×
Diary

Diary Australiarss

Diary

1 November 2014

The last week in parliament has been the political equivalent of a burger with the lot. The PM’s whistle-stop tour to Indonesia for the inauguration of its president, the passing… Read more

Diary

25 October 2014

I am an atheist, not one of those leftie agro ones. I respect people who have faith; I just don’t share it. That means my cathedrals are not limited to… Read more

Austro-Sino diary

11 October 2014

Austria is one of those nations which is known by everybody, but visited by few. Though considered to be within the very epicentre of Europe, economically, culturally and technologically it’s… Read more

Diary Australia

4 October 2014

Riding to work just seems obvious from this range: an easy 15 minutes from Fitzroy to the Southbank home of the ABC. It’s one of the true and simple pleasures… Read more

Labour MP Annette King waves to media before a Labour leadership meeting at Parliament on November 20, 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. Image: Getty

Diary Australia

27 September 2014

Every three years in New Zealand, incumbent politicians must hit the campaign trail. Since 2008, I have chased votes in the Rongotai electorate. My Labour opponent, Annette King, has held… Read more

Diary

13 September 2014

The first week of September marks not only the first anniversary of the election of the Abbott Government, but the seventy-fifth anniversary of Britain’s declaration of war against Nazi Germany.… Read more

Polynesian diary

6 September 2014

Speccie Oz editor Rowan Dean called, sounding incredulous. His mother had just rung him. Radio 2GB said I was eloping to French Polynesia, was it true? Er, yes, but don’t… Read more

Diary Australia

23 August 2014

Walking across the playing fields of St Edmund’s College, Canberra, my mind wanders back 36 years to the day I ran out for Marist’s First XV on the main oval.… Read more

Ethiopian Diary

16 August 2014

My partner Billy and I are in Gondar, in north-eastern Ethiopia, a few bone-jarring hours’ drive from the Sudanese border. All the other foreign guests in our hotel seem to… Read more

Diary Australia

9 August 2014

At the season launch for the 1987 Sheffield Shield, the South Australian captain, David Hookes, was seated next to Don Bradman.  After the usual preliminaries, the Crow-Eaters’ conditioning coach made… Read more

Diary Australia

2 August 2014

Like Ray Charles and nearly as short-sighted, a couple of years ago I moved to the outskirts of town. I’m in Woolwich, a long way east, where the river is… Read more

Chemo Notes

26 July 2014

It’s now six months since I was diagnosed with cancer. That was a terrible start to the year. The surgeon informed me that, at my stage of the disease, survival… Read more

Diary Australia

26 July 2014

After years of arguments, days of negotiations and hours of speeches from the Greens, the carbon tax was finally abolished. The symbolic emblem of Julia Gillard’s reign didn’t end with… Read more

Diary Australia

19 July 2014

Australia is a long way from the US. I left Washington on 4 July of all dates for Melbourne, there to deliver the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission’s annual Gandel lecture,… Read more

Sicilian Diary

19 July 2014

Most of my dealings with the mafia — to the best of my knowledge — have been pleasant ones. Visiting Sicily three years ago, we stayed at a delightful hotel… Read more

Diary Australia

12 July 2014

To Darwin, for the wedding of dear friends. An idle morning in that gem of a city provided me with the NT News — what a discovery! After the arrest… Read more

Diary Australia

5 July 2014

Many readers would be aware of the recent passing of Ray Evans. Ray’s funeral service was held last Friday at the Anglican Parish of Christ Church, Brunswick. Ray’s children spoke… Read more

Diary Australia

28 June 2014

Everyone who appears on the cover of a magazine feels angst about how they look. As the editor of a magazine, I sympathise, I really do. Yet I also have… Read more

Diary Australia

21 June 2014

One of the worst aspects of the way we go on these days is not only that we are all so uncivil to each other, but we all accuse each… Read more

Scottish diary

14 June 2014

Not so long ago I travelled to Dumfries, Scotland, the first leg of the trip being on an Emirates A380. This was my first time on the world’s biggest passenger… Read more

London Diary

7 June 2014

I am a stickler for the rule that a London diary should start with a cabbie story, so… In a taxi en route to the Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury the… Read more

Beersheba diary

31 May 2014

Chips Rafferty never came to Beersheba. And he definitely never visited Be’er- Sheva, ‘The Opportunity Capital of Israel’. Be’er-Sheva was the Hebrew Bible’s name for Abraham’s city and it lives… Read more

Diary

31 May 2014

One of my favourite destinations when travelling internationally is the airport bookshop. Not to buy a book. I just love standing in front of the business books. They are so… Read more

Diary

24 May 2014

Budget day. It has its time-honoured rituals which outlive governments of all persuasions. There’s the pre-budget leaks both intentional and accidental. The Treasurer’s pre-budget photo opportunity with his family, the… Read more

Diary

17 May 2014

I muttered an abusive riposte. This breaks the first rule of dealing with demonstraters even when they stick their murderous contorted faces slap-bang in yours. Expressionless and silent, always the… Read more