Leading article Australia

An avalanche of achievements

22 November 2014

Under what strange law of nature is it that the more successful a political party is, the further it slumps in the opinion polls? This must be the question plaguing… Read more

G’day G20

15 November 2014

Where the United Nation’s tends to wallow in popstar navel-gazing, climate change self-flagellation and tedious bouts of Israel-bashing, it is reassuring to have one international forum that might actually make… Read more

Farming carbon

8 November 2014

And so the great farming nation that rode to prosperity on the sheep’s back and through harvesting wheat now looks to turn its hand to farming, um, carbon. How this… Read more


1 November 2014

The title of Australia’s First Popularly Elected Female Prime Minister is still up for grabs, and the obvious two contenders are Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek. As John Howard has… Read more

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

Diary Australia


Sam Lipski

22 November 2014

Not your usual welcome. The duty manager at New Delhi’s Taj Palace Hotel greets me… Read more

Geoffrey Robertson

15 November 2014

‘Australia – love it and leave it’ says my t-shirt. The good news is that… Read more

Stephen Leeder

8 November 2014

Among the delusions I use to warm myself in the bleak midwinter, channeling Dr Who… Read more

Australian Notes

15 November 2014 Aus

Right and proper that generous tributes are paid at a memorial service, even if sometimes… Read more

8 November 2014 Aus

This year the world will enjoy its greatest grain crop on record. Let me say… Read more

1 November 2014 Aus

“Cape Town is a lot like Sydney,” an ex-pat yarpie had assured me. But as… Read more

25 October 2014 Aus

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

Abbott’s ‘Goldilocks’ balancing act

22 November 2014

As the G20 concludes, Australia is in a Goldilocks position when it comes to the Asia Pacific. It has good relations with China, culminating in the free trade deal, and… Read more

Feminism: no longer a Left/Right divide

22 November 2014

I am not a clubable woman. I won’t even join a book club, because my contrarian nature would get me kicked out. Naturally I am not a feminist. Not just… Read more

Business/Robbery etc

15 November 2014

No wonder so many Australians, from those with modest incomes to the very rich, now prefer to satisfy their compulsory superannuation obligations by dumping the existing super funds and doing… Read more

Breaking Republicans hearts

15 November 2014

Fifteen years ago, Australians rejected a proposal by the ruling class to ditch the Queen. This ignored all the great constitutional issues facing the nation, such as making the politicians… Read more


Natural bedfellows

15 November 2014

An interesting thing has happened to our cousins in the north – the prospect of Britain leaving the EU has moved from the unthinkable to the thinkable. The British policy-making… Read more

Apparently it’s the world’s first one-sided war

8 November 2014

Something that is true of children is also true of journalists – if you reward bad behaviour, you’ll get more of it. And while this nugget has been internalised by… 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

22 November 2014

It was a sight to behold. Scott Morrison was suddenly the darling of the twittering Left. The Immigration Minister and his foes joined hands to dispel a character called Julien… Read more

Culture Buff

Donald McDonald

22 November 2014

Andy Warhol is the star but Roy Lichtenstein is the master. That’s the quick take… Read more

Donald McDonald

15 November 2014

Jane Turner is to play a mother with a difficult daughter. No, it’s not a… Read more

Donald McDonald

1 November 2014

I’m oversensitive to criticism of Australia by famous authors. Richard Flanagan, elated at winning the… Read more

Donald McDonald

25 October 2014

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

It’s the Stupid, stupid

22 November 2014
A Short History of Stupid Helen Razer and Bernard Keane

Allen & Unwin, pp.336, $29.99, ISBN: 9781760110543

Ironic Capitalisation of That Which You Do Not Like is apparently A Thing. You’ll forgive me for employing this Irritating Device, for after reading A Short History of Stupid, its… Read more

Genocidal thoughts

15 November 2014
Blood & Guts: Dispatches from the Whale Wars Sam Vincent

Black Inc, pp.272, $30, ISBN: 978186395682

An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians? Geoffrey Robertson

Random, pp.294, $35, ISBN: 9780857986337

It takes a certain type of courage for a writer to complete a book and then admit that he does not really know what the conflict it describes is about.… 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