Leading article Australia

Silver fern leaf

27 September 2014

The extraordinary victory of John Key and his National party in New Zealand’s recent election came as a relief to many on both sides of the ‘dutch’ (including, of course,… Read more

Burkean activism

20 September 2014

‘For those who are political advocates within Palestine itself, I will never know the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in… Read more

Death cults and dole bludgers

6 September 2014

Twelve months ago, it all seemed a little too easy. Fix up Labor’s mess, stop the boats, scrap the pointless carbon tax, get the fiscal house back in order and… Read more

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

Diary Australia


Chris Finlayson

27 September 2014

Every three years in New Zealand, incumbent politicians must hit the campaign trail. Since 2008,… Read more

George Brandis

13 September 2014

The first week of September marks not only the first anniversary of the election of… Read more

Grace Collier

6 September 2014

Speccie Oz editor Rowan Dean called, sounding incredulous. His mother had just rung him. Radio… Read more

Australian Notes

13 September 2014 Aus

Tony Abbott was right. As I hurried along Phillip Street in Sydney the other Sunday… Read more

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

A funny thing happened on the way to the Senate

27 September 2014

Australia’s Constitution copied much from the United States. We explicitly opted for an American-style federalist arrangement whereby only the centre’s heads of powers are listed, and what is not listed… Read more

You can’t judge a book by its author’s genitalia

27 September 2014

Imagine that Kevin Andrews and Gerard Henderson, aggrieved at the lack of representation of Catholic authors on the high school English curriculum, set up a program whereby they visit schools… Read more

Who or what is a fair dinkum First Australian?

27 September 2014

The last thing that Aboriginal people need is affirmation in the Australian Constitution that we are in some way ‘special’ and ‘different’. Instead, we need help coming to terms with… Read more

Peshmerga fighters outside of Mosul. Photo: Getty

…and who is a fair dinkum Muslim?

27 September 2014

First, just let me just say that I neither represent, nor speak for, Islam. It’s true, I don’t. I never have. In fact, despite being an office-bearer of the Presbyterian… Read more

Time to cull this plague of dunces

20 September 2014

Labor is probably right in saying that fee deregulation will reduce the number of students attending university. One certainly hopes so. Undergraduate study in Australia is so affordable and accessible… Read more

Scotland always was a foreign country

20 September 2014

You will know by now if Scotland has decided to go it alone. I don’t, because at time of writing the independence referendum is still a few days away, and… Read more

Brown by Dallimore

20 September 2014

Troy Bramston (‘Gorton vs McMahon: the secret memo’ 30 August) joins a long line of journalists who keep repeating the official story of how John Gorton ceased to be Prime… 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

Bottom Drawer

27 September 2014

It’s good to see Liberals such as Neil Brown writing about their party’s history (‘Brown study’, 20 September’). The Liberal Party has not done enough to promote its contribution to… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

27 September 2014

It all began in the mid-1960s for the Brilliant Creatures: Germaine, Clive, Barry & Bob,… Read more

Donald McDonald

20 September 2014

It’s chamber orchestras at 20 paces. Both the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Australian Brandenburg… Read more

Donald McDonald

13 September 2014

The village of Bibbenluke sits at the point where the Monaro Highway crosses the Bombala… Read more

Donald McDonald

6 September 2014

After a red-carpeted fanfare the Emmy Awards were announced last week in LA.  There is… Read more

Head Beaters

27 September 2014
Not for Greens Ian Plimer

Connor Court, pp.275, $39.95, ISBN: 97819251138191

Optimism Bob Brown

Hardie Grant, pp.272, $39.95, ISBN: 9781742707662

Ah, democracy. The informed will of the majority. If only the practice was as simple as the theory. When it comes to issues such as climate change, one starts to… 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