Features Australiarss

Business/Robbery etc

1 August 2015

At last Australia’s beleaguered coal industry has something going for it. After being labelled unethical by Sydney’s Anglican church and a couple of equally precious universities that have decided to… Read more

Bandana republic

1 August 2015

When the Australian nation comes together, it’s a rare emotional moment. This happened on 6 November 1999, when, dramatically, John Howard ‘broke the heart of the nation’. At least that’s… Read more

Sledging takes its toll

In 1947 a black man named Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending segregation in Major League Baseball. Dodgers president Branch Rickey chose their first black player… Read more

coverpost_specaus-1-aug_post

Dam busters

1 August 2015

Mostly journalists pick their stories. Occasionally the story picks you. Ever since Lisa Spierling described how she ran for her life with seven children along a railway track to escape… Read more

Rumble in the jungle

1 August 2015

In the surreal tropical politics of contemporary Malaysia it is good business sense to use government funds to make loss-making property investments in order to enrich personal bank accounts. Recent… Read more

Abbott, part II

25 July 2015

Last summer, few commentators were predicting that Tony Abbott − dismissed as a ‘dead man walking’ − would lead the government to the next election. This column not only predicted… Read more

Racists, fascists and socialist scum

25 July 2015

There has been much hullabaloo in the press about the recent anti-Islam rallies, and the corresponding anti-anti-Islam-rallies-rallies. In Melbourne, where the clash was most vigorous, the police went so far… Read more

coverpostashton_specaus-25-july_post

It’s a liver!

25 July 2015

Yet another abortion ‘scandal’ has hit headlines in the US. Using the familiar hidden camera recording genre, pro-choice activists posed as representatives of a ‘foetal tissue’ business. Over a white… Read more

Big Bird’s submarine choice

25 July 2015

Here’s a multiple-choice game. It’s from Sesame Street, and it’s for the Chief of Defence to present to the Abbott Cabinet. The ‘one of these things’ refrain is usually sung… Read more

Wrong diagnosis, again

25 July 2015

Repeat after me. ‘Finding ways to raise more money for government is not the same thing as undertaking much needed reform.’ Say it again, and again, and if you happen… Read more

Jeffrey Smart, The dome 1977, oil and acrylic on canvas, TarraWarra Museum of Art collection. Gift of Eva Besen AO and Marc Besen AO. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 2008.

No lemons here

25 July 2015

I was lying in bed with a cold on a typically overcast Melbourne afternoon, when an email provided a moment of grim hilarity. In its regular newsletter, a certain prominent… Read more

Why conservatives should love Shorten

18 July 2015

It’s not looking good for Bill Shorten is it? Two days in the dock at the Royal Commission, the two worst parliamentary weeks of his leadership at his back and… Read more

Heston Blumenthal. Photo: Alisa Connan

Fat Duckling

A miniature underwater world is placed on the table. It is like gazing into a rock-pool: meticulously positioned on glass over a bed of sand is tiger abalone, glistening kelp,… Read more

Orange glow

18 July 2015

I’ve been having a good think about King Billy and the Glorious Revolution. Well, I’ve been trying—my brain is a bit foggy. The NSW smoking ban went into effect this… Read more

Queering their pitch

18 July 2015

In the wake of the Irish referendum in May and the decision of the US Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage proponents in Australia have the winds of… Read more

Business/Robbery etc

18 July 2015

Some innocents believe that kindly governments provided tax benefits and forced employers to contribute to superannuation just so retirees will have a more comfortable lifestyle. Bunkum. It was really all… Read more

Dockside humour

18 July 2015

A reader of my book Australia’s Secret War: how unions sabotaged our troops in World War II has sent me an undeservedly forgotten little volume, Humour is their weapon: laugh… Read more

AUScover_110715_landscape2

Iranian bombshell

11 July 2015

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the courageous Somali woman and former Dutch MP, was in Australia some years ago to launch her book. Among the other MPs at the swanky lunch her… Read more

Hillary’s head is removed in short order before being spirited away. Photo: Melanie Cook.

Killing a Vietnamese pig

11 July 2015

The decision to kill Hillary involved little hand-wringing or soul-searching. She was a pretty annoying pig, truth be told, giving Farmer John a hard time whenever she could. She would… Read more

Qui est Charlie maintenant?

11 July 2015

It was just over six months ago that the world woke up to the news that gunmen had opened fire on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. I remember knowing… Read more

A pox on both their houses

11 July 2015

Mark your calendars. On 18 July the fricks and fracks of radical Australian politics will once again face off at duelling protest rallies in Melbourne. In one corner you’ll have… Read more

Elevating victimhood

4 July 2015

The latest bubble of gas to arise from the identity politics cauldron is the case of US civil rights activist and blackface method actress Rachel Dolezal. The story of a… Read more

simon_specaus-04-July_post

Normandy landing

4 July 2015

When you’re told by a Harley Street specialist that you’re not, as you had feared, about to cark it, you tend to cast around for something vaguely life-affirming. So I… Read more

Squawk du jour

4 July 2015

It seems as if every parrot in every pet shop is squawking over and over ‘Don’t make jihadists stateless’ and ‘Conviction first’. At least, we hear little of the former… Read more

Islamic State, Year One

4 July 2015

Last August, full of piss, vinegar, and youthful enthusiasm, I wrote a piece in this publication entitled ‘Smash the Islamic State’, which argued for a cohesive and forceful response to… Read more