The omens for political parties following a third consecutive defeat are not good. In 1954, the ALP came close to defeating Menzies, but split over communism within a year and spent another eighteen years in opposition. In 1987, a civil war raged within the Coalition, with Joh Bjelke-Petersen running amok. Following the election defeat, the Liberals eventually dumped John Howard, returned to Andrew Peacock and then lost a fourth election. In 2001, the Beazley-led ALP lost its third election on the back of 9-11, the Tampa and a concerted campaign by John Howard to rid himself of electoral barnacles. The […]
There are two things you can say about the recent federal election. The first is that the biased right wing media lied about Labor and campaigned relentlessly for ScoMo, while the more progressive media failed utterly to do its job in holding the Coalition to account and exposing the lies. The second is that the biased left wing media campaigned for the radical class warrior Labor Party and attempted to foist it onto an unsuspecting public, but the more centrist and sensible media exposed the truth, asked the tough questions, and won out in the end. These stories have their […]
By historical standards, Saturday night was a dismal night for the major parties. Combined they posted the lowest primary vote in 85 years and the Coalition its second worst primary since the Liberal party was founded. Even with the benefit of preferences, the government looks to have only just flopped over the line—the seat haul from the two-party preferred these days seems to be falling as the primary vote worsens. It was not just the raw numbers. The Coalition spent much of the campaign forced to defend its safest seats in Melbourne and Sydney, losing Warringah for the first time […]
While reading Jessie Cole’s Staying: A Memoir, I found myself stuck, fish-hooked by one particular sentence. I’d picked it up at my local bookstore knowing it would likely stir something up in me. This sentence held within it something a little bit catastrophic. Catastrophic as in involving a sudden and large-scale alteration in state, as in furiously underlining three lines of page 113 and waiting a while. And ever so slowly Zoe—the actual person—disappeared from our lives, drifting around in the depths of withered memories until she became an event, instead of a person. ‘An event,’ Cole writes. A thing […]
In a 2016 Meanjin essay one of this country’s most celebrated writers, Alexis Wright, asked us a fundamental question in relation to storytelling and the role of the writer. ‘What happens when you tell somebody else’s story?’ she asked, in a thoughtful piece of writing that did not demand that white Australia not engage with the story of Aboriginal people (as some have concluded). In addressing the question, Wright asked of each of us, Aboriginal and ‘settler’ both, that we give deeper consideration to the act of telling stories and take greater responsibility for the decisions we make as writers. […]
After your world ended for the third time, you walked. The gold ring on your right hand heavy and the blue band around your left wrist even heavier. ‘Rip-off fitbits’ was how Intisar had described them three years ago, as the two of you sat on the couch in the living room of your then new apartment, staring down at your clasped black hands.
From a young age, names preoccupied me. As a child I didn’t like my name and I would often daydream about changing it. Na’ama (in Hebrew, נעמה) was too heavy for me.
We sat on the porch that winter and
talked of murder, imagined bodies trapped
beneath the breaking crust of the field.