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Location: New South Wales, Australia

Born in Yorkshire, raised in Australia. I love Poetry, Guitar (especially Spanish classical & Delta Blues), Tudor, Jacobean and Stuart England, Archaeology & good Ale. I edit The Flea & The Chimaera (with Peter Bloxsom), and Shit Creek Review

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Death of Paddy McGuinness

''...McGuinness's contribution was a different one and, to those of us in the Labor Party, deliciously counterproductive. He was part of a group - I call them the Angry Right - who locked John Howard into policies that ensured he was, by early 2007, seen as out of touch and out of date: climate-change denial, support for George W. Bush in Iraq, loss of workers' rights...

"McGuinness was haunted by ghosts. I always had this feeling in conversation with him. Women from the Push days, his Labor Party buddies from the past, above all the imaginary leftists who seemed to occupy a large part of his mental space. The truth is, in reality they barely existed. But he's given them the last laugh anyway."

—Bob Carr, 'Paddy had lost the plot'.

"...It would be hard to imagine a more diverse crowd than the one that gathered yesterday to farewell a man who was described as a loyal and loving friend, and as a writer whose influences included anarchism, libertarianism, the sexually liberated beliefs of the Sydney "Push" of the 1950s, and free-market economics.

"Among the politicians present in the 300-strong crowd were former prime minister John Howard and his leading consigliere, former health minister Tony Abbott. From the world of newspapers came a gallery of noted hacks, including Frank and Miranda Devine, Bob Ellis, Piers Akerman, Bettina Arndt, Paul Kelly, Max Walsh and Ross Gittins.

"Distinguished Australian poets included Les Murray—poetry editor at Quadrant, which McGuinness edited for the last decade of his life—and Geoffrey Lehmann...

[Photo caption in print edition: "In attendance: movie producer and former member of the Sydney Push, Margaret Fink..."]

"...It would be no stretch to argue that McGuinness's funeral marks a kind of terminus in Sydney's intellectual history.

"He was possibly the last living embodiment of the free-thinking tradition of ideas associated with John Anderson, the Scottish philosopher and Sydney University professor who dominated the city's intellectual currents from the early 1930s to the late '50s..."

The Australian


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