A Secret Country: The Hidden Australia
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Expatriate journalist and film-maker John Pilger writes about his homeland with life-long affection and a passionately critical eye. In this fully updated edition of A Secret Country, he pays tribute to a little known Australia and tells a story of high political drama.
advises Abeles on how to deal with the press. When he was Premier, Wran gave Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Packer the licence to run the State’s ‘Lotto’ lottery. Wran is now on the board of an investment bank which was partly owned by Packer at the time of his appointment, and his Allcorp company won a contract to clean the television studios of Channel 9, then owned by Packer. On the other side of the continent, the Mates run ‘the Dallas of Australia’, as Perth was optimistically known in the 1980s.
217, 270, 277 Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 101 Dampier, William, 31 Danby, Michael, 306 Darling, Ralph, 264 Davey, Des, 174 Davis, Ian, 300 Dawe, Bruce, 34 Day, Brian, 177–8 Day, David, 156 ‘Death in Custody’ (painting), 73 Democratic Labor Party (DLP), 167, 215 Depression (1930s), 152, 161, 272, 351 Devanney, Jean, 330 Displaced Persons programme, 104–111, 129 doctors: immigrant, 129 Dodson, Pat, 66–7, 83 Domican, Tom, 275 Dorrance, John C., 235 Dougherty, Martin, 311 Dougherty,
volunteers, and especially their lack of respect towards English officers, whom they rarely saluted, was put down to their ‘inferior’ convict and Irish breeding. During the Second World War Winston Churchill railed against an Australian Labor Government, which wanted to give priority to the defence of its homeland, not Britain, as coming from ‘bad stock’.1 My aunts, who loved Churchill, were keenly aware of our congenital flaw; therefore secrecy was crucial. Unfortunately, unbeknown to the
haired husband. I liked those birds: I liked their song and their wickedness. They kicked over the traces with style. There is a smell and taste that come with the diamond light. By December, when the king tides have arrived from across the south Pacific, the salt spray blows up from the beach. It stiffens the air, covers windows with a sticky mist, corrodes paint on cars and mortar between bricks, and tastes like Bondi and summer. I still run down to the beach with my heart thumping at the
Ansett Airlines, owned by Murdoch and Abeles. (Ansett was already employing Wran’s wife, Jill, as a consultant.) Wran’s ‘pragmatism’ did not go unrecognised; during his decade as political boss of New South Wales he was often supported by the Packer and Murdoch media, and this may well have helped to sustain him in office in times of acute political and personal stress. During the Wran years more than a dozen major enquiries, including Royal Commissions, were held into political corruption and