Leading article Australia

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

You read it here first

In the digital age, weekly print magazines are not supposed to break stories, especially before the actual events have taken place. But sometimes one gets lucky. We refer to our… Read more

Hip, hip hooray for Tony Abbott’s carbon tax repeal

Barring any more sudden Ricky Muir-like surprises, it looks as if the Senate will repeal the carbon tax; so allow us a little gloating. When the Australian edition of The… Read more

Our best newspaper

In polite company, it is now well known that the Australian’s claim to be the best newspaper in Australia is not to be uttered unless accompanied by a knowing roll… Read more

Mugged by reality

When American neoconservatives rose to intellectual prominence in the 1970s, they were invariably described — not least by themselves — as ‘liberals mugged by reality’. Four decades later, that definition… Read more

Hillary and us

So it was the quail what done ’er in. Asked to give an example of the ‘outrageous sexism’ that brought down Julia Gillard, all wannabe US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton… Read more

Diary Australia


Mark Juddery

26 July 2014

It’s now six months since I was diagnosed with cancer. That was a terrible start… Read more

James McGrath

26 July 2014

After years of arguments, days of negotiations and hours of speeches from the Greens, the… Read more

John Bolton

19 July 2014

Australia is a long way from the US. I left Washington on 4 July of… Read more

Australian Notes

26 July 2014 Aus

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

19 July 2014 Aus

Forget about a double dissolution. Tony Abbott knows it would not only help Clive Palmer.… Read more

12 July 2014 Aus

‘We have the full range of politics here tonight — from the hard Left to… Read more

5 July 2014 Aus

When bombed in England bluff Bob Menzies Gave way to paranoiac frenzies; And other news… Read more

Who’s afraid of Vladimir Putin?

Stand up to a bully

26 July 2014

Tony Abbott’s clarion call for action against Russia after the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine was, to many in Europe, almost a throwback to a… Read more

Infamous confrontation: Javed Miandad and Dennis Lillee at the WACA, November 1981

Magic moments

26 July 2014

The first ever Test match that Australia played against Pakistan was a classic. It was October 1956 and the Baggy Greens were on their way home after losing to a… Read more

Hockey and the dole

26 July 2014

It is no surprise that social workers are completely unmoved by Joe Hockey’s call to end the age of entitlement. Through their peak body, ACOSS, they are opposing the government’s… Read more

Two Roses (2005)

A legendary artist

In the early 1960s Robert Dickerson gave his father a collection of his paintings. Regarding them as a waste of time, his father burnt them all. ‘They didn’t encourage my… Read more


Not at our expense

19 July 2014

That a single cent of public money was spent on the Fifa World Cup is a disgrace. The fact that the Brazilian government has contrived to spend between 15 and… Read more

Bush telegraph: get the message

Big smoke vs region

19 July 2014

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or the bush. I could continue but I am sure you discern my drift. Those who have lived in large metropolises, unless they have previously owned huge… 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

26 July 2014

Being an insomniac, I woke about 4 a.m. last Friday, turned on the BBC and there was the news already, although the details were sketchy, that a couple of hours… 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

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


Perils of activist judges

5 July 2014
Democracy in Decline: Steps in the Wrong Direction James Allan

Connor Court, pp.198, $24.95, ISBN: 9781925138184

Democracy in ancient Athens was often criticised by the aristocracy for not showing significant respect for them and their superior qualities. However, it was Socrates who came up with the… Read more

Labor renewal?

28 June 2014
Rudd, Gillard and Beyond Troy Bramston

Penguin, pp.165, $9.99, ISBN: 9780143571797

Ben Chifley once spoke about a shining light on the hill. By the time that Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard arrived, the light was that of a fast-food outlet by… Read more

2016… will she or won’t she?

Hawkish Hillary

21 June 2014
Hard Choices: A Memoir Hillary Rodham Clinton

Simon & Schuster, pp.688, $49.99, ISBN: 9781471131509

If you were contemplating running for President of the United States, a national book tour would be a handy pointer to what lies ahead: towns that blur into one, set… Read more