Editing a small magazine is like writing a poem. It is half judgment, but also half inspiration. It can never be done by a committee. So I sensed disaster when I read that the Monthly in Melbourne boasted a committee that met regularly to make editorial decisions (even if it did meet, as reported, in Jimmie Watson’s wine bar in Carlton.) The idea of an editorial committee trying to direct, overrule or censor the editor is repugnant, philistine and almost always counterproductive. At best, such a committee is useful as a list of names to indicate support. One or two of them may have an idea worth ringing the editor about. But it cannot edit a magazine. When Paddy McGuinness became editor of Quadrant I agreed to be listed as a member of an editorial committee to show my support for him, but I told him that as soon as anyone called a meeting of the committee, I would immediately resign.