Thursday, 3 May 2018

Sydney Writers' Festival - Insiders Live

The 2018 Sydney Writers' Festival has begun! Ordinarily I would take a few days off work to immerse myself in the festivities. This year I am saving my annual leave for an overseas holiday, so will have to limit myself to evening events and an action-packed weekend. But I will be sharing my festival experiences on Twitter (@inaguddle) and blog about them here as I have done in past years.

Insiders Live (Wednesday 2 May 2018)
A special event at the Sydney Writers' Festival is Insiders Live which I attended with my festival friend. The host of ABC's Insiders program Barrie Cassidy spoke with journalists Annabel Crabb, Niki Savva and Malcolm Farr.
Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, Malcolm Farr, Niki Savva

The panel discussed politics starting with the news of the day, that Labour MP Tim Hammond has resigned to spend more time with his family. There was much discussion about the challenges of being in Parliament when a parent of young children, especially when your home is far from Canberra.

While only May and the budget a week away, the panel reflected on the year so far, exploring the downfall of Barnaby Joyce, the 30th Newspoll, the Banking Royal Commission, company tax cuts, the SA State election and much more. Niki Savva described the Joyce/Campion affair as a 'fluid situation' which sent waves of laughter across the auditorium. Sounds like Savva has plenty of material for an update of her deliciously juicy book The Road to Ruin

There was much speculation on when the next Federal election will be held, ending in a wager in which Cassidy placed $50 on an October 2018 election. The rest of the panel took the wager, convinced that (barring any leadership disaster) the election will take place after the Victorian and NSW state elections, sometime in April 2019.

Mike Bowers, Fiona Katauskas, David Rowe

My favourite part of Insiders is Mike Bowers' 'Talking Pictures' segment. At Insiders Live he spoke with cartoonists Fiona Katauskas and David Rowe. Bowers asked them about their approaches to their work, and spent some time reviewing Rowe's latest cartoons for the Australian Financial Review - particularly his Trump nudes. They reviewed work by various cartoonists and talked about some incredible photography, like the work of Alex Ellinghausen.

Video was used well to break up the segments, including two gems from Huw Parkinson (including the Turnbullnator 30 below) and several news montages, including one on the expressive Michaelia Cash.

The evening ended with a montage of Matt Price Moments - those quirky political moments which the late Matt Price would have loved. Looking back over the 10 years of winning Matt Price Moments was a reminder of so many hilarious, cringe-worthy faux pas.

A great start to the Festival!