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How to defeat a caliphate 

Private military contractors have a bad name, but a great record against the Islamist insurgency in Nigeria

Australiarss

Leading article Australia

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

Getting it wrong

Could our progressive elites have got it more wrong? Far from being derided by the ‘enlightened’ countries of Europe and our ‘incensed’ northern neighbours, Tony Abbott is being emulated by… Read more

Labor’s pyrrhic victory

By winning the battle, Labor have managed to lose the war. With such a monumental strategic blunder, Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen have in all likelihood handed the next election… Read more

Fermare le barche!

Yet again, the world looks to Australia’s Coalition government, and in particular to Tony Abbott, for guidance on a problem of international security. No other government, and indeed no other… Read more

Useful idiots

Tony Burke and Tanya Plibersek are laying down the ‘welcome’ mat for Islamist terrorists to take over the West Bank, enslave the Palestinian people, and threaten a bloodbath with Israel.… Read more

Devil in her ayatollahs

Looking like a cross between Princess Diana and Michael Jackson, our glamourous foreign minister last week rocked into – of all places – Tehran. Her mission? To convince the Iranian… Read more

Diary Australia

Diary

Josh Frydenberg

30 May 2015

There was a big story last week. It involved ministers, the media and the long… Read more

Stephen Loosley

23 May 2015

At the end of the week of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s second Federal Budget, I recalled… Read more

Angus Taylor

16 May 2015

Just under two weeks until Budget. The office inbox is flooded with the first anti… Read more

Australian Notes

30 May 2015 Aus

Good advice from the (Anglican) Church of Ireland: ‘We now sincerely urge a spirit of… Read more

23 May 2015 Aus

The latest conflict of Church and State in New South Wales began when the state’s… Read more

16 May 2015 Aus

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which… Read more

9 May 2015 Aus

I have to concede that I was one of those who long years ago fell… Read more

Some boats shouldn’t be turned back

30 May 2015

Reports that an Australian naval ship, HMAS Choules, has secretively returned about 50 Vietnamese boat-refugees to Da Nang in Vietnam are, if true, so far beyond shocking one is left… Read more

Return of the Three Elevens

30 May 2015

Stuck in the unforgiving traffic congestion of Melbourne’s inner north, near where the tunnel which would have fixed it should be, I was confronted by a startling sight. Directly in… Read more

Clash of symbols

30 May 2015

The 1967 referendum exemplifies the difficulties of symbolism in Indigenous affairs. Over 90 per cent of Australians voted ‘Yes’ at the constitutional referendum held that year on May 27. It… Read more

Bill Shorten, PM

23 May 2015

The commentariat is using every effort to ensure the next election results in a Labor victory. But under Bill Shorten, Labor has, like the Bourbons, ‘learned nothing and forgotten nothing’.… Read more

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Where’s Waleed?

23 May 2015

Last year, Bernard Keane of Crikey (rather loftily) asserted that the threat posed to Australia by lone wolf terrorism was merely ‘the new black’ in terrorism narratives, that terrorism was… Read more

The Mornington after Budget night

23 May 2015

On the Friday evening after each federal budget senior Liberal ministers and adjoining local MPs, Bruce Billson and Greg Hunt, hold an annual fundraising dinner. The Gunnamatta Room at Victoria’s… Read more

Guest Notes

Aus-Notes-Quillpen

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

Simon Collins

2 May 2015

I can see the London Eye from my hotel room, but for a panicky, hungover… Read more

Bottom Drawer

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

Bottom Drawer

7 March 2015

There is an awful feeling of déjà vu with Federal… Read more

Bottom drawer

24 January 2015

‘There’s so much that Britain has given to us’, said… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

30 May 2015

Forty years ago I predicted an imminent Mendelsshon revival; I’m still waiting. This month brought… Read more

Donald McDonald

23 May 2015

The Laird’s House at Skara Brae on Orkney overlooks the Neolithic settlement, uncovered in a… Read more

Donald McDonald

16 May 2015

Elijah Moshinsky is back in town, in Melbourne, where it all began. Responsible for the… Read more

Donald McDonald

9 May 2015

By any measure it was a glamorous auction. The auctioneer was Mark Politmore, aka 7th… 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

Tales to tell

14 March 2015
The Best Australian Stories 2014 Amanda Lohrey

Black Inc, pp.288, $29.99, ISBN: 9781863956963

The short story has long been a staple of Australian literature but has had something of a rough ride in the past few years. Many publishers, averse to risk in… Read more