Extract. “The world’s gone mad,” the old reporter said as he passed people on his morning walk. “Didn’t make any sense anyway,” comes the response. Australia is shutting down. Extreme measures introduced purportedly to stop the spread of Covid-19 are… Continue Reading →
Photography by Dean Sewell The Carlisle Hotel in the back streets of Newtown in Sydney’s inner-west is one of the few places left in Sydney where the wowsers have not won; an old-fashioned pub in an increasingly strictured, shuttered country. Hotels… Continue Reading →
By John Stapleton. Photography David Sandford. The spooks were easy to spot. Most Australians couldn’t afford a new iPhone, and certainly not in that part of town. Old Alex felt decidedly unsafe, packed up the apartment, both glad to be… Continue Reading →
Extract: Hideout in the Apocalypse “You must heal yourself, no one else can, no one else should,” reads one of the placards posted around Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini in Nepal, where he had spent several months not so long before. Of… Continue Reading →
Hideout in the Apocalypse is about surveillance and the crushing of Australia’s larrikin culture.
In the last two years the Abbott/Turnbull government has prosecuted the greatest assault on freedom on freedom of speech in the nation’s history.
The government knew from international research that when it introduced the panopticon, universal surveillance, into Australia it would have a chilling effect on the culture. When people know they are being watched, they behave differently. Dissent is stifled, conformity becomes the norm. This is the so-called chilling effect.
Forced to use novelistic techniques to tell a fantastical story, in his latest book Hideout from the Apocalypse veteran reporter John Stapleton confirms the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction.
His essential theme: a place which should have been safe from an impending apocalypse, the quagmire of religious wars enveloping the Middle East, is not safe at all.
“Australia is a democracy in name only,” says John Stapleton. “The war on terror has become a war on the people. It has justified an enormous expansion of state power. Ideas are contagious, and the Abbott/Turnbull government is afraid of them.