Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note June 2014

Have Australians ever felt so shunned by politicians as they do today?

The recent budget may have brazenly disregarded common voters, but  the blame doesn’t all belong to the Abbott government. In his essay ‘A Class of Their Own’, Richard Cooke explores the growing distance between the aims of the political class and the views of mainstream Australia. Amanda Lohrey in her comment piece sees Clive Palmer as an outlet for the frustrations of Australians – he’s the joker who tells the truth.

The gap between the world’s most powerful citizens and the rest of the population is one of the subjects of Thomas Piketty’s epoch-defining economics book, Capital in the Twenty-first Century. Andrew Leigh’s response looks at Australia’s level of inequality and considers what might be done to arrest its growth, which goes to show that there are independent political thinkers still at work in the major parties.

This month’s other major essays look at the powerful forces that shape our lives closer to home: Gail Bell considers whether we’ve lost control of what we eat – and whether sugar deserves to be our new worst enemy, and Linda Jaivin wonders whether we’re watching the end of our own privacy.

Interesting times make for interesting reading. Enjoy these and many other great articles this month.

Speaking of which, this month brings the final edition of Shane Maloney and Chris Grosz’s excellent Encounters series. The Monthly thanks them warmly for their contribution over many years.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.


Read on

Cold was the ground: ‘Sorry for Your Trouble’

Richard Ford delivers an elegant collection of stories of timeworn men and women contemplating the end

Image of Australians queuing at Centrelink in Brisbane.

Moral bankruptcy

Robodebt stemmed from the false ideological division between the deserving and undeserving poor, but the government still clings to moralistic language

Image of Gough Whitlam in October 1975

It’s about time

The High Court’s landmark ruling on the ‘Palace Papers’ is a win for Australian social democracy

Image of Robyn Davidson

Something mythic

For Robyn Davidson, her acclaimed memoir ‘Tracks’ was an act of freedom whose reception hemmed her in