Leading article Australia

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

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

Diary Australia


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

Chris Finlayson

27 September 2014

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

Australian Notes

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

23 August 2014 Aus

A rousing anthem strains the speakers as North Korea’s national carrier lands its nervous passengers… 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

Khorasan – now even scarier than ISIS!

18 October 2014

As Islamic State jihadists slaughter and maim their way across two countries with sadistic efficiency, a new US-led Coalition of the Willing seeks to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ these Twitter-savvy… Read more

It aint over till the diabetically-challenged lady sings

18 October 2014

‘Seduction, sacrifice and side-splitting satire. 2015 has it all, buy your subscription now…’ says the promotional email for Opera Australia 2015. Save your money, I say. Lately, you don’t actually… Read more

Cheques and balances

11 October 2014

Have you heard the news? The Upper House of the Commonwealth Parliament, our Senate, has decided to launch an inquiry into how one of our states is doing business. Yes,… Read more

Deconstructing Unis

11 October 2014

So what has happened to our universities? There seems little doubt that the way they are governed has radically changed. The traditional model of governance involving a small but skilled… 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

18 October 2014

With all the modern obstacles that stand in the way of a relaxed parenthood, you’d think fellow mums and dads would stop banging the rest of us over the head… Read more

Culture Buff

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

Donald McDonald

27 September 2014

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