A Bigger Picture

By Malcolm Turnbull (2020) To re-tell a recent joke, with apologies to Frankie Boyle, Turnbull’s memoir is not like Turnbull the man, in 2 respects: it has a spine, and you may not want to put it down. Yes, we’re on record as not being Malcolm fans, for whom this pretty well written and interesting book is designed, though it holds wider interest in following the August path of destiny for Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, a path strewn with garlands and fleeting triumphs, told in a voice of peerless self-confidence, well described by Jonathon Green in the Sydney Morning Herald…

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All things Must Pass

March 4, 2020 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, Ulalume |

(2017: Holden manufacturing (with wages well above market level) in Australia ceases; 2020: The Holden car (its models no longer competitive at the list price) ceases for good.  Certain commentators suggest governments should have ‘done more‘) ‰ We’ve had much hand-wringing of late  And cries for intervention by the State, To return us to the good old times Of subsidies and other nursery-rhymes. ⊕ ”Invest” (in losers) interventionists cry, Raise the prices till no one can buy, The Holden car, well ‘she’s a bloody beauty’; When markets fail, we all have a duty. ⊗ (One absorbs the books by Marx,…

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Asked and Answered, Malcolm

On Thursday evening, 8 November 2018, former MP and PM Malcolm Bligh Turnbull appeared, jauntily jacketed, sans necktie, to “face” the nation (well, the carefully screened Q & A audience, one of whom, in a priceless moment, addressed him as ‘Tony’) in ABC’s Ultimo studios. He knew his enemies.  Like the Nixon Administration, Turnbull-in-Exile has drawn an Enemies List.  The enemies include Mathias Corman, News Limited (Rupert Murdoch), Peter Dutton, Radio 2GB, Right-wing extremists (see ‘Tony Abbott’ below), Sky News, Tony Abbott.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Perhaps Malcolm will release a complete one in due course, just before the next Federal Election. Yes, he knew his…

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“Utter Carnage”

August 7, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY, LIFE |

7 August 1858: The First Game of Australian Rules Football is played. Victoria’s Cricket Captain, Tom Wills, is credited as the main inventor, developer and driver of the Australian Game. (He wanted something to keep the cricketers fit during the winter off-season). On 7 August 1858, the first ever recorded match was played between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College, held (appropriately) at the Richmond Paddock. The game ended in a draw (a goal apiece). One hundred and fifteen years later, of course, the ne plus ultra of the sport would play out in Adelaide… It has become something of…

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Villers-Bretonneux re-taken: a century ago

April 24, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Australian History, AUSTRALIANIA, HISTORY |

Gouache by A. Forestier

24, 25 April, 1918 A bloody, senseless slaughter, with superior tank support, had left the town occupied by a German Spring Offensive.  Foch and Rawlinson ordered the town to be re-taken. This meant a night attack (zero hour, 10 pm) against fortified enemy positions, including machine guns. The Australian 13th and 15th Brigades struck, using bayonets like stilettos, the so-called ‘peaceful penetrations,’ and despite being well-outnumbered and incurring heavy losses, took Villers-Bretonneux.  It was a charnel house, but the objective was achieved, within the ambit of Clausewitz’s dictum to ensure that the gain should always outweigh its cost. The allied forces…

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