Introduction

In a world that seems to be increasingly punctuated by deception, I believe it not so much a moral calling to attempt to document the current and ongoing swathes of political and social turbulence, but rather an intellectual challenge and a vehicle with which to deepen my own understanding of the forces that are driving our planet.

In assimilating a body of work that seeks to challenge what is readily accepted and to combat the lethargy that continues to creep its way through our nation's psyche, I find myself increasingly drawn to political writing that focuses as much on the why as the what.

As George Orwell said, "We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men." Can it be obvious enough to approach without a particular agenda? Some believe not and perhaps they are right. Whether you believe that all political writing must contain a slant, or whether impartiality is wholely achievable, the very nature of being human necessitates a degree of emotional response to events, interlinked as they all are, and as we are to them.

In finding a voice that has relevance it is. of course, desirable to remain ever watchful of personal bias. One only has to pick up a modern broadsheet and delve into the mire of editorial positioning to realise that agenda is very much alive in the mainstream media and perhaps always will be. In a year that has seen unprecedented levels of media criticism, redressing the balance is not, per se, the responsibility of political writers, but rather the elephant in the room of which we would serve ourselves and readers best, by continually acknowledging.

In the words of Miguel Syjuco, "I think writing can be a political act, if only to let those people accountable know they are being watched. Literature can be a conscience."