Tuesday, 21 November 2017

SMH Live: 2017 Year in Review

Lisa Davies, editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, led discussions in front of the large and demonstrative audience of subscribers – who are mainly older Sydneysiders – at a function centre on the roof of the Star Casino yesterday evening. I had bought a ticket and queued and happened to wander into the auditorium at just the right time. I was standing outside with hundreds of others on the roof overlooking the city, but my beer was finished and I decided to get a change of air, so I went indoors. I joined a column of people walking into a hallway. Inside the room, there were hundreds of chairs set up in front of a stage, so I sat down in one.

First up with Davies were Peter Hartcher and Nick O’Malley. Notable in the discussion was Hartcher saying that Trump is the symptom, not the cause, of the disease. He pointed to the fact that the American middle class hasn’t seen an improvement in its standard of living for a generation. Next on the stage with Davies were Michael Bachelard and Kate Geraghty who told some gruesome and touching stories about covering the conflict in Iraq.

Then up with Davies were Ross Gittins and Jessica Irvine. Gittins said that a banking royal commission in Australia is inevitable. Irvine said that intergenerational disadvantage is unfinished business for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Davies was up next with Kate McClymont and Sean Nicholls. McClymont agreed that the best case for a federal ICAC is that the politicians in Canberra don’t want one. Davies then went up against Kate McClymont and Malcolm Knox to talk about sport, and lastly the whole lot took to the stage to finish up the evening with a unified front. McClymont won the gong for the evening by predicting that Salim Mehajer and Fadi Ibrahim would set up a botox clinic together.

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