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Diary

Diary Australiarss

Diary

19 April 2014

Some years ago, on a flight from Adelaide to Sydney, while putting my hand luggage in the overhead compartment, I caught the attention of the cabin manager. As I resumed… Read more

Diary

12 April 2014

A lamentable by-product of the media in the digital age is its frequent lack of good manners. Ridiculing opponents rather than answering their arguments increasingly characterises what passes for public… Read more

Diary

5 April 2014

I’ve recently rediscovered the lost, forbidden pleasure of the smoko. My earliest memories of enjoying a smoko were back at school, when my friend Simon and I would scurry across… Read more

Diary

29 March 2014

A rabbi, a Catholic priest and an Anglican minister all gathered for afternoon tea. No, it’s not the start of a bad taste joke: it is the mid-point for what… Read more

Diary

22 March 2014

I don’t normally put a great deal of thought into my tweets. Chatting idly on Twitter one night I had no idea that I was about to send out a… Read more

German Diary

15 March 2014

The Greeks may fear and loathe Frankfurt as a crass citadel of German capitalism. Not me. It’s Germany’s aviation and financial hub, but my experience of the city is a… Read more

Diary

8 March 2014

Here’s a piece of news you may have missed. The EU has shelved its trade talks with India. At the same time, the tiny European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein,… Read more

Diary

1 March 2014

My wife and the mother of our six children, Lucia, is from an Italian family and two of our disagreements are whether Bolognese sauce can be served with spaghetti and… Read more

Diary

22 February 2014

The Governor-General hosted an informal BBQ dinner for parliamentarians and their partners at Yarralumla the night before the first day of sitting for 2014. Happily everyone seemed in good form,… Read more

Diary

15 February 2014

I watch yet another ugly Schapelle Corby scene on the television news: she’s being released from prison and bundled into a car surrounded by dozens of photographers and journalists. There… Read more

Diary

8 February 2014

Here in Patterson Lakes — Melbourne’s Mecca for cashed-up tradies and tattooed ladies — Tony Abbott has an image problem. Being a man so often pictured in his swimwear, the… Read more

Matt Damon in Davos (Photo: AFP/Eric Piermont)

Davos Diary

1 February 2014

‘Shaping a better world’, the theme for this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, was nothing if not ambitious. ‘I used to say it was a gathering of… Read more

New Zealand Diary

25 January 2014

Someone spilled duty-free liquor by the baggage carousel. I am flying and then bang: I land at Auckland airport. My first impression is the locals are friendly. ‘Don’t worry,’ I… Read more

Mother country diary

25 January 2014

Being a wife has privileges. They’re called in-laws. And it was within that spousal remit that I recently headed to London to attend a splendid dinner at the even more… Read more

Diary

18 January 2014

Tony Abbott became the seventh Australian Prime Minister to select a PM’s XI to play against a major touring team, when his side, led ably by evergreen pace bowler, Brett… Read more

Notes from a gap year

18 January 2014

When taking a gap year, it is meant to be just that. A year. Alas, I’m into my second year (sorry, Mum) and I’m travelling around meeting friends made during… Read more

Diary

11 January 2014

‘A bunch of Y-front wearing pansies’ is how one of my conservative friends describes the Abbott government. It’s an interesting observation, built around a common right-wing view that Team Abbott… Read more

Saint Petersburg

Diary

4 January 2014

As Australia faces a new year of fiscal restraint, sobering economic news and reduced circumstances, it’s interesting to reflect on the difference between the Abbott government and that of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd.… Read more

Diary

14 December 2013

The editor rings in a sweat. Tony Abbott was to have written this diary but dashed off to South Africa for the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, taking Bill Shorten… Read more

Notes from a Media tart

14 December 2013

One of the drawbacks of writing for a magazine as esteemed as the Spectator Australia is that you are assumed to be a person of some vague intellect with informed… Read more

Diary

7 December 2013

One of the joys of travelling to outposts of the Anglosphere is that it’s often much more British than Britain. Sydney — despite trying all too successfully to look like… Read more

Diary

30 November 2013

I flew from London into Sydney, then Melbourne, to make three dinner speeches in a row. Through nerves I never finished the main course of three dinners. Pity, because in… Read more

Notes from abroad

30 November 2013

When someone ten years your junior asks you to drop your pants you know it’s going to be an interesting evening. Saturday started normally. My partner and I were hosted… Read more

Conrad Black’s diary: Sydney, Murdoch, Paxman and other stories

23 November 2013

What a pleasure it was to be back in Sydney this month after an absence of 14 years. That city has lost none of its world-famous natural attractions, geographic and… Read more

Notes from abroad

23 November 2013

Flying across the Pacific, I am reading two new works from the recent explosion of books on the outbreak of the Great War — Paul Ham’s 1914 and Max Hastings’s… Read more