Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Publishing and politics

Book publishing and politics have always gone hand in hand. Small Publisher of the Year, Scribe Publication’s Henry Rosenbloom, was once a staffer for Gough Whitlam before finding his metier at the quire, while the NSW Writers’ Centre’s Irina Dunn was a federal senator in the 1980s. Then, of course, there’s Sylvia Hale (founder of now-dormant Hale & Iremonger), who eschewed the pleasures of publishing for the bump and grind of NSW state politics. Now we have another glittering political career in the offing, following Pluto Press owner Evan Thornley’s decision to run for an ALP seat in the Victorian Upper House this November. He won’t be far from the book industry if voters endorse him—the Southern Metropolitan Region in which he is running is basically Publishing Central, encompassing within its borders about 80% of publishing activity in Melbourne, from Camberwell to Port Melbourne and Kew to Moorabbin. Who knows, in time he might even consider such a bookish electorate worth living in.

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