December 1st 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Will Morrison and Shorten remove freedoms from faith-based schools?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Immigrants caught in English-language nether world

CANBERRA OBSERVED China's pushiness provokes pushback among neighbours

FOREIGN AFFAIRS U.S. midterm elections leave Trump in charge

DEFENCE Perth Defence conference prioritises Indo-Pacific

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Countering fake news: Jair Bolsonaro may just save Brazil's democracy

GENDER POLITICS Small signs of a turn in the tide of the transgender flood

FOREIGN AFFAIRS European Union's winder of discontent

AUTOBIOGRAPHY Wynand du Toit: writing into the sunset

ASIAN AFFAIRS China uses salami tactics to isolate Taiwan

ENERGY Hydroelectric power and pump storage

LEGAL MATTERS Universities put themselves above the law

John le Carre, Smiley and the spy novel

MUSIC The mercurial Freddie: Power without emotion

CINEMA Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

BOOK REVIEW Commentator has got it right

BOOK REVIEW We are ill equipped for next big shift

BOOK REVIEW The father of the Reformation

FICTION The Lonely Man


VICTORIAN ELECTION Coalition collapse in Victoria

Books promotion page

Commentator has got it right

News Weekly, December 1, 2018


by Dr Kevin Donnelly

Wilkinson Publishing, Melbourne
Paperback: 204 pages
Price: AUD$29.99

Reviewed by David Daintree

Kevin Donnelly is one of the most outspoken and persuasive defenders of conservative values in the Australian public square today.

He is a cheerful, gutsy warrior, proud of his working-class background (he cheerfully boasts that some of his oppo­nents call him a “class traitor”), terrier-­like on the attack, but kindly and generous by nature: he is a man who would take prisoners, and treat them well; but, if they don’t surrender, he’ll give them no quarter.

This attractive little volume comprises 60 of his previously published papers and op-ed pieces arranged in three major sections: “The cultural left’s poli­tically correct long march through the institutions”, “The dangers of Islamic fundamentalism”, and “Safe schools, same-sex marriage and the LGBTIQ sexuality and gender agenda”. Such titles leave no room for doubt as to where the battle lines are drawn, or whose side Donnelly is on.

To say of any book that it is difficult to put down is more often than not a mere cliché, but in this case it is true, for the pieces are all brief and crisply written, and the author’s style is simple and unpretentious.

As a conservative reviewer in an increasingly hostile environment I am chuffed to read his work and comforted by the thought that I’m not as alone as I thought I was and that some eloquent person out there is going on the attack on my behalf.

Moreover, Donnelly has a good mind and it is the mark of a good mind that it does not merely think clearly, but conveys its thoughts to the simplest of human intellects with clarity and force. It is this profound truth, of course, that will eventually defeat the cultural left, for whom obscurity and verbosity are shield and buckler, their best defence against the light of reason.

If I were to visit this world from another universe, and take up a copy of this book, I would find little to surprise me in the position he takes on the three major issues under discussion, though I might question his need to tackle some of them at all. Why spill that much ink over gender, for example? But the fact is that our world is so on its head now (or to speak more accurately, the tweeters and trend-setters are so firmly in control of our thinking), that almost everything Donnelly says will cause injured outrage and attract bitter reprisals.

All manner of things are being questioned today that a previous generation took for granted. That in itself need cause no concern. What is concerning is the fact that trendy thinkers deny the possibility of objective truth and that, as a consequence, reality itself is subverted, the absurd becomes normal and (in their minds) the normal becomes absurd.

Like many others I hope that the old adage vox populi vox Dei may prove to be true, and that ordinary men and women, sooner rather than later, will recognise that they are being fooled by the loony-left. This book will play a potent role in bringing about the happy revelation that the old Marxist Emperor is pretty well stark naked!

The book is well supported by a preface from Alan Jones and endorsements by John Howard, Tony Abbott, Tess Livingstone, Lyle Shelton and Chris Mitchell.

The quality of the production is good; I found just one minor typo on p14: “while Australian” should read “white Australian”. Too petty to mention, perhaps, but amusing in context.

All in all, highly recommended: a thoroughly good read and a great comfort to the troubled mind in difficult times.

Purchase this book at the bookshop:


All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm