February 1, 2015

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note February 2015

By Nick Feik

The nation’s politicians are back at work, but they don’t look very refreshed. Tony Abbott seems to have left his brain on holiday, his government looks mired in the same policy disaster zones as last year, and the rest of the parliament appears in no mood to help. In this month’s cover essay, Tim Flannery and Catriona Wallace propose a way to disrupt Australian politics – a plan for a real “reset”.

(On the subject of popular votes: the Monthly would never engage in baseless leadership speculation, but we don’t mind if you do. Vote in our special poll, and you could win cash, thanks to Tony Abbott’s leadership woes.)

School’s back too this month, and the kids in Sydney’s state system, in particular, will be more crowded than ever. Ceridwen Dovey uncovers a scandalous failure in schools planning, and an education system bursting at the seams.

The new year brings no cheer on Manus Island. Jo Chandler travels beyond the asylum-seeker detention camps and finds a community struggling to cope with a whole new kind of colonisation.

Finally, in this issue we welcome back the inimitable David Walsh, founder of the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart. We’ve published several essays about him; this time he writes one for us.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

From the front page

Composite image of Nationals MP George Christensen and Greens leader Adam Bandt (both images © Mick Tsikas / AAP Images)

Friends like these

Labor distances itself from the Greens, while the Coalition does little to condemn the actual radicals in its own ranks

Image of Abdul Karim Hekmat. Photograph © Sam Biddle

Australia needs to hear asylum seekers’ stories, in our own words

Our presence has preoccupied the nation, but our stories have been excluded from the national narrative

Image of Australian Bicentenary protest, Sydney, NSW, 1988

The stunted country

There can be no republic without constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians

Image of Oscar Isaac as William Tell in The Card Counter. Photograph © Focus Features

Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

Online exclusives

Image of Abdul Karim Hekmat. Photograph © Sam Biddle

Australia needs to hear asylum seekers’ stories, in our own words

Our presence has preoccupied the nation, but our stories have been excluded from the national narrative

Image of Oscar Isaac as William Tell in The Card Counter. Photograph © Focus Features

Debt burden: Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’

The acclaimed writer-director indulges his experimental streak in a thriller that inverts the popular conception of the gambling man

Image of The Beatles and Yoko Ono during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions. Image © Apple Records / Disney+

‘Get Back’ is ‘slow TV’ for Beatles nuts

Despite plenty of magical moments, Peter Jackson’s eight-hour epic is the work of a fanatic, and will likely only be watched in full by other fanatics

Image of John Wilson in How To with John Wilson. Image courtesy of HBO / Binge

Candid camera: ‘How To with John Wilson’

Both delightfully droll and genuinely moving, John Wilson’s idiosyncratic documentary series is this month’s streaming standout