fascism blair cottrell
Far-right extremist Blair Cottrell is seen talking to supporters on St Kilda foreshore on January 5 (Image: AAP/David Crosling)

On the first shabbat of the year, swastikas appeared in Melbourne. Between you and me, I haven’t been my chatty self since then. At some point on or around January 5, I was struck by confusion, then silence.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent is good advice. It’s not much use to the reporter. On January 5, I set off to the beach for Crikey to document the ethno-nationalist rise. Still, you never heard a word from me.