A Matter of Opinion

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More About This Title A Matter of Opinion


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.


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 spent the next 22 years as a columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald.