Bloggers

François Hollande could still win. And this is why

25 July 2015
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François Hollande appears to have been consigned to the political mortuary. The first Socialist French president since François Mitterrand has been more unpopular than any of his predecessors in office… 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

Cover 25 July 2015

25 July 2015
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Cover 25 July 2015 AU

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Don’t raise taxes, cut them

While the media’s attention is distracted by Madam Speaker’s and other politician’s curious choices in executive travel, this week is pivotal in the battle of ideas that will decide the… Read more

Austin diary

25 July 2015

Visiting accountant turned property investor Kate Braybrook and building tradie husband Mark, who have relocated from Melbourne. Looked at 20 growing US cities before picking Austin, capital of Texas. ‘It’s… Read more

It’s a liver!

25 July 2015
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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

Culture buff

25 July 2015
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It’s the play with no name, literally. Chekhov’s first play, written in 1878, was never completed despite its estimated five hour length, was never edited or published and it remained… 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

25 July 2015

It looks like we may have an early election. So that my readers will be well-informed citizens ready to take part in the noble activity of voting, I thought it… Read more

No lemons here

25 July 2015
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.

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

If you want military interventions, Prime Minister, you'll need more of a military

25 July 2015
A RAF plane lands carrying the coffins of Britons killed in the Jihadist attack in Tunisia (Photo: Getty)

“Whether it’s in Iraq, Syria, Libya or elsewhere — as Prime Minister, if I believe there is a specific threat to the British people, would I be prepared to authorise… Read more

25 July 2015

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Home Parents would be able to have their children’s passports removed if they were suspected of planning to travel abroad to join a radical group, under provisions outlined by David… Read more

Tony Hall

25 July 2015
Ten Pieces at The Royal Albert Hall

There’s nothing quite like a First Night — and last Friday we launched the Proms, the most celebrated classical music festival in the world, now in its 120th year. There’s… Read more

25 July 2015

Gesture politics A royal home movie from 1933 apparently showed the future Queen, aged seven, and her mother giving a Nazi salute. Like the Swastika, the stiff-armed salute was not… Read more

Vespasian’s Middle East policy (it should be ours, too)

25 July 2015

As Ahmed Rashid argued last week, it is hard to see what the West is doing in the Middle East, occasionally dropping bombs on Isis, whose effect may well be… Read more

Profiteering in the pits

25 July 2015
The War Effort

From ‘Coal and its problems’, The Spectator, 24 July 1915: Instead of attempting to regulate prices, the government ought to have contented themselves with taxing profits, and by that phrase we… Read more

25 July 2015

Don’t write off Assad Sir: Ahmed Rashid refers to our ‘Arab allies’ supporting al-Qaeda (‘The plan to back al-Qaeda against Isis’, 18 July). Clearly they are no allies of ours,… Read more

The SNP surge at Westminster might just accidentally save the Union

25 July 2015
Scottish National Party politician Angus Robertson (PA Images)

There are few quicker ways to annoy an MP than to suggest that they are on holiday when the House of Commons isn’t sitting. Such a suggestion will be met… Read more

Tim Farron, an evangelical Christian, is the victim of a secular inquisition

25 July 2015
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron (Photo: Getty)

I wonder who will win the battle for Tim Farron’s soul — the Guardianistas or God? This is assuming that God gives a monkey’s either way. I know that He… Read more

My new addiction: road-building

25 July 2015
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Many years ago I was encouraged to read Roger Hutchinson’s Calum’s Road. The small and quirky book made a deep impression on me: deeper, perhaps, than I realised at the… Read more

Why the City might yet miss stroppy regulator Martin Wheatley

25 July 2015
Former FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley (Photo: Getty)

A City insider at last month’s Mansion House dinner told me the Financial Conduct Authority had become ‘a bit of an embarrassment’ — or rather, that was my bowdlerisation of… Read more

You can do anything (but you shouldn’t): the brave new world of internet morality

25 July 2015
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What, if anything, should a moral, liberal-minded person think about the hacking of the infidelity website Ashley Madison? And by ‘liberal-minded’, please note, I do not mean ‘Liberal Democrat-minded’, for… Read more