The team behind State, Sarah Jeffrey and Ian Tan, sit down to reveal their summer reading list, reflect on 2017, offer their thoughts on the year ahead and more as State ramps up for an exciting year.
Sarah is the Head Editor of State while Ian is the President of the Politics Club.
Your 2017 person of the year, and why?
Ian: Theresa May. She’s a battler, she’s a fighter and she hangs in there — no matter how tough things get.
Sarah: Every person who made a Vine compilation so I could spend hours escaping the world news.
Favourite Guild outlet?
Ian: Hackett has the ambience, Guild Cafe the coffee, the Tavern the chips — but it has to be that new Pasta place in the Ref; great food at a decent price.
Sarah: The Tav — nothing beats hot chips and cold cider.
Bitcoin in 2018 — boom or bust?
Ian: Bust — never held currency cryptography in high esteem.
Sarah: I know it’d be somewhat major news either way, but is it wrong of me to say I do not care at all what happens with Bitcoin?
Leadership challenge against Turnbull in 2018?
Ian: Things are unlikely to improve between now and early May — when Turnbull is expected to reach his benchmark of losing 30 Newspolls in a row. The Budget will be delivered shortly after and if there’s no sustained improvement in the Liberal’s position, especially as marginal MPs eye the impending election in 2019, Turnbull will be exposed and vulnerable. But who could successfully challenge Turnbull? Morrison is tainted by affiliation, Bishop is unpopular among conservatives, while Dutton and Porter are defending marginal seats.
Sarah: Possibly, but there’s a few things that could hold the Liberals back. One, with the whole citizenship saga there’s been too much instability in Parliament recently, so it’d be difficult to paint Turnbull going to be seen as a good thing. Two, there was a strong contrast in how Abbott and Turnbull were perceived prior to the spill, but there’s not really anyone else in the Liberals that has a stronger stand in terms of appearances than Turnbull — there’s just not really anyone popular enough, either within the party or with the voting public, to replace him. Three, there are many people, myself included, who view Bill Shorten as more or less un-electable for a variety of reasons. Unless Turnbull seriously stumbles this year, I don’t think he’ll go unless Shorten does and is replaced by someone far more popular — and even that isn’t particularly likely.
Summer reading list?
Ian: Betting the House by Tim Ross and Tom McTague, which takes an inside look of the 2017 UK General Election; Jeffrey Archer’s new book Tell Tale, and I’ve been told André Aciman’s Call Me by Your Name (since turned into a movie) is worth a read.
Sarah: The World Peace Diet by Dr. Will Tuttle; The Journey’s Echo by Freya Stark; South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami; and Dispatches from Syria: The Morning They Came for Us by Janine di Giovanni, plus anything else that looks good if I have the time.
Favourite political tweet from 2017?
Trump’s first year?
Ian: Done some good things — but he should become more Presidential.
Sarah: I’m exhausted. Insufferable rants on Twitter, violent narcissism, attacking the free press (except for Fox News, obviously), endless lying, defending literal white supremacists and neo-Nazis, moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, threatening other countries if they don’t support the US’s move, constant trips to play golf instead of doing his job (though that might actually be a good thing), the fact that one of the guys from Jersey Shore knows more about climate change than him… and his cronies still defend him as America’s saviour.
Odds Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM in 2018?
Ian: Corbyn made the same promise last year that he’ll be PM by Christmas. It’s not a bad trick — keeps his supporters excited, but May is secure until 2019 at the earliest.
Sarah: No way. Corbyn is delusional.
Favourite political quote?
Ian: “This loss hurts, but never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.” — Hillary Clinton.
Sarah: Paul Keating’s “The answer is, mate, because I wanna do you slowly.”
Mandurah — regional area or part of Perth metro?
Ian: It’s Perth metro in everything but in the eyes of the law.
Sarah: It counts as Perth metro now, but was definitely regional when I was a kid.
Predictions for US mid-term elections?
Ian: Mid-terms have tended to see swings against the party occupying the White House, but also generally favouring the Republicans due to lower voter turnout. It’ll be a numbers game — who will turn out who to vote, and while the map currently favours the Republicans, the Democrats have shown that they can energise their base to turnout to vote. I’m calling the Democrats to take the House, but Republicans likely to retain the Senate.
Sarah: The Democrats have an uphill battle, but the combination of Trump and the Alabama special election proved how important it is for people to get out and vote for the decent candidates. If the Democrats can capitalise on the frustration with Trump and the fact that an accused paedophile nearly got elected to the US Senate, plus recognise what they did wrong in the Presidential election and what they did right in Alabama, I think they could win at least one of the chambers. That’s a big if, though.
Kiss, Kill, Marry — Trump, Putin, Mugabe?
Ian: Kiss Mugabe, Kill Trump, Marry Putin.
Sarah: I’d be doing the world a favour if I killed all of them.
Best TV show or movie watched on Netflix in 2017?
Ian: Handsome Devil was decent and the most memorable; Greenleaf a close second though Schitts Creek remains a long-time favourite.
Sarah: Grace & Frankie — what could be better than Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin living together in a beach house and making vibrators for older women?
Emotions heading into 2018?
Ian: Cautious optimism.
Sarah: Ditto. I think 2017 showed how important it is for people to be informed by credible sources, and if that knowledge is put into action, there’s reason to be hopeful.
Ian is the President of the UWA Politics Club. He is currently going into his third year, majoring in Political Science & International Relations and History.
Sarah is the State Head Editor and an Ordinary Committee Member of the UWA Politics Club. She is studying a double major in Political Science & International Relations and Population Health.