Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, April 06, 2003
FEAR AND LOATHING abounds on Radio National tonight as left-hysteric David Marr is given a solid slab of peak time to push his new book on the Tampa stunt and the SIEV X conspiracy theory.

What David fears and loathes is not any of the external dangers this hostile world poses for his little country. It is the overwhelming majority of his fellow countrymen that drive him to the brink of despair.

Why? They support John Howard's policies, or worse.

There is a new conservative consensus threatening to stifle the sensitive intellectual life of this country.

He doesn't even mention the possibility of the Australia Council's funds drying up, or the dole being taken away from self-defined artists, so it must be pretty terrible.

Whatever it is, David has the answer. It is a collective project for all writers. Someone has to take the lead.

You should all sit down and write the new horror, the spectre of the 1950s, that stalks the land.

Patrick White did, and he got the Nobel Prize for it.

The rest of you will just have to make do with gigs with Auntie.