OPINION: Newman’s autobiography straight to the bargain bin

THIS week will go down in the annals of publishing history as the week Campbell Newman's approved biography was released...................Well, perhaps not.

It has been reported that a number of bookstores have refused to stock it.

Whether they have taken this step due to Can Do defunding the Premier's Literary Awards quite early in his first/only term, or because they perceive a lack of consumer demand is open to speculation.

Political autobiographies and biographies seldom sell that well in Australia; gauging how quickly they get consigned to the Bargain Bin. Rightly or wrongly (and in may instances, the latter), Australians spend more per annum on publications like New Idea and Who than on a good political biography.

Perhaps we need more University lecturers.

However, I reckon we have had way too many of these books than we can take, this past decade.

Perhaps it's indicative of the number of politicians who have spectacularly crashed and burned in that period.

They shouldn't be so eager to rush to publication.

Give it about, say, 5 years before writing your memoirs. Give time a chance to put your "legacy" in it's proper perspective.

Now, I'm not saying that those who have fallen should refrain entirely from putting pen to paper in the interim.

Goodness knows, the idle mind of a failed pollie could be a dangerous thing.

Let them give us books like 50 Ways To Welsh A Rarebit by Julia Gillard, or the poetry of Chairman Mao by Kevin Rudd.

Or maybe instead of giving us Battlelines - The Sequel, Tony Abbott could publish The Psychology of the Knitware of Sarah Lund......I would SO buy that!


Back on the lack of interest of Australians to buy political biographies. I must confess I have only ever purchased one in my entire life; that of Mark Latham.

Having read to the third chapter, I was able to form two important impressions:

1. Just how close we came to getting a PM with a mutant form of Tourettes and

2. Just how brilliant the book works as a wonky table stabiliser.

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