“The two key rules that now govern the practice of Australian politics are: (1) look like you’re doing something; and (2) don’t offend anyone who matters.”
In 2010, one of the Wheeler Centre’s most popular events saw former ALP federal minister Lindsay Tanner interview senior political journalist George Megalogenis about his Quarterly Essay. Tanner put Megalogenis under the spotlight, questioning his analysis of the failures of leadership in Australian politics.
In 2011, the tables are turned. The former politician and the respected journalist return to duke it out again, this time focusing on Tanner’s new book Sideshow, part memoir, part analysis, and part critique of the media. In his first book since leaving political life, Tanner lays bare the relentless decline of political reporting and political behaviour that occurred during his career. On media, on politics, on Australia today, Megalogenis and Tanner are a formidable double-act.
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade, Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era, Australia’s Second Chance and Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.
Lindsay Tanner was the minister for finance and deregulation in the Rudd-Gillard governments, and held the seat of Melbourne for the ALP from 1993 to 2010. Having retired from politics at the 2010 federal election, he is now a special adviser to Lazard Australia, and is a vice-chancellor's fellow and adjunct professor at Victoria University. Mr Tanner is the author of several previous books, including Politics with Purpose (2012) and Sideshow (2011), also published by Scribe.