By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
A Matter of Opinion
By Alan Ramsey (Allen & Unwin, $35.00, softcover, 340 pages)
This compilation of more than 100 unwavering views of key political events from mid-1987 to 2008 is a celebration of 22 years of writing about politics.
Informed, insightful, unafraid … numerous defining events are recounted as the floodgates of forgotten memories come tumbling back.
It’s difficult to single out a highlight, so here’s a handful: the often tumultuous Hawke/Keating era, John Howard’s ‘never ever’ GST, the 1990 recession ‘we had to have’, Labor's stunning dumping of Bob Hawke in December 1991 after he had led his party to four successive election victories in eight years, the Howard Government's ‘slavish subservience to the Bush White House’, the insidious channeling of Hansonism, the invasion of Iraq, the disintegration of the Democrats as a political force after the 1997 defection to Labor of its leader, Cheryl Kernot, the scandal of the Governor-General who ultimately resigned after the cover-up by the Anglican Church in Queensland of serial child abuse in church schools and the manipulation by both sides of politics of the 2001 children overboard incident.
Often observing the values and behaviour of others in national life, Ramsey was just as ready to give credit as he was to dig into the hypocrisy, arrogance and falseness of political, personal and sectional self-interest.
He did not shy away from saying that it was time for certain politicians to “get out” labelling certain Liberal “political misfits who should think about another life outside politics…”
A Matter of Opinion is Ramsey’s perceptive, yet simple observations: “This is not history written in retrospect … it is history as it happened, even if from only one point of view”.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.