March 26, 2015

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note April 2015

By Nick Feik

When Julie Bishop rolled her eyes while seated behind Treasurer Joe Hockey in parliament last Monday, she was expressing several things at once. The first was that she was not at all impressed by the Expenditure Review Committee, which Hockey slyly mentioned while eulogising Malcolm Fraser. She had reason to be irritated, having read in that morning’s paper that her foreign-aid budget was likely to be cut yet again. The second was that her support for the current Liberal leadership can no longer be taken for granted; in days gone by, the loyal deputy would never have been so brazen. Finally, she was signalling that she should not be held responsible for the coming budget, nor does she hold out much hope for it. She was rolling her eyes for Australia.

Is Bishop’s own moment approaching? Chris Wallace meets the leadership contender: a blue-ribbon Liberal supported by family, staff, constituents and colleagues both Liberal and National, and ready for what comes next.

Joe Hockey’s recent output hasn’t impressed Richard Denniss much either. In a searing essay about the use and abuse of economic modelling, Denniss finds in the Intergenerational Report a perfect example of a document designed to mislead rather than inform the public. “You would think it would be hard to make some of the richest people in the world feel poor,” he says, but “it turned out to be pretty easy”.

Elsewhere in this month’s issue, Justin Clemens considers not the costs of ageing but its products – the new poetry collections of Les Murray and Clive James; Amiel Courtin-Wilson describes his time living with jazz legend Cecil Taylor; and Jeff Sparrow and Jaye Kranz each write about legacies of a different kind – the wreck of the Batavia and Australia’s child Holocaust survivors.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

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