7.30 Report featuring Kerry O-Brien interviewing Tasmanian writer Richard Flanagan about his new book, The Unknown Terrorist'.
There are a lot of disturbing tendencies in Australian public life. We have this language which I haven't heard used since the Stalinist era of elites, a word that was first used by Stalin when he wanted to attack Jewish intellectuals in 1948, the use of the idea that there are things that matter more than individual freedom. Again, that's a Stalinistic argument. We have the rise of hit men in the media who are there to do the Government's bidding and seem to have no conscience or scruple in attacking any individual who has a position different than that of the Government or is questioning government policy. We have an ever more conformist society. We have an ever more cowed media and we see daily anybody who rightly questions or simply interrogates the process of government or government policy being destroyed. Those sort of things, when people who are simply seeking the truth have to put their reputations on the line, when that starts happening, I become very frightened.