Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Canberra'

Washington’s All Abstraction – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

October 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Washington’s All Abstraction – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen · Politics, Quotes

But at least this is an actual place. Washington’s all abstraction. It’s about access to power and nothing else.

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Surveillance at the Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers 

May 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Surveillance at the Kingo – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers  · Australiana, Multi-culturalism, Politics, Security Policy

Like other pubs in Canberra, the Kingston Hotel in Canberra Avenue was home to a number of journalists and was well known to me. Directly opposite the ‘Kingo’ was the Soviet Embassy—a few hundred metres east of Manuka. From a first-floor window in the pub, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents kept a watchful eye […]

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“Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off on “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Democracy, Uncategorized

..most parliamentarians saw very little of Canberra, and from their point of view there was not much to see.

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The Speaker’s Chair in Old Parliament House – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Speaker’s Chair in Old Parliament House – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Architecture, Australiana, Culture, History, Politics

During the visit (in 1926 of the Empire Parliamentary Association) to the still unfinished provisional Parliament House, the delegation presented a gift from the British Parliament: the Speaker’s chair for the House of Representatives, which was modelled on the Speaker’s chair in the House of Commons. The House of Commons burned down during the war […]

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The Wedding Cake – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on The Wedding Cake – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Architecture, Australiana, History, Politics

The ‘provisional’ Parliament House in Canberra was nothing like the NSW Parliament House I was familiar with in Macquarie Street, Sydney, which dated back to the mid-1800s. Canberra’s Parliament House stood alone, south of the Molonglo, fronting on to lawns to its north; not far beyond, sheep grazed. A market garden alongside the river was […]

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Chalmers’ Career – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers

May 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Chalmers’ Career – “Inside the Canberra Press Gallery: Life in the Wedding Cake of Old Parliament House” – Rob Chalmers · Ethics, Journalism, Newspapers, Politics, The Media

Foreword by John Faulkner: “If the Canberra Press Gallery is an institution, Rob Chalmers was an institution of that institution. His career spanned 60 years and 12 prime ministers, 24 federal elections and five changes of government. There is not a member of Parliament today who can remember a Press Gallery before Rob Chalmers joined […]

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Architecture and Democracy – “Goodbye Babylon: Further Journeys in Time and Politics” – Bob Ellis 

September 15th, 2011 · Comments Off on Architecture and Democracy – “Goodbye Babylon: Further Journeys in Time and Politics” – Bob Ellis  · Architecture, Australian, Australiana, Democracy, History, Politics

(The Constitutional Convention on an Australian Republic) certainly proves, and proves without a doubt, that great architecture gives rise to great democracy, and bad architecture stifles or distorts it. In (Old Parliament House) you differ amiably, riposte, take lordly insult in good part. In the pharaonic tomb on the hill you yell, threaten, launch vendettas, […]

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