In the Australian 2010 election, hundreds of thousands of voters chose not to cast a ballot. A new book of essays, edited by Jeff Sparrow and Antony Loewenstein, and aimed at engaging the many, many Australians disillusioned with the political process, asks writers and thinkers who openly identify with the Left to explore why. In this event, we let some fresh air into the political conversation in a wide ranging discussion with editors Jeff and Antony, contributor Kim Bullimore and chair Margaret Simons.
Antony Loewenstein is a Sydney-based independent journalist, author and blogger. His first book, My Israel Question** (2006), was a bestseller and shortlisted for the 2007 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award.
Margaret Simons is Associate Professor in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University. In 2015, she won the Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism. Her recent books include Six Square Metres, Self-Made Man: The Kerry Stokes Story, What's Next in Journalism?, Journalism at the Crossroads and Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs, co-written with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser. The latter won both the Book of the Year and the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2011.
In addition to her academic work, Margaret regularly writes for the Saturday Paper, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, the Monthly and other publications.
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster. His most recent book is No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. He writes a fortnightly column for the Guardian, is part of the Breakfasters team on 3RRR each week day morning and is also an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University.
Kim Bullimore is a long-time socialist, political activist and anti-racism campaigner.