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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s strongman politics (Quarterly Essay 93)

Bad Cop: Peter Dutton’s strongman politics (Quarterly Essay 93) by Lech Blaine

Bill Hayden might today be recalled as the unluckiest man in politics: Bob Hawke replaced him as Labor leader on the same day that Malcolm Fraser called an election that Hayden, after years of rebuilding the Labor Party after the Whitlam years, was well positioned to win. But to dismiss him thus would be to overlook his very real and laudable efforts to make a difference in politics – as an early advocate for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and as the social services minister who introduced pensions for single mothers and Australia’s first universal health insurance system, Medibank. Dismissing Hayden would also cause us to miss the counterpoint he provides to Peter Dutton, current leader of the Liberal Party.




From the Archive

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307

The Keys to the Kingdom: Superior Saturday by Garth Nix

There is an unfortunate tendency in contemporary fantasy for plots to become elongated, ungainly and unmanageable, much like teenage boys. Thankfully, Garth Nix’s The Keys to the Kingdom series is an exception, perhaps because the protagonist, Arthur Penhaligon, is not yet a teen-ager himself.

From the Archive

November 2002, no. 246

Rooming with Lillian

Martin Amis’s encapsulation of biography is that it should convey a sense of what it would be like to spend some time alone in a room with the subject. Robert Milliken begins his story of Australian journalist and rock music taxonomist Lillian Roxon by revealing that he once went one better: thirty years ago, as a rising reporter in London, he not only met Roxon at a boutique hotel in Notting Hill but jawboned with her at length. That is to say, she talked and he listened. Roxon, Milliken recalls:

talked without interruption for the next two hours, entertaining me, shocking me and making me laugh. She told scandalous stories about this one and that one, and even about herself. She also talked about her problems with editors, her asthma and her mother, three principal preoccupations of her life, even though Mrs Roxon, caricatured as an interfering Jewish mother, was long since dead.

From the Archive

July–August 2013, no. 353

Christopher Menz reviews 'Making Melbourne’s Monuments' by Catherine Moriarty

When Paul Raphael Montford (1868–1938) settled in Melbourne in 1923, one press report claimed that he was ‘one of England’s best-known sculptors’, but despite having created works for the façade of the Victoria and Albert Museum and for Westminster Abbey, as well as numerous public sculptures in Australia, his work is not well known in either country. His reputation has always been overshadowed by his infinitely more successful and slightly older contemporary and rival, Bertram Mackennal.