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The Fifth Estate

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The Killing Season

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Join acclaimed journalist Sarah Ferguson (The Killing Season) and host Sally Warhaft for a conversation about Labor, leadership and loyalty.

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Sally Warhaft, left, with Sarah Ferguson — Photo: Jon Tjhia

Labor romped to victory under Kevin Rudd in 2007, with a comfortable majority and generous reserves of public goodwill. How did they manage to squander that goodwill, and trash their own brand so thoroughly that they were out of office again within just six years? Alan Milburn, a campaign strategist for Tony Blair and later for Julia Gillard has said he’s ‘never seen anything like it in any country, anywhere, anytime, in any part of the world’.

Milburn was one of more than 100 politicians, staffers, public servants and political insiders journalist Sarah Ferguson interviewed for the riveting ABC documentary series The Killing Season, about this extraordinary period of ALP infighting and implosion.  Ferguson had to edit those interviews back to three one-hour episodes – an unenviable task indeed – but her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, goes behind the scenes of the series, revealing material that didn’t make the final cut. The book has much to tell about this turbulent period in ALP history but also provides fascinating insights into the processes of Ferguson– one of Australia’s most celebrated, agenda-setting journalists.

'For me, this story is unfinished … these two great politicians of their generation, by any standards, cut off at their prime.'

Sarah Ferguson

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The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.