All Fall Down
By Matthew Condon
All Fall Down is the final volume in Matthew Condon’s investigative series on crime and corruption in 1960-1990s Queensland. Once again, he draws on extensive research with face-to-face interviews with leading political and criminal figures. He even had a final interview with the ‘godfather’ Tony Murphy. He has had access to Terry Lewis’ diaries which were only withdrawn late in the piece when it probably finally dawned on Lewis that there was going to be nothing in the three publications that might support his continued claims of innocence and underhanded treatment.
This last book follows through the last phases of the ever-tricky Jack Reginald Herbert and follows eminence gris Tony Murphy through his Amity years to his death. The Fitzgerald era dominates much of the book delving into its creation, formulation and evolution. Credit is given to those Police who ‘called the tune’ early in the piece and sometimes suffered as a result as well as some of dodgy dealings emanating from the Queensland judiciary.
Central to much of the book is the relationship between ex-Sir Terry Lewis and Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen. Even if born after these events, one can only hope readers will learn from this sorry tale how corruption in all its forms spreads smoothly through all the engines of civilized governance when eyes are averted. Condon doesn’t mention it, but my personal belief is that at least some blame for these times lies with acquiescent elements of press ownership and journalism. Certainly, I lived through that time when I was convinced that the Police Special Branch might have a eye on me and took my early HIV tests interstate as there was no guarantee that, like abortion medical records, the Qld government might take an interest in those results. This from a government that was tearing condom-vending machines off the wall!