Doctor and activist

The Vicious Circle of Modern Politics by Barry Jones

10 December 2023

Barry Jones was a national quiz champion when Quiz shows tested knowledge not trivia. He became a Science minister in the Hawke Government from 1983-1900 and used to tell Parliament what was happening in Science and what its implications were for the future. It was a bit like throwing pearls to swine. They laughed because his pants were unfashionably baggy. But he did make some difference to policy.  At least knowledge had a voice.


He later became head of the Labor party and travelled campaigning for important issues and always taking a long view and a historic perspective. He believed, as we all did, that when more knowledge was generally available, policies would be better. Unfortunately social media, which allows everyone the same access to information also allows the same access to its dissemination, which seems to have given ignorance and simplistic populism a new lease on life.

He wrote in this week’s The Saturday Paper of how a vicious circle is created in modern politics.

Arthur Chesterfield-Evans

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