Archive for April, 2013

Tony Jones: “I am not recommending it but I did read it.”

April 30th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2013-04-30 08.34.54 am It is easy to find fault with the ABC, but where else can you plug a book on national television and get a mini-break in Adelaide for free? Well done Tony Jones and the Q&A team, I say.

Broadband gets up a head of steam

April 30th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-04-24 04.49.50 am



From today’s Commentary page in The Australian


PORT Augusta may be online by Christmas, we are told, more than six years after Kevin Rudd promised us a high-speed broadband network that would take five years to build. Regretfully, there is no such good news for Lane Cove or Thebarton – like painting the skirting boards, nation building takes longer than you think.

It seems Rudd was not joking when he compared the construction of a fibre-optic network to 19th-century railway building. Then, as now, a collective madness seemed to sweep a nation enthralled by new technology, the business case was flimsy, the private sector wouldn’t touch it and the bill to the taxpayer was staggeringly large.

In 1862 The Gippsland Times urged readers to “look sternly in the face of futurity” and imagine what would become of the region if the railway passed it by: “We would have to go back to the primitive life … where nothing was known nor required beyond what was yielded by the native soil or contributed by the animals which grazed on their mountain sides.” [FULL ARTICLE]

We’ll take that as a comment: ABC1, 9.30pm AEST

April 29th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

I’ll be a guest on the ABC’s Q&A tonight, live from Adelaide. 

Also on the panel are Andrea Mason, coordinator of the NPY Women’s Council,  Labor’s Mark Butler, Sarah Hanson-Young for the Greens and the Liberal’s Jamie Briggs.

Foxtel viewers can find ABC1 on Channel 102, two up from Channel Nine and one down from UKTV.  2013-04-29 04.18.58 am


Piers Akerman reviews The Lucky Culture

April 29th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2013-04-29 12.49.49 amPiers Akerman was my first boss when I moved to Australia in 1989. He reviews The Lucky Culture in The Sunday Telegraph:

THE ALP has long regarded itself as the political party of arts and letters – a reputation as flawed as the party itself.

In part, the myth owes much to the corps of embittered, tenured academics who incessantly wonder what they might have achieved had they ever had the temerity to test their skills in the real world.

In part, it has been fuelled by the writings of leftist historians such as Manning Clark whose ideologically charged black-armband view characterised by his History of Australia permeated the education system and hagiographic biographers such as Jenny Hocking, who authored paeans to former Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam and his attorney-general, Lionel Murphy.

With the crumbling of the experienced ministerial core of the Gillard government, former ministers Chris Bowen and Kim Carr are setting down their thoughts on this failed experiment. Their books will join those of Lindsay Tanner and Maxine McKew, both of which were critical of modern Labor.

The performance of the current politically correct government, beholden as it is to the Greens’ economy-killing carbon tax, would suggest the Labor Party has to undergo a dramatic reformation before it meets the needs of anyone other than a handful of elites with a peculiarly narrow agenda.

Fortunately, there are signs the leftist agenda is battling to take hold as planned among the hoi polloi.

The above-forecast crowds gathering to commemorate Anzac Day last week were a rebuke to the platoons of duffle-coated playwrights, authors and academics who railed for decades against the observation of the Gallipoli defeat claiming it was a celebration of war and militarism.

The closed factories and soaring electricity prices have had greater influence on the climate-change debate than the carbon tax and reams of press releases from the government’s global warmist propagandist Tim Flannery.

Chronicling the changing dynamic, colleague Nick Cater has produced quite an extraordinary book titled The Lucky Culture And The Rise Of An Australian Ruling Class, published by HarperCollins. [READ FULL ARTICLE HERE]


Where to Buy The Lucky Culture

April 27th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

IMG_0495For those who are having trouble finding a copy of The Lucky Culture, first my apologies, second some suggestions.

Bricks and mortar book stores are facing big challenges at the moment, so they deserve our support. Many were understandably cautious about ordering too many copies of a book by a first-time writer. There were some copies on sale in Sydney on the weekend (Kinokuniya, Level 2, The Galeries/500 George St, left, was well stocked) but Abbeys and Berkelouws were down to one copy each.

Please email me if you are having difficulties – – and I can pass the information onto HarperCollins. The book can be ordered online at Booktopia or as an e-book from amazon, iTunes, kobo or google.


Tony Abbott reviews The Lucky Culture in Spectator Australia

April 27th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

ON NEWS STANDS TODAY 2013-04-27 08.39.54 am


Progress and its critics

Tony Abbott

The Lucky Culture and the Rise of an Australian Ruling Class By Nick Cater

Harpercollins, $29.99, pp 309 iSBN 9781743098134

Australia is a ‘lucky country’, said Donald Horne in his celebrated book, ‘run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.’ By contrast, The Lucky Culture, Nick Cater’s counter-thesis, holds that we are over-influenced and over-analysed by second-rate intellectuals who are incapable of counting their blessings.

At one level, this beautifully written and perceptive book is a historical essay on Australia’s public culture. At another level, it’s a personal reflection by a refugee from Thatcherism, now born-again Conservative, thanks to the personal experience of life in this country observed and analysed with a newspaperman’s thoroughness. [READ FULL REVIEW]  














Parallel universes

April 26th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

The Lucky Culture‘s broad thesis, that civic life in Australia has polarised to the extent that we now have two separate and distinct public spheres, is holding firm.

The reaction to The Lucky Culture from Phillip Adams’ listeners was a mixture of indignation and astonishment. On Catalaxy on the other hand, a lively debate followed the posting of Miranda Devine’s column in the Telegraph.

Mike Spilligan comments on Late Night Live: Stone the effing crows, where did you find this bloke?! This was about as enlightening as the Bob Katter interview.

Blogstrop on Catalaxy: This is likely to be the most important book published in Australia since the elites started to wield their unearned power, too large a dividend from the Long March Through The Institutions.


Anzacs and Turks reunited: Gallipoli 1985

April 26th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-04-26 05.09.35 amTHIS was the scene in a government office in Ankara in April 1985 when a handful of Gallipoli veterans came face to face with their Turkish counterparts.

2013-04-26 05.41.00 am

Leigh Hatcher at Gallipoli, April 1985

They were “no longer just the hidden enemy, but men to see and touch,” reported Leigh Hatcher in his report for Channel Seven. I was in the room as Leigh’s producer  with cameraman Alan Dent. The assignment gets a mention on page 4 of The Lucky Culture.

I recovered a section of that report from my deteriorating collection of VHS cassettes. Perhaps Channel Seven can find a better copy?

We landed at Anzac Cove at dawn the following day after sailing overnight on a ferry provided by the Turkish government. It was a relatively low-key affair; without today’s technology we had to drive to Istanbul in a taxi to edit and transmit the report which probably did not screen in Australia until April 26.

Leigh Hatcher and I

Hatcher and Cater in the Hope 103.2 studio, Seven Hills, Anzac Day 2013

Coincidentally, Leigh and I met up yesterday, 28 years later, to record and interview for Leigh’s eclectic Sunday evening radio show Open House. It airs on Hope Radio 102.3 in Sydney and on stations around the country sometime between 8pm and 11pm AEST on Sunday April 28. Listen live.



Religion and groupthink

April 25th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

A piece published in The Australian just before Christmas on Emile Durkheim’s sociological classic The Elementary Forms of Religion (1912) drew a mixed reaction, and I’m still not sure why. Perhaps you can tell me. I’ve now published it on my archive page. I explore these matters further in Chapter Five of The Lucky Culture.

Durkheim’s theory helps explain the paradox of Western individualism; it purports to reward free and independent thought, yet the complaint is frequently made that views and attitudes converge.

The driver of car with a bumper sticker opposing the Iraq war, for example, is likely to have predictable views on other cultural controversies. Durkheimian theory allows no place for individual belief since, according to Durkheim, “opinion is an eminently social thing”. Religion, then, may be impossible to abandon. It will simply reinvent itself in a form more palatable to the modern world.

Miranda Devine reviews The Lucky Culture

April 24th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Miranda Devine writes in today’s The Daily Telegraph:

MAYBE it’s because the author is a friend, but there is a buzz around a book by Nick Cater, The Lucky Culture, that feels like a defining moment in the Australian narrative.

Miranda is known mainly for her columns these days. Having worked alongside Miranda on the Tele under editor Col Allan, I know her to be an outstanding reporter, which is what we once called journalists. Perhaps we should start doing so again.