Facing the fact


In this week’s New York Review of Books Joan Didion brilliantly defines the New Normal in America, faith-based, buttressed by weasel words and euphemisms, ruthless, inward looking, in denial. Last week the conservative Catholic bishops explicitly warned that a vote for Kerry was to commit a sin – NY Review of Books

This place is not the same. But whether we have our own New Normal after the election is the question. The insecurities and anxieties are there. The cynicism in the media and the electorate is palpable. The declarations of church going and spirituality as lifestyle abound. And with an increased majority in the House of Reps, control of the Senate, the emergence of Family First, Australia has a very different political landscape.

Many of the concerns out there are reflected in this issue. There’s also a strong sense that we need to face the fact and find other ways through to the Australia we want to live in.

Barry Jones pulls no punches in his analysis of why Labor was so roundly defeated. The contributions about the election result and its ramifications continue to come in, some of which are included in this week’s issue. We now have a mole from deep inside the ABC who raises some of the issues that are very much alive for our national broadcaster “ one of our most important assets with few friends in government. We include a part of Ramona Koval’s recent interview with Greg Dyke, former director-general of the BBC which raises similar issues. How does a public broadcaster retain editorial independence in the current climate?

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