Cover 23 May 2015

23 May 2015

Cover 23 May 2015 AU


Getting it wrong

Could our progressive elites have got it more wrong? Far from being derided by the ‘enlightened’ countries of Europe and our ‘incensed’ northern neighbours, Tony Abbott is being emulated by… Read more

23 May 2015

I suppose no-one will believe me when I say that I predicted the result of the UK election. But I did. It just seemed to me that when voters were… Read more

Australian Diary

23 May 2015

At the end of the week of Treasurer Joe Hockey’s second Federal Budget, I recalled the caustic observation about the current state of play in Russia: ‘The main problem in… Read more

23 May 2015

The latest conflict of Church and State in New South Wales began when the state’s education department banned the use of two Anglican texts in the (optional) church-related religious classes… Read more

Winning the Cold War, losing the culture wars

23 May 2015
Memoirs of a Slow Learner Peter Coleman

Connor Court, pp.190, $29.95, ISBN: 9781925138269

On the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe day, many Eastern Europeans boycotted celebrations in Moscow, marking the day with a sombre ceremony in Gdansk, Poland instead. It is a… Read more

Bill Shorten, PM

23 May 2015

The commentariat is using every effort to ensure the next election results in a Labor victory. But under Bill Shorten, Labor has, like the Bourbons, ‘learned nothing and forgotten nothing’.… Read more

Where’s Waleed?

23 May 2015

Last year, Bernard Keane of Crikey (rather loftily) asserted that the threat posed to Australia by lone wolf terrorism was merely ‘the new black’ in terrorism narratives, that terrorism was… Read more

The Mornington after Budget night

23 May 2015

On the Friday evening after each federal budget senior Liberal ministers and adjoining local MPs, Bruce Billson and Greg Hunt, hold an annual fundraising dinner. The Gunnamatta Room at Victoria’s… Read more

Business/Robbery etc

23 May 2015

Now Heaven knows, Anything Goes. Especially if it is one of Tony Abbott’s unrewarding ‘Captain’s calls’. When the Cole Porter musical hits Sydney later this year, radio shock-jock Alan Jones… Read more

Culture Buff

23 May 2015
Portrait of William Bligh, in master’s uniform c.1776 attributed to John Webber R.A. (1751-1793) oil on canvas Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Purchased with funds provided by the Liangis family 2015.

The Laird’s House at Skara Brae on Orkney overlooks the Neolithic settlement, uncovered in a huge storm in 1850. Predating Stonehenge, nothing is really known yet about its prehistoric inhabitants.… Read more

A season of new optimism

23 May 2015

How long will the post-election rally last before the next round of market jitters kick in? Whether it’s ‘Grexit, Brexit, even Scoxit’, as Tim Price says in this issue, there… Read more

What business wants from Cameron

23 May 2015
Counting the cost: Labour offered nothing for the aspiring middle class

At a party in London’s St James’s on election night, the many senior business figures present were ecstatic. We’d had dinner, and the mood during the meal was one of… Read more

Isis is our worst possible enemy

23 May 2015

In recent months, as the country went through a general election, our focus has been on our own domestic debates. Meanwhile, the situation in Iraq has deteriorated significantly. After intense… Read more

Why relief on the markets may not last

23 May 2015
Missing man: Carney’s policies matter as much as Osborne’s

Well, few saw that coming. After a drearily overlong campaign, election night managed to surprise us after all. This election has otherwise felt a lot like Christmas. Interminable commercials, a… Read more

23 May 2015


Home The annual rate of inflation turned negative in April, for the first time since 1960, with deflation of 0.1 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, so… Read more

Big Oil can expect a long and profitable decline

23 May 2015
A sudden glut: the shale revolution has come at a time when western oil demand is falling

It was the kind of megadeal that sets pulses racing in the City. When in early April the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell unveiled a £47 billion takeover of its… Read more

Nigel Farage

23 May 2015
(Photo: Getty)

The aftermath of a general election is a difficult time for any party leader, unless like Mr Cameron you have received a shock majority. I had promised to stand down… Read more

Five smaller oil companies to watch

23 May 2015

The small oil and gas company sector, consisting chiefly of AIM-quoted companies, has been massacred over the past few years, and in particular since the oil price decline that began… Read more

23 May 2015

Cake discrimination A bakery in Northern Ireland was found guilty of discriminating against a gay couple for whom it refused to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage. Cake-baking has become… Read more

A thirtysomething's guide to pensions

23 May 2015

George Osborne, just before the election, waved his golden wand to give the over-55s access to their pension cash at long last. Lucky them. How wonderful it must be to… Read more

Lessons for Red Len

23 May 2015

With Len McCluskey, general secretary of the union Unite, keen to ensure ‘his’ members choose the next Labour leader, and the rail union RMT planning a full-blown strike, the trade… Read more

ISAs, Pensions, Saving, Investment

23 May 2015
Doomed: politicians are gnawing away pension privileges

‘Pensions are finished. I don’t think they have a future.’ Thus Michael Johnson, the Centre for Policy Studies expert on the subject. It seems an odd remark given that pensions… Read more

National Government, 22 May 1915

23 May 2015
Sir Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, speaking at Enfield, 1915 (Photo: Getty)

From ‘A National Government’, Spectator, 22 May 1915: When we wrote last week there seemed little possibility that our hopes for the formation of a National Government would be fulfilled.… Read more