Leading article Australia

Whitewashing Whitlam

25 October 2014

The tears flowed in time for the seven o’clock news, a bizarre long march all the way from new parliament house to old was enacted by the motley crew who… Read more

Getting shirty

18 October 2014

Several recent events highlight the fragile faultlines between jingoism, patriotism and national security; a fissure that the Left are desperate to crack open into a major chasm in the seemingly… Read more

Redeeming Joe

11 October 2014

There is a grain of truth (for once) in Julia Gillard’s assertion that for Peter Costello ‘it was easy to be Treasurer’. Certainly, the debt Paul Keating left behind pales… Read more

We are all Israelis now

4 October 2014

‘ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree,’ asserted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week in a fiery speech to the United Nations. ‘When it comes to… Read more

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

Diary Australia


Paul Murray

25 October 2014

I am an atheist, not one of those leftie agro ones. I respect people who… Read more

Alan Gold

11 October 2014

Austria is one of those nations which is known by everybody, but visited by few.… Read more

Jonathan Green

4 October 2014

Riding to work just seems obvious from this range: an easy 15 minutes from Fitzroy… Read more

Australian Notes

25 October 2014 Aus

Among Gough Whitlam’s greatest moments were his acceptance both of his Dismissal in November 1975… Read more

18 October 2014 Aus

Since arriving in the Senate on July 1, there are two things I have learned.… Read more

11 October 2014 Aus

What do we leave behind us when we die, asked the Prime Minister? Our deeds… Read more

13 September 2014 Aus

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

Freedom’s just another word

25 October 2014

Do you tend to judge people by what they say or by what they do? Imagine you and your spouse have neighbours whom you both really like. You’ve invited them… Read more

Polishing Gough

25 October 2014

The last great, failed moderniser has gone. More of that in a moment. For now, let’s talk about me. I airbrushed Gough Whitlam into history. Well, not exactly. Just after… Read more


Whitlam – my part in his downfall

25 October 2014

My mother used to say ‘If you can’t say something nice about the dead, don’t say anything at all.’ Of course, that does not stop you from saying the nice… Read more

The difference a day or a few foetal grams can make

25 October 2014

Whenever I hear of a piece of legislation as a possessive proper noun, I wonder as to the tragedy that befell the person named. Occasionally the full title of the… Read more

Now it’s the tranny-state

18 October 2014

Why are trannies so touchy? So touchy that even that use of the word ‘tranny’ – which, yes, is designed to make a point – will have them reaching for… Read more


It’s Our Inquisition

18 October 2014

Is there a growing divergence between television news programs and the profession of journalism? Are the hosts of radio and TV shows, like the shock-jocks of commercial radio, becoming judge… Read more

Brown by Dallimore

4 October 2014

I regret to say that this will be my last column, at least in this regular form. I am afraid that my work, particularly in arbitration and mediation, has so… 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

25 October 2014

For most citizens, it goes without saying that MPs should conduct themselves ethically. Apparently for some MPs, though, the obvious does need to be stated. An inquiry has looked into… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

25 October 2014

A highly successful tour of European festivals is a great boost to an orchestra. Not… Read more

Donald McDonald

18 October 2014

Happy is the theatre company that can enjoy the regular services of a genuine international… Read more

Donald McDonald

11 October 2014

I’ve never entirely understood why big cities have arts festivals. Melbourne and Sydney are both… Read more

Donald McDonald

4 October 2014

He was born into Australian ballet aristocracy but now lives in Houston. Stanton Welch is… 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

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