Catallaxy Files: Tony Thomas for quiet achiever of the year

Here is a hidden treasure, a stockpile of journalistic weapons to fight economic illiterates, communist sympathisers and biased and incompetent journalists. He has been posting on Quadrant on Line for years and I didn’t look often or closely enough to find him. Just as well Connor Court published this book of amazing pieces. There is so much in it – stories from the Communist Youth activities of the 1950s, brushes with Soviet agents in Canberra (courting journalists), climate alarm stories, the feminization of the defence forces and the amount of violence among the First Nation people even before they were “invaded and corrupted”.

“Once, it was common to encounter a Tony Thomas in Australia’s newsrooms. They were the wise and senior hands young reporters were encouraged to admire and emulate …
They’re mostly gone now, the men and women who wore professional honesty and scepticism as their badges of honour, and we’re all the poorer for the banishment of those skills and voices. That is why the essays in this book are so valuable and the man who wrote them a treasure.”
— Roger Franklin, Editor, Quadrant Online.

This book of 45 essays – ranging from purely humorous to politically and socially grave – provides samples of the lifetime’s work of a trained journalist of 60 years’ professional standing. Thomas was a prominent writer for The West Australian (1958-69); The Age as Economics Writer from the Canberra Press Gallery, (1971-79); and BRW Magazine from inception in 1981 to his retirement in 2001, including a decade as Associate Editor. He is currently a prolific contributor to Quadrant Monthly and Quadrant OnLine.
Thomas’ interests, particularly in the political, stem from his early childhood indoctrination into Communism, followed by an adult reaction towards conservatism. Suffice to say he has ink and politics in his veins.

Hal Colebatch reviews Tony’s book.

11 Responses to Tony Thomas for quiet achiever of the year

  1. Chris

    Agreed! I have his books and they are excellent value, as Roger says.

    Both the collection of past essays, and The Pocket Windschuttle.

    Tim Blair’s ‘risky conversational gambit’ piece in a recent Quadrant describes a certain lack of tact which pays off in various and uncertain ways; but Tony Thomas says to himself ‘Tact? We’ll blow that bridge up when we come to it!’

    But I am curious; is this ratbag author himself one of the magnificent, cynical bastards who make the Cat the splendid killing ground for leftist ideas that it is?

  2. Ian Plimer

    Because all my previous publishers had knocked back “Heaven and Earth”, at the suggestion of the late Ray Evans I approached Connor Court. Within 10 minutes they offered a deal and the book became an international best seller. Connor Court are now the only publisher in Australia that publishes non-PC books (often at a financial loss), books critical of the left and books supporting our Western Civilisation. It is absolutely no surprise that Connor Court publish the works of Tony Thomas and we should try to keep this husband/wife team of Anthony/Julie Cappello as the publishing voice in the sea of vulgarity.

    Buy the Tony Thomas book and other eclectica that Connor Court offer.

    Ian Plimer

  3. Tim Neilson

    Ian Plimer
    #2623177, posted on January 30, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the info Ian.

    There’s a lot of great stuff available on the Connor Court site, so I urge all cats to use the free market to the mutual advantage of themselves and a non-PC publisher.

  4. Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades. Love him and love his work.

  5. Chris

    Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades.

    I dispute that he is ‘right wing’. He is both anti-bullshit and anti-communist, which are not the same as ‘right wing’.

  6. JohnA

    Chris #2623216, posted on January 30, 2018, at 4:49 pm

    Tony has been one of the most consistent right wing voices in Australia for decades.

    I dispute that he is ‘right wing’. He is both anti-bullshit and anti-communist, which are not the same as ‘right wing’.

    The expressions “right wing” and “left wing” have been so worn by overuse as to now be meaningless.

    I recommend that they be interred for a couple of hundred years (hopefully in an unmarked grave) and we beg/desire/demand the use of more precise terminology along a spectrum of Liberty such as:

  7. herodotus

    Happy to support Quadrant and Spectator Australia, and will be doing the same for Connor Court. The Ian Plimer struggle to be published, and they way he and Bob Carter (and others) have been treated by the elite commentariat on climate matters has been a clear indication of the bent nature of the media.
    It is such a disaster that our politicians have been captured by the false prophets of climate to such a degree that we now see our power system disintegrating. Heads should roll.

  8. stackja

    Yet one also gets the impression, reading this insider’s account, that the Communist Party, despite elements of farce and Carry On bedroom antics, at times had more real power and influence than any except perhaps its natural enemies on the Right gave it credit for.

    USA and UK did not trust ALP/Communists, only when ASIO was created and Menzies elected did trust trust return. We don’t know what KGB/GRU did. Coal miners strike was the first battle in the war to destroy Australia. Chifley did his best. Evatt and others were of no help.

  9. Nerblnob

    Tagging someone as Right Wing these days is just a method of making sure they are not read or listened to by the very people who would most benefit. A Black Hat.

    I’ve read a lot of TT’s pieces and sometimes I have to kick myself to remember that Australia once had good journalists like this writing in the mainstream daily press.

    Go look at some old facsimiles of The Age or even the Melbourne Sun from the 60s and be shocked at how far they’ve fallen.

  10. Rafe Champion

    stakja, Santamaria and the movement did a herculean job in the 1950s to end communist control in several major unions but the lunatic Evatt pulled the plug before they cleaned out the wharfies and the consortium of building unions and others now the CFMEU which runs the country nowadays.

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    It is a disgrace that under a so-called Liberal Government a quality magazine like Quadrant, which has a long track-record in Australian politics and letters, should have had its very small Australia Council funding axed in recent years, while a plethora of second-rate leftist publications get substantial funding. A few MP’s on Malcolm’s tail about this might help.

    I’m not particularly mounting an argument here for government funding of such publications, merely saying that if such funding is on offer then there should be some level of accountability in the grants made to ensure taxpayer assistance is given to a wider range of opinion than happens at present.

    Don’t give me the argument about Australia Council ‘independence’ here being inviolable. There is clearly a big leftist rort going on with their allocations of this funding, and it should be called out strongly and in the public eye.

    Connor Court are certainly worth supporting too, with personal purchases and library orders (for schools and universities).

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