Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Gerard Henderson and Greg Sheridan
Moderator: Miranda Devine
How Irish Catholic Rebels Saved Liberal Protestant Australia
Two important and very different new books deal with the key years when Irish Catholics halted a serious shift to the Left in Australian politics that would have undermined the country’s commitment to its Cold War alliances. Gerard Henderson’s authoritative biography of B.A. Santamaria, Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man, describes how stalwart anti-communists of the Left, largely from Irish Catholic backgrounds, broke away from a Labor party naively sympathetic to neutralism and communism and provided the swing votes that kept Robert Menzies and his Liberal-National Coalition in power for almost two decades.
Greg Sheridan’s When We Were Young and Foolish describes growing up in an Irish Catholic home and neighborhood where a fighting commitment to Santamaria’s movement was imbibed with the drinking water. Relations between the Santamaria movement and Liberal leaders like Menzies and John Howard were often stormy. But they ended with Howard visiting Santamaria on his deathbed and a Catholic veteran of the Movement, Tony Abbott, being elected leader of what had once been the party of the Protestant establishment.
Gerard Henderson and Greg Sheridan will discuss the evolution of Irish Catholic politics and how it transformed Australia in a conversation under the moderation of Miranda Devine. The authors have also consented to sign their books.
Venue: Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street, Sydney
Date and Time: Wednesday, October 7
Drinks 6pm–7pm; dinner from 7pm
Cost: $84 per person. Dress: Jacket and tie
Payment: By cheque: Make cheques payable to Quadrant, and send to Quadrant Magazine, Locked Bag 1235, North Melbourne VIC 3051. By credit card: You can email, phone or fax credit card details – card brand, card number, name on card, expiry date, plus (important) your own phone number, but sorry no Amex – to [email protected], Phone (03) 8317 8147, Fax (03) 9320 9065