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Diary Australia: 29 September 2012

29 September 2012

Prague My wife Jenny and I are in this great city again after 16 years for the 2012 General Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society. The last such meeting was… Read more

29 September 2012

For many readers, The Spectator Australia is like The Real Housewives of Orange County. Only the front bits are worth touching. After diving into Friday’s letterbox and piercing the Speccie’s… Read more

Good work, Penny

29 September 2012

It’s not unusual for political or business leaders to hog the limelight and take credit for the work done by those who toil away beneath them. So it was pleasing… Read more

I was a victim of Tony’s feminist ideology

29 September 2012

It was Tony Abbot’s fault that I just missed out on being elected as a delegate to the 1998 constitutional convention. The reason was Tony’s obsession with women’s rights. He… Read more

The demonising of Cory

29 September 2012

Like most students, I had a part-time job while I was at the ANU, although mine was slightly unusual. Throughout the long, balmy summer of 1977 I worked in a… Read more

Disappearing ink

29 September 2012

About a month ago, a London-based friend noticed my name on a long list of journalists taking voluntary redundancy and asked if I would write about it for his blog.… Read more

The Wayne Principle

29 September 2012

Nothing’s certain in politics, and if you don’t believe me, ask President Al Gore. But there may be an emerging exception to the rule: the man from Nambour, Wayne Swan.… Read more

29 September 2012

The anti-Israel lecture chosen to kick off the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in the Sydney Opera House last weekend was a significant event. About 2,000 enthusiastic Sydneysiders rolled up on… Read more

Value judgement

22 September 2012

How strange is all the fuss about that single incident in David Marr’s Quarterly Essay about Tony Abbott, ‘Political Animal’. According to Barbara Ramjan, who beat Abbott in a student… Read more

The poison of intolerance

22 September 2012

Last weekend Australians opened their bleary eyes on a sunny spring morning to the startling image of a boy holding aloft a placard calling for the beheading of those who… Read more

22 September 2012

It would be unrealistic to ignore the recent attacks on Tony Abbott. They were extreme and personal, had nothing to do with policy, were bizarre in dredging up events of… Read more

A dangerous idea

22 September 2012

On the weekend of 28-30 September, the Festival of Dangerous ideas returns to Sydney. Last year, in these pages, I lampooned the event as ‘The Festival Of Well-Worn Lefty Ideas… Read more

22 September 2012

Two great scandals and two furious calls for heavy censorship. One is about a trashy video on Islam. It’s so bad that if there had been a call for protesters… Read more

A legacy of distinction

22 September 2012

Enter an Australian bookshop — if you can still find one — and I will wager that once you get to the small non-fiction section, tucked somewhere behind the vampire… Read more

Diary Australia: 22 September 2012

22 September 2012

It seems to have been my lot this past week to be defending Tony Abbott’s integrity, or at least his non-violence. This is an odd role for a journalist to… Read more

No pollution solution

15 September 2012

The good news is that Julia didn’t lie after all. When she said, ‘There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead’, she was, in her own unique… Read more

15 September 2012

Tony Abbott made one condition when agreeing to talk at length with David Marr about his Quarterly Essay ‘Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott’. Marr could use any information… Read more

Can we dump s18C now

15 September 2012

I’m one of the most pro-Israel people to earn a living in an Australian university. I see a democracy surrounded by non-democracies, though some are improving on that score. I… Read more

No knock-out punch

15 September 2012

Listening to Emma Alberici interview David Marr on his new Quarterly Essay, the casual listener would have been forgiven for thinking Bob Santamaria was about to rise from the grave… Read more

Ladies not for turning

15 September 2012

Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls begins with a group of famous women from legend and history — Pope Joan, Griselda, the Japanese concubine/nun Lady Nijo, the Victorian traveller Isabella Bird among… Read more

Diary Australia: 15 September 2012

15 September 2012

Vladivostok THE last time I came to Vladivostok, I couldn’t. That may sound a little Irish, but in 1974 foreigners and hundreds of classes of Soviet citizens could not enter… Read more

15 September 2012

I hope no one doubts my credentials for wanting industrial relations reform. After all, I drew up the first Coalition policy on the subject in 1985 and it was widely… Read more

War stories

8 September 2012

The first and only political rally I ever joined in Australia was a large march through Sydney in February 2003. It was against Australia’s impending involvement in the invasion of… Read more

Party politics

8 September 2012

I did not hit the town to celebrate on the night of 24 March 2011, when Barry O’Farrell swept to power in New South Wales. I imagine many did, however.… Read more

8 September 2012

Puzzling all the praise heaped on the Gonski report. It contains no new ideas and simply repeats the old discredited fantasy that money will solve all educational problems. The upshot… Read more