here and overseas: East Timor, Indonesia, Iraq; the cozy and complacent attachment to the Bush and other USA administrations; the insidiousness channeling of Hansonism; the children overboard and Tampa incidents; and a litany of major scandals, factionalism, and conspiracies from all political parties. But at the same time Ramsey's keen eye examines and observes with affection many of the players, major and minor, who help turn the wheels of government. Close to several of them, he is always as quick to give credit when credit due as to lay bare faults, pomposity, and ignorance.
About the Author
Alan Ramsey started in journalism in 1953. He was a correspondent with the first contingent of Australian combat troops to Vietnam 1965, and from 1986 he was a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.