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Features Australiarss

Clowns to the left, Jokers to the right

1 November 2014

In the early 1970s, Scottish pop group Stealers Wheel (featuring the late, great Gerry Rafferty) had their one international hit, Stuck in the Middle with You. Its chorus sums up… Read more

Selfies are the new form of radical protest

1 November 2014

‘Perhaps we could have won WWII,’ a friend of mine mused, ‘by having Winston Churchill tweet photos of himself holding a sheet of paper saying ‘Mr Hitler, get out of… Read more

Whitlam’s dismissal – it’s not like it was all that unusual

1 November 2014

How many Australian governments have been dismissed by a representative of the Crown? Two, you might think – Lang’s in 1932 and Whitlam’s in 1975. But you would be wrong.… Read more

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Heard the one about me…?

1 November 2014

Gough Whitlam is the greatest Australian I ever knew. I followed his career avidly, joining Labor at the same time he became leader. These are among my fondest memories of… Read more

Freedom’s just another word

25 October 2014

Do you tend to judge people by what they say or by what they do? Imagine you and your spouse have neighbours whom you both really like. You’ve invited them… Read more

Polishing Gough

25 October 2014

The last great, failed moderniser has gone. More of that in a moment. For now, let’s talk about me. I airbrushed Gough Whitlam into history. Well, not exactly. Just after… Read more

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Whitlam – my part in his downfall

25 October 2014

My mother used to say ‘If you can’t say something nice about the dead, don’t say anything at all.’ Of course, that does not stop you from saying the nice… Read more

The difference a day or a few foetal grams can make

25 October 2014

Whenever I hear of a piece of legislation as a possessive proper noun, I wonder as to the tragedy that befell the person named. Occasionally the full title of the… Read more

Now it’s the tranny-state

18 October 2014

Why are trannies so touchy? So touchy that even that use of the word ‘tranny’ – which, yes, is designed to make a point – will have them reaching for… Read more

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It’s Our Inquisition

18 October 2014

Is there a growing divergence between television news programs and the profession of journalism? Are the hosts of radio and TV shows, like the shock-jocks of commercial radio, becoming judge… Read more

Khorasan – now even scarier than ISIS!

18 October 2014

As Islamic State jihadists slaughter and maim their way across two countries with sadistic efficiency, a new US-led Coalition of the Willing seeks to ‘degrade and ultimately destroy’ these Twitter-savvy… Read more

It aint over till the diabetically-challenged lady sings

18 October 2014

‘Seduction, sacrifice and side-splitting satire. 2015 has it all, buy your subscription now…’ says the promotional email for Opera Australia 2015. Save your money, I say. Lately, you don’t actually… Read more

Cheques and balances

11 October 2014

Have you heard the news? The Upper House of the Commonwealth Parliament, our Senate, has decided to launch an inquiry into how one of our states is doing business. Yes,… Read more

Deconstructing Unis

11 October 2014

So what has happened to our universities? There seems little doubt that the way they are governed has radically changed. The traditional model of governance involving a small but skilled… Read more

Libs turn 70

11 October 2014

The Liberal party, celebrating its 70th anniversary this week, was a product of passion; particularly that of Robert Menzies. The party was founded out of deeply held beliefs, and organized… Read more

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Childcare – the new frontier in the culture wars

4 October 2014

In ancient times (any time before the last decade) the only battles being fought over childcare were whether it was a one-way ticket to therapy as an adult; yet now… Read more

John Key Elected 39th Prime Minister Of New Zealand

But would you have a beer with them?

4 October 2014

Last month, New Zealand prime minister John Key won a thumping election victory. His National party was not only returned for a third term: it increased both its share of… Read more

Sheikh Google

4 October 2014

It was a shocking sight. Newspaper front pages plastered with the face of a boy, fresh from Year 12. Next to it, an image we’ve grown far too used to… Read more

A funny thing happened on the way to the Senate

27 September 2014

Australia’s Constitution copied much from the United States. We explicitly opted for an American-style federalist arrangement whereby only the centre’s heads of powers are listed, and what is not listed… Read more

You can’t judge a book by its author’s genitalia

27 September 2014

Imagine that Kevin Andrews and Gerard Henderson, aggrieved at the lack of representation of Catholic authors on the high school English curriculum, set up a program whereby they visit schools… Read more

Who or what is a fair dinkum First Australian?

27 September 2014

The last thing that Aboriginal people need is affirmation in the Australian Constitution that we are in some way ‘special’ and ‘different’. Instead, we need help coming to terms with… Read more

Peshmerga fighters outside of Mosul. Photo: Getty

…and who is a fair dinkum Muslim?

27 September 2014

First, just let me just say that I neither represent, nor speak for, Islam. It’s true, I don’t. I never have. In fact, despite being an office-bearer of the Presbyterian… Read more

Scotland always was a foreign country

20 September 2014

You will know by now if Scotland has decided to go it alone. I don’t, because at time of writing the independence referendum is still a few days away, and… Read more

Islamist barbarity can have widespread appeal

20 September 2014

In the wake of Islamic State’s murderous blitzkrieg, Barack Obama has vowed the United States will fight to destroy the militant group ‘wherever they are.’ Holding off IS’s advance might… Read more

Time to cull this plague of dunces

20 September 2014

Labor is probably right in saying that fee deregulation will reduce the number of students attending university. One certainly hopes so. Undergraduate study in Australia is so affordable and accessible… Read more