CANBERRA, it is one of the most beautiful cities in Australia, its people the healthiest, the best educated and the most politically aware. And of course it is the cultural heart of the nation. Yet it is the least appreciated of Australia’s cities and its people bear the odium of their compatriots for all the unpleasantness visited upon the city by their representatives from around the nation.
THE GADFLY PAPERS, Robert Macklin’s delightful collection of columns, provides a charming antidote to the Canberra knockers. Whether it’s the rise and fall of political leaders – especially Kevin Rudd whose authorised biography he wrote – or the increasingly popular Julia Gillard, or the bully boy Tony Abbott, Macklins’s columns give an insight unavailable elsewhere. And as he touches upon a remarkable range of subjects – from freedom of speech to religious intolerance to climate change or the pleasures of a ‘capital life’ - a new picture of Canberra emerges.
He makes it sound like a very nice place to live. Perhaps it really is Australia’s best kept secret.