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BOOK REVIEW: Divided Opinions

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Peter Baker takes a look at a new book exploring recent politics in Australia across all parties.

DIVIDED OPINIONS by Eddy Jokovich and David Lewis traces, comments upon and attempts to explain to the reader the political environment of 2019.

Starting in the months prior to the May Election, the book ends with Australia in flames and its Prime Minister soaking up the sun on a Hawaiian beach. The format is different to the standard history book and, as I’ll explain, this adds much to the enjoyment from reading the Jokovich/Lewis offering. Each chapter ties in with podcasts made on a regular basis from the first days of 2019 till the end. For example, in an early chapter, you are reading in the present tense the hopes of a Labor Party about to face an election it cannot lose given it had something like 26 opinion polls coming out in its favour. You can feel, as you turn the pages, how they would have been feeling.

The book is political and, to a fairly high degree, critical of the LNP in general and Prime Minister Scott Morrison in particular. That is not to say the Labor party gets a free ride. The book’s examination of the Election aftermath gives it ample opportunity to point out the flaws and weaknesses of Bill Shorten and co. But that said, I believe anyone of any political persuasion and with more than a passing interest in the body politic will thoroughly enjoy it.

When a book with political undertones is reviewed, I think it best the reviewer keep his political bent to himself. That I will do, other than to observe I suffered a bad disappointment in May 2019. LNP, Labor or Green, there is enjoyment in this book in what it is revealed to the reader. Facts I’m sure they never knew about. Background to the pre-election antics of the various parties. Exposure to the light of the many lies offered up as gospel truth by Morrison and his ilk. Background to the feelings in the Labor Party of Shorten before and Anthony Albanese post the ignominious defeat. I’m not sure the Greens were ever described as having a joint opinion on anything.

The topics covered are many and varied and with the passage of time dulling our memories (we of the older generation, in particular) it is good to read afresh the deliberations of the Banking Royal Commission, George Pell pre-High Court decision, or little known tidbits of history like Nazi Germany modelling the treatment of its Jews on the White Australia policy. The book is full of interesting facts, revealing backgrounds and personal exposure. Great reading.

So my advice to the potential or hesitant reader standing in the political aisle of their local library (after they reopen), looking to download the digital edition from Kindle or in the book section of Big W, download or buy ‘Divided Opinions’. It’s a great read and you might learn something new.

‘Divided Opinions’ is available from Amazon Australia for $27.95 (paperback) or $10.43 (Kindle) RRP.

Peter Baker is a retired chartered accountant. He worked in the Australian Taxation Office for some 30 years, leaving at acting Assistant Commissioner level to go into private practice in the NSW Riverina.

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