His Master's Voice
The corruption of public debate under Howard
John Howard has the loudest voice in Australia. He has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC, gagged scientists, silenced NGOs, censored the arts, prosecuted leakers, criminalised protest and curtailed parliamentary scrutiny. Though touted as a contest of values, this has been a party-political assault on Australia's liberal culture.
In the name of "balance", the Liberal Party has muscled its way into the intellectual life of the country. And this has happened because we let it happen. Once again, Howard has shown his superb grasp of Australia as it really is.
In His Master's Voice, David Marr investigates both a decade of suppression and the strange willingness of Australians to watch, with such little angst, their liberties drift away.
Correspondence discussing Quarterly Essay 26, His Master’s Voice:
This is an essay born of despair, an angry cry from the heart about the impoverishment of mainstream public debate in this country, delivered with passion and eloquence.
Marr’s analysis … clearly delineates the national somnolence and the consequences for the country when its people are sedated: power is unchecked.
With customary eloquence, it mourned an Australian public service cowed by the Prime Minister into abject fear and supine silence.
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