Flanagan comments on his experience of being asked to write a short introduction to be read prior to some fiction of his choosing for ABC Radio National. Flanagan recorded his contribution in the ABC's Hobart studio, but when the programme aired on 18 August 2003, almost all of the introduction had been excised. Only the final sentence was aired prior to the fiction extract.
This article reproduces the introduction in its entirety. Its content relates to personal freedoms in Australia in the political climate of the early years of the twenty-first century. It focuses particularly on government policies towards asylum seekers.