Leading article Australia

Cloning Scott

30 August 2014

Ultimately, prime ministers can only ever be as good as the front bench talent they have selected permits them to be. The success of the leader is built upon a… Read more

Mathias on message

23 August 2014

As is now widely accepted, and was pointed out in this magazine shortly after Budget night (‘The budget isn’t the problem; it’s the way it was sold. Or rather, the… Read more

Back to Iraq

16 August 2014

It’s twelve years and eleven months since a single graphic image punched us in the guts with such force. Then, with smoke billowing from two New York skyscrapers, themselves symbols… Read more

Two worlds colliding

The imagery was faintly disturbing. A powerful whitefella sits in the middle of a group of Aboriginal elders, themselves surrounded by an intrigued tribe of locals, many with painted faces,… Read more

Ukrainian quagmire

‘We will not be deterred in our efforts to get on to that site and retrieve the bodies of Australians who were killed,’ proclaimed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop from the… Read more

Qualities of a leader

Decisiveness. Perseverance. Effectiveness. These are the three key words being bandied around by the world’s top diplomats to describe Australian leadership in the United Nations following the tragedy of the… Read more

Diary Australia


Chris Uhlmann

23 August 2014

Walking across the playing fields of St Edmund’s College, Canberra, my mind wanders back 36… Read more

Simon Collins

16 August 2014

My partner Billy and I are in Gondar, in north-eastern Ethiopia, a few bone-jarring hours’… Read more

Mark Latham

9 August 2014

At the season launch for the 1987 Sheffield Shield, the South Australian captain, David Hookes,… Read more

Australian Notes

23 August 2014 Aus

A rousing anthem strains the speakers as North Korea’s national carrier lands its nervous passengers… Read more

16 August 2014 Aus

The Quadrant dinner in Sydney was held in ‘a semi-secure, undisclosed location.’ Or so Roger… Read more

2 August 2014 Aus

You lookin’ for Joe?’ asked the road-worker, probably one of Joe’s constituents, as I parked… Read more

26 July 2014 Aus

At first Moscow dubbed ‘unacceptable’ Tony Abbott’s brief speeches in Parliament and elsewhere on the… Read more


Shorten comes clean

30 August 2014

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has revealed police have cleared him of an allegation that dates back nearly 61 weeks. Canberra police say the investigation has been finalised and no… Read more


Ebola – the next move?

30 August 2014

Ebola is not the last major epidemic we will experience in the endless game of chess we are forced to play with the microbial world where we seem destined to… Read more

Bottom drawer

30 August 2014

The reaction of liberals and conservatives to the Abbott Government dropping its plans to reform Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act was in equal measure angry and dismayed. Culture… Read more

Internet MANA Party-On-Tour

Mavericks and ratbags threaten the NZ Nationals

30 August 2014

When he announced in March that New Zealanders would go to the polls on September 20, Prime Minister John Key could have confidently anticipated a cruisy ride. Economic growth was… Read more

Gorton vs McMahon: the secret memo

30 August 2014

Former Prime Minister John Grey Gorton walked into the office of his successor, Billy McMahon, on the afternoon of 12 August 1971. Both men knew that a showdown between them… Read more


Smash the Islamic State

30 August 2014

Apologies to the fiercely Marx-minded readers of The Spectator Australia, but: a spectre is haunting the West, the spectre of interventionism. One may recall Irving Kristol’s famous remark that neoconservatives… Read more


27 October 2012

The great breakthrough in Rebecca Weisser’s life has been the invention of fire. It’s not easy living in a darkened cave while editing the Australian’s opinion page and Cut and… Read more

Brown by Dallimore

23 August 2014

We came from Scotland when my father was nine and his family ditched the old world a year after the end of the First World War and came to Australia,… Read more

Across the isle
29 June 2013

Thousands of kilometres from the Sturm und Drang of whirling leadership speculation in Canberra, another power struggle erupts with much more deadly consequences. The best guess is that 92,000 people… Read more

Thought bubbles

30 August 2014
The Political Bubble: Why Australians Don’t Trust Politics Mark Latham

Macmillan Australia, pp.291, $33, ISBN: 9781742614076

The Professionals: Strategy, Money & The Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia Stephen Mills

Black Inc, pp.310, $30, ISBN: 9781863956710

It is not really a surprise that political parties produce a certain number of oddballs; the scary thing is that they often rise to senior positions. It is hard to… Read more

Guilt trip

9 August 2014
Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles and Secrets from Timor-Leste Gordon Peake

Scribe, pp.256, $29.95, ISBN: 9781922070685

If you had to pick one emotion to characterise Australia’s attitude towards East Timor, it would be guilt. We are right to feel guilty about 1942, when Australian troops retreated… Read more

Oz Islam: Eid 2014, Lakemba Mosque, Sydney

Muslim integration

2 August 2014
Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia Amra Pajalic and Demet Divaroren

Allen & Unwin, pp.189, $18.99, ISBN: 9781743312926

Growing up is hard enough at any time; coping with additional cross-currents of race and religion is a whole new world of hurt. The autobiographical essays in this book provide… Read more

Battered and beaten down

26 July 2014
Stop the Presses: How Greed, Incompetence (and the Internet) Wrecked Fairfax Ben Hills

ABC Books, pp.400, $39.99, ISBN: 9780733331930

It’s surely a fancy, the conviction that my first memory of newspapering came as a three-year-old, but I swear the smell of the business has been in my nostrils ever… Read more

Bronwyn Bishop: personal attack

Unfair and unbalanced

19 July 2014
The Rise and Fall of Australia: How a Great Nation Lost Its Way Nick Bryant

Random, pp.320, $35, ISBN: 9780857983787

The thesis of this book is that there is something wrong with politics in Australia. Bryant is right, but not in the way he thinks, and his book is more… Read more

Labor partisan’s economic tale

12 July 2014
Quarterly Essay: Dragon’s Tail: The Lucky Country After the China Boom Andrew Charlton

Black Inc, pp.74, $19.99, ISBN: 9781863956567

The old saw about economics being a dismal science turns out, on the evidence of this short but interesting piece of work, to be half-right. The field is pretty dismal:… Read more