Right wing hunting pack 

Was it really all that wise for the conservative commentariat to hound Tony Abbott?


Leading article Australia

Tough talk

28 February 2015

‘Crack down on welfare rorters. Get tough on radical Islam.’ If there’s a whiteboard in the Prime Minister’s office (or his much-maligned Chief of Staff’s), and those words or some… Read more

Fair maiden

21 February 2015

It goes without saying that when one of our most popular columnists, Peter Coleman, instructs his band of loyal readers to check out a certain speech on a certain website,… Read more

Hockey’s mojo

14 February 2015

If we continue down that path, we are going to leave future Australians with a lesser quality of life and I’m not going to pass the buck to future generations… Read more

Big gamble

7 February 2015

The determination by many in the media, even among conservatives, to hasten the demise of Tony Abbott’s prime ministership is as pointless as it is reckless. Pointless not because they… Read more

Knight takes Abbott

31 January 2015

Of all the potent weapons we never expected to see draw blood from lifelong political battler Tony Abbott, ridicule was surely at the top of the list. Mr Abbott has… Read more

Australia Day

24 January 2015

At this time of year, perhaps more than any other, it is easy to see why Australia is the envy of the world in so many ways. The long, lazy… Read more

Diary Australia


Sharri Markson

28 February 2015

‘At a certain point, you go, there’s a human-being here and you would think this… Read more

Ed Husic

21 February 2015

I blame the BBQ ribs. Rowan Dean, Peter Van Onselen, Troy Bramston and I had… Read more

Daniel Ward

14 February 2015

Oxford students being the custodians of Western civilisation, I expect a big rollup of young… Read more

Australian Notes

28 February 2015 Aus

It was one of the Prime Minister’s best speeches. He was clear, eloquent and convincing.… Read more

21 February 2015 Aus

There were no milling TV crews or reporters at Peter Costello’s launch last week in… Read more

14 February 2015 Aus

Quos deus vult perdere, prius dementat – with apologies to Boswell. (‘Whom the gods would… Read more

7 February 2015 Aus

The remarkable thing about Tony Abbott’s speech to the National Press Club was how unremarkable… Read more


Right wing hunting pack

28 February 2015

It’s possible that Australia soon will have a new Prime Minister. Tony Abbott, seriously wounded by the recent spill, struggles to survive. Every move he makes, every breath he takes,… Read more

Sex, lies and, er, rape

28 February 2015

Wait — it’s now a crime to fib your way into bed with someone? That is the take-home message of the Kafkaesque case of Akis Emmanouel Livas, who recently was… Read more

Business/Robbery etc

28 February 2015

It was hidden away last week in the finance pages. But it will have a far greater impact on Australians than is normal for an overseas iron ore mining company’s… Read more

The liberation of butter

28 February 2015

The liberation of butter from the dietary exile to which stern medical opinion had condemned it makes you wonder what else that we’ve been magisterially told is bad for us… Read more

Out of Commission

28 February 2015

The starting gun on industrial relations reform has been fired. The Productivity Commission is about to begin a comprehensive inquiry into workplace matters; the Coalition Government is promising to look… Read more

The harlot throughout the ages

21 February 2015

Like some banana republic, Australia is in the middle of an attempted coup. Not by the army, but by the commentariat. Their theme is ‘Tony Abbott must change, and anyway,… Read more

Guest Notes


Elle Hardy

3 January 2015

‘The Aussies work out everythin’ backwards,’ says Wilson the Texan in Norman Mailer’s The Naked… Read more

Grace Collier

13 December 2014

Some Australians have forgotten how to speak their truth. Some have lost their ability to… Read more

Miranda Devine

13 December 2014

AFTER a year dabbling in radio, I listen to other people’s voices with a new… Read more

Bottom Drawer

Bottom drawer

24 January 2015

‘There’s so much that Britain has given to us’, said… Read more

Bottom drawer

3 January 2015

‘I’m sorry Jeremy, I’m going to have to de-friend you… Read more

Bottom drawer

6 December 2014

The Sex Party, according to results at the time of… Read more

Business/Robbery etc

29 November 2014

Millions of Australian investors can now sleep safely in their… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

28 February 2015

Adelaide is the perfect festival city and its once biennial, now annual, Festival has been… Read more

Donald McDonald

14 February 2015

He gave himself the name ‘Tennessee’; a creative and public relations masterstroke for a still… Read more

Donald McDonald

7 February 2015

Readers already know from this column something of the forthcoming Perth International Festival (13 Feb-7… Read more

Donald McDonald

31 January 2015

Possibly in the most beautiful setting of any theatre in the world, Sydney’s Wharf Theatre… Read more


24 January 2015
Quarterly Essay: Clivosaurus: The Politics of Clive Palmer Guy Rundle

Black Inc, pp.$19.95, 116, ISBN: 9781863957014

Not so much striding across the political landscape as huffing and puffing his way through the back rooms, Clive Palmer is an oddity even by the standards of Australian public… Read more

Under the bed

13 December 2014
Australia Under Surveillance Frank Moorhouse

Vintage, pp.298, $33, ISBN: 978085798972

The Spy Catchers: The Official History of ASIO 1949-1963 David Horner

Allen & Unwin, pp.736, $60, ISBN: 9781743319666

The bogeyman of the ASIO agent under the bed has long been an obsession of the Left, and judging from Australia Under Surveillance it will continue to be for a… Read more

Shock jock

29 November 2014
Brenno: The Life and Times of a Media Godfather John Brennan

New Holland, pp.318, $32.99, ISBN: 9781742575728

A senior Minister in the NSW government of John Fahey once told me that there was a vacant metaphorical chair at Cabinet meetings. It may have been unoccupied but everyone… Read more

It’s the Stupid, stupid

22 November 2014
A Short History of Stupid Helen Razer and Bernard Keane

Allen & Unwin, pp.336, $29.99, ISBN: 9781760110543

Ironic Capitalisation of That Which You Do Not Like is apparently A Thing. You’ll forgive me for employing this Irritating Device, for after reading A Short History of Stupid, its… Read more

Genocidal thoughts

15 November 2014
Blood & Guts: Dispatches from the Whale Wars Sam Vincent

Black Inc, pp.272, $30, ISBN: 978186395682

An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians? Geoffrey Robertson

Random, pp.294, $35, ISBN: 9780857986337

It takes a certain type of courage for a writer to complete a book and then admit that he does not really know what the conflict it describes is about.… Read more

Lazarus is back

18 October 2014
The Menzies Era; the years that shaped modern Australia John Howard

Harper Collins, pp.707, $59.99, ISBN: 9780732296124

Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, Kim Beazley, still quips that John Winston Howard is his nemesis. This does not prevent the ambassador telling perhaps the best story about Prime… Read more

In the big chair

11 October 2014
Triumph and Demise: The Broken Promise of a Labor Generation Paul Kelly

Melbourne University Press, pp.560, $50, ISBN: 9780522862102

My Story Julia Gillard

Random, pp.512, $50, ISBN: 9780857983909

Even those of us of a conservative bent hoped that the election of the Rudd government in 2007 would constitute a landmark, a welcome change, a new beginning. Looking back,… Read more

Racy reading

4 October 2014
Quarterly Essay: A Rightful Place: Race, Recognition and a More Complete Commonwealth Noel Pearson

Black Inc, pp.72, $19.95, ISBN: 9781863956819

In a field which is often characterised by polemics and hand-wringing, Noel Pearson has emerged as both a considered thinker and an active doer. So when he puts forward a… Read more