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'We need a new word for crisis': the view from Athens 

The cash machine queues are calm – for now. But where does it go from here?

Australiarss

Leading article Australia

Gotcha in reverse

The ABC, through its glamour couple Sarah Ferguson and Tony Jones, did Tony Abbott two huge favours this past month. Its brilliantly ruthless documentary The Killing Season has shown not… Read more

Constitutional smoking ceremony

The push for changing our Constitution to recognise explicitly the special status in Australia of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders is well and truly on, but misguided. Tony Abbott is… Read more

Changing seasons

February seems a long time ago. It’s not only the seasons that have changed, so too has the entire political climate. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recovery grows in strength and… Read more

Get a job

‘I grew up… with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and he looked for work. And he kept looking till he found it.’ Ah, those were… Read more

Road to Darlinghurst

Lo and behold the number of politicians enjoying a last minute Road to Damascus conversion – or should that be Road to Darlinghurst? – on the subject of gay marriage.… Read more

To the core

Whilst John Howard struggled with his ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ promises, it may well be core and non-core values that end up defining his successor, Tony Abbott. Explaining the decision by… Read more

Diary Australia

Diary

George Brandis

27 June 2015

The last Parliamentary fortnight before the winter recess begins with the focus on national security,… Read more

Elle Hardy

20 June 2015

Talking politics in Central Asia is often unwise, so I try to bring it up… Read more

Peter Costello

13 June 2015

Before there was Nineteen Eighty- Four and Animal Farm, there was Homage to Catalonia written… Read more

Australian Notes

4 July 2015 Aus

Who won the wooden spoon for obtuseness among the swarm of the ABC’s apologists for… Read more

27 June 2015 Aus

I had occasion the other day to dig up a piece I had written 50… Read more

20 June 2015 Aus

It was back in the mists of time but I easily recall the day in… Read more

13 June 2015 Aus

The redoubtable Andrew Bolt wants a referendum on same sex marriage. Edmund Burke gave the… Read more

Elevating victimhood

4 July 2015

The latest bubble of gas to arise from the identity politics cauldron is the case of US civil rights activist and blackface method actress Rachel Dolezal. The story of a… Read more

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Normandy landing

4 July 2015

When you’re told by a Harley Street specialist that you’re not, as you had feared, about to cark it, you tend to cast around for something vaguely life-affirming. So I… Read more

Squawk du jour

4 July 2015

It seems as if every parrot in every pet shop is squawking over and over ‘Don’t make jihadists stateless’ and ‘Conviction first’. At least, we hear little of the former… Read more

Islamic State, Year One

4 July 2015

Last August, full of piss, vinegar, and youthful enthusiasm, I wrote a piece in this publication entitled ‘Smash the Islamic State’, which argued for a cohesive and forceful response to… Read more

Our ABC – independent or not?

4 July 2015

In 2012, during the dying days of the Gillard Labor Government, two pieces of media legislation sailed seamlessly through the Federal Parliament. Both had timeless application and both directly, or… Read more

On the politeness front, the Aussies are bound to lose

4 July 2015

Landing in England on the same weekend as the latest Australian cricket touring party I was immediately struck by two things. One, how cold it was. Even in late June… Read more

Guest Notes

Aus-Notes-Quillpen

Robert Skeffington

20 June 2015

Like Oscar Wilde’s demand that ‘the man who could call a spade a spade should… Read more

Michael Danby

30 May 2015

Paris this spring was still beautiful, but tense. Post-Charlie Hebdo, 8,000 smart, almost chic, soldiers… Read more

Catherine Priestley

9 May 2015

‘Manchester first, or Glasgow?’ I ask Steph. She shrugs. ‘As long as we get to… Read more

Bottom Drawer

Bottom Drawer

27 June 2015

Nick Jensen threatens to divorce in protest of gay marriage… Read more

Bottom Drawer

13 June 2015

Oliver Cromwell was, apparently, not a fan of Magna Carta.… Read more

Bottom Drawer

30 May 2015

To be fair to the Hon. Dame Quentin Bryce AD,… Read more

Bottom drawer

18 April 2015

Professor Anne Twomey (‘Royal activism in the spider web of… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

4 July 2015

They’re just recovering in Adelaide from the sold-out success of the Cabaret Festival which was… Read more

Donald McDonald

27 June 2015

This is a very operatic time in Sydney; the SSO has just done Tristan &… Read more

Donald McDonald

20 June 2015

Surely the most luxuriously sensual of all operas, Tristan & Isolde makes voyeurs of us… Read more

Donald McDonald

13 June 2015

Bill Dobell is back in town. At least an aspect of his output, titled Painter… Read more

The first Clive Palmer

20 June 2015
Joh for PM Paul Davey

NewSouth, pp.328, $29.99, ISBN: 9781742234335

When former Liberal Prime Minister, John Howard, was finishing off his autobiography Lazarus Rising in 2010 I asked him whether it would contain any political bile. ‘Yes. But just one… Read more

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Winning the Cold War, losing the culture wars

23 May 2015
Memoirs of a Slow Learner Peter Coleman

Connor Court, pp.190, $29.95, ISBN: 9781925138269

On the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day, many Eastern Europeans boycotted celebrations in Moscow, marking the day with a sombre ceremony in Gdansk, Poland instead. It is a… Read more

Crank Case

16 May 2015
The Case for Palestine. The Perspective of an Australian Observer Paul Heywood-Smith

Wakefield Press, pp.160, $24.95, ISBN: 9781743053300

Paul Heywood-Smith QC has written a weak case for Palestine. A much stronger book was there to be written, but the author’s cranky perspective mars his ability to present it.… Read more

Local hero

2 May 2015
The Real Archbishop Mannix: From the Sources James Franklin, G.O. Nolan, Michael Gilchrist

Connor Court, pp.300, $29.95, ISBN: 9781925138344

Mannix Brenda Niall

Text Publishing, Melbourne, pp.464, £50.00, ISBN: 97819221821

Some of us habitually quote Orwell’s correct comparison of producing first-person prose to ‘dosing yourself with some … very deleterious and very habit-forming drug.’ But concerning Daniel Mannix, first-person prose… Read more

War and jealousy

25 April 2015
Maestro John Monash: Australia’s Greatest Citizen General Tim Fischer

Monash University Publishing; Melbourne, pp.241, $29.95, ISBN: 9781922235596

Le Hamel was the site of an extraordinary triumph of allied arms early on the morning of July 4, 1918. Appropriately it was America’s Independence Day. Under the command of… Read more

In the bunker

25 April 2015
Bearing Witness: The remarkable life of Charles Bean, Australia’s greatest war correspondent Peter Rees

Allen & Unwin, pp.568, $33, ISBN: 9781742379548

Defending Gallipoli: The Turkish Story Harvey Broadbent

Melbourne University Press, pp.306, $33, ISBN: 9780522864562

Wars make myths; probably no-one understood that better than Charles Bean, Australia’s first true war writer and a person who did more than most to create our national identity. So… Read more

In the bunker

25 April 2015
Bearing Witness: The remarkable life of Charles Bean, Australia’s greatest war correspondent Peter Rees

Allen & Unwin, pp.568, $33, ISBN: 9781742379548

Defending Gallipoli: The Turkish Story Harvey Broadbent

Melbourne University Press, pp.306, $33, ISBN: 9780522864562

Wars make myths; probably no-one understood that better than Charles Bean, Australia’s first true war writer and a person who did more than most to create our national identity. So… Read more

Ends of the earth

18 April 2015
A Wilful Woman James Talbot

Perihelion Imprint, pp.435, $29.95, ISBN: 1482587386

This story, second in a projected series (the first was The Thief Fleet, reviewed in these pages 8 December 2012), invites comparison with Thomas Keneally’s 1967 book Bring Larks and… Read more