Leading article Australia

Abbott’s Asia accolades

Abbott-watchers amateur and professional are still having trouble coming to grips with the Prime Minister’s foreign policy. The latest intellectual fad is to abandon analysis and either dismiss casually his… Read more

A royal welcome

Australia prides itself on being a young country. For generations after independence in 1901, we still saw ourselves as essentially a British people. But when the Mother Country withdrew its… Read more

Joe’s Thatcherite message

The greatest accolade that can be granted to a public figure is not a knighthood, an OA or any such other title; it’s an ‘ism’. Margaret Thatcher will always be… Read more

Our Watergate?

When we say the drama surrounding Arthur Sinodinos’s dealings at Australian Water Holdings brings back memories of Watergate, we do not mean the sorry saga will bring down a government… Read more

Diary Australia


John Schumann

19 April 2014

Some years ago, on a flight from Adelaide to Sydney, while putting my hand luggage… Read more

Tom Switzer

12 April 2014

A lamentable by-product of the media in the digital age is its frequent lack of… Read more

Rowan Dean

5 April 2014

I’ve recently rediscovered the lost, forbidden pleasure of the smoko. My earliest memories of enjoying… Read more

Australian Notes

19 April 2014 Aus

Bob Carr’s Diary of a Foreign Minister is further evidence for those who need it.… Read more

12 April 2014 Aus

My modest proposal for the reform of the Labor party is to relieve Billy Shorten… Read more

5 April 2014 Aus

I am in John Howard’s corner rather than Tony Abbott’s on the great question of… Read more

29 March 2014 Aus

Until recently the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement was on its last legs in… Read more


Bob’s your writer

19 April 2014

Everyone can quote Winston Churchill’s (somewhat disputed) zinger to the effect that while he would be sober in the morning, his chastiser would still be ugly, but I prefer another… Read more

Climate change, the movie

19 April 2014

With the release last week of the exciting third instalment of the mighty IPCC trilogy ‘Assessment Report 5’, it’s clear that the climate change industry has been closely studying the… Read more

AA671283: Literature, Music, Theatre

The slow death of free speech

19 April 2014

These days, pretty much every story is really the same story: In Galway, at the National University of Ireland, a speaker who attempts to argue against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment… Read more


Ditch the Union Jack

12 April 2014

New Zealand is considering changing its flag. And perhaps the most striking thing about the proposal is that it seems to have created as much excitement and angst overseas as… Read more


27 October 2012

The great breakthrough in Rebecca Weisser’s life has been the invention of fire. It’s not easy living in a darkened cave while editing the Australian’s opinion page and Cut and… Read more

Brown by Dallimore

19 April 2014

Monday nights are back to normal and I can watch the new season of Game of Thrones, the brilliant dungeons and dragons fantasy. You will recall that, many months ago,… 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

Letting go

19 April 2014
Anzac’s Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession James Brown

Redback, pp.160, $19.99, ISBN: 9781863956390

We are not, by our nature, a militaristic people, and it is significant that our most well-known military venture was a defeat. But somehow or other, the Gallipoli story and… Read more

A sober critic

12 April 2014
Quarterly Essay: That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution Paul Toohey

Black Inc, pp.94, $19.95, ISBN: 97818634956468

Let’s get one thing straight: gullibility is not a virtue. This simple principle appears to be difficult to grasp for many who support those who claim to be refugees seeking… Read more

Gough Whitlam: moderniser and reformer

Hero and villain

29 March 2014
The Whitlam Legacy Troy Bramston

Federation Press, pp.544, $59.95, ISBN: 9781862879034

There is a story told of Gough Whitlam as Prime Minister speaking with his Treasurer, Bill Hayden. It is late 1975 and Hayden has just been informed by the Treasury,… Read more

The new Garnaut Report

8 February 2014
Dog Days: Australia After the Boom Ross Garnaut

Redback, pp.304, $19.99, ISBN: 9781863956222

Yes, economics really is a dismal science, if this book is to be believed. Even when things are going right, they’re just setting up you up for disasters down the… Read more