Terry Barnes

Terry Barnes is a Melbourne-based contributor for The Spectator and The Spectator Australia.

Elon Musk has won a victory for free speech in Australia

In the unedifying clash of heads between billionaire Twitter/X owner, Elon Musk, and Australia’s e-safety commissioner Julie Inman Grant, there could only be one rightful winner. Elon Musk. On Monday, Musk’s X succeeded in having a temporary injunction thrown out by Australia’s Federal Court preventing it and Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta from posting images of last

Trudeau’s ‘coronation gift’ is just lip service to the monarchy

Cynically dressed up as a coronation-related gift to the Canadian nation, just days after the coronation, the country’s leader Justin Trudeau has unveiled a Royal Crown of Canada.   Trudeau is paying lip service to the monarchy Canada shares with Britain and the King’s other realms Not a physical gold and jewelled crown, mind you, but a virtual

The truth about Australia’s controversial crocodile cull

The Northern Territory News, Darwin’s daily paper, is known worldwide for its front pages with headlines so cleverly lurid that they outshine the efforts of the Sun’s Kelvin McKenzie in his editorial heyday. Over the years, the newspaper has run front pages highlighting everything from UFO and mythical beast sightings to the bizarre behaviour of

Australia doesn’t need a Ministry of Truth

Two unrelated acts of stabbing violence, first the random murderous rampage of a knife-wielding man in Sydney’s Bondi Junction, followed by the livestreamed knife attack on an Assyrian Christian bishop in his church, have led to a crackdown on freedom of expression in Australia. Misinformation and disinformation, our politicians have concluded, caused these grim incidents.

Australia is in danger of tearing itself apart

In her new book, Liz Truss says she likes Australia and Australians. The country is, she says, ‘like Britain without the hand-wringing and declinism’. But had Truss cared to scratch beneath the surface on her visits Down Under, she might have realised that Australians today are anything but the laid-back, easygoing, and ‘she’ll be right’

The Sydney church terror attack is a wake-up call for Australians

Sydney has been rocked by another stabbing rampage – just days after six people were murdered in a knife attack in the city’s Bondi Junction. A bishop of the Assyrian Orthodox Church, Mar Mari Emmanuel, was knifed at the altar during the incident yesterday afternoon in the working-class suburb of Wakeley. Several other parishioners were

The unimaginable tragedy of the Sydney stabbing attack

Bondi Junction, in Sydney’s affluent eastern suburbs, is well known to many British backpackers and tourists. Close to the city’s most famous beaches, it is where locals and visitors go to shop, enjoy the many cafes, or catch the train to town. The sprawling Westfield shopping complex there is a popular place. This Saturday afternoon,

Australia’s activist governor-general spells trouble for the royals

While the King and the Princess of Wales both battle cancer, the business of monarchy goes on. In the realms of the Commonwealth that includes ensuring the Crown is represented in each respective constitutional government. In Australia, though, the choice of candidate for governor-general is far from reassuring news for the monarchy. Samantha ‘Sam’ Mostyn, an

The great shame of Australia Day

Captain James Cook has fallen. Not on the shore of Hawaii’s Kealakekua Bay on Valentine’s Day 1779, but in the Melbourne bohemian bayside suburb of St Kilda. His statue was sawn off at the ankles in the dead of night with an angle grinder; his plinth daubed in a blood-red, anti-colonial slogan. The culprits haven’t

How Australia became obsessed with land acknowledgments

If you attend almost any public meeting or event in Australia these days, you’ll be greeted – some would say confronted – by a mandatory statement before it starts. Even the nation’s parliament now starts the day with this statement, ahead of the centuries-old ritual of reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Known as the Acknowledgment of

Why is Australia burying helicopters that Ukraine wants?

What do you do if you have dozens of combat helicopters you don’t want? If you’re the Australian government, you dismantle them and turn them into landfill. That’s the imminent fate of 45 Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, grounded since a crash in Queensland last summer and withdrawn from service. Australia

Australia sees sense on its plan to ditch the monarchy

Australia’s government has been determined to ‘do a Barbados’ and ditch the British monarchy for an Australian republic with an Australian president. But now, it seems, prime minister Anthony Albanese has lost his nerve. In the week that the first Australian coins of Charles III’s reign entered general circulation, and it was confirmed the King

Aussie republicans are fawning over Denmark’s new queen

According to opinion polls, more Australians want to ditch the country’s ties with the British monarchy than retain it. The Labor government of prime minister Anthony Albanese includes an assistant minister for the republic. King Charles is being dropped from Australian banknotes. Most major Australian media outlets, including News Corp’s flagship newspaper the Australian, and

Why is Australia turning its back on Israel?

In the days after the 7 October attack on Israel, Australia vowed to stand with Israel. It appears to have forgotten that pledge. When the United Nations General Assembly voted in October in favour of an immediate humanitarian truce in Gaza, Australia abstained because the motion failed to explicitly mention, let alone condemn, Hamas. James

The crushing defeat of Australia’s divisive Voice referendum

Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, urged his fellow Australians to take ‘the opportunity to make history’ today. And they did, but not in the way that Albanese had so fervently hoped. His government’s referendum, which aimed to change the country’s constitution to entrench an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory voice to Australia’s parliament and

Australia’s Voice referendum is tearing the country apart

Almost 250 years after European settlement, many of Australia’s Aborigines still face appalling socio-economic disadvantages compared to fellow Australians: lower life expectancy and school completion but high welfare dependency and incarceration rates, domestic violence, and endemic unemployment, truancy, alcohol and substance abuse. These are sad realities in such a prosperous nation as Australia. Government statistics

Sydney’s cocaine wars are spiralling out of control

The illicit moment of surreal euphoria from snorting a line of cocaine comes at a heavy price of misery and death for so many others – a dreadful toll that is plain to see on the streets of Sydney. The competition between criminal gangs for the city’s drug users has become deadly on a scale

John Howard is right about British colonialism in Australia

Almost sixteen years after he lost office and his own parliamentary seat, former Australian Liberal prime minister John Howard is still an influential political figure. Idolised by the right and demonised by the left, when Howard speaks, Australians still take notice. When Howard spoke to the Australian newspaper to mark his 84th birthday this week,

Australia’s Commonwealth games disgrace

In world sport, the Commonwealth games are a bit of a sideshow. In swimming and athletics, at least, they are seen as something of a mid-cycle training event for the Olympics. Australians, however, love the Commonwealth games. Not just because they are about friendly sporting rivalries and promote goodwill between the nearly 60 nations of

Ben Roberts-Smith and the murky debate over accountability in war

Today in Sydney, Australia’s most decorated soldier, former Special Air Services corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC, was found by a civil court, on a balance of probabilities, to be a likely war criminal, a murderer, a liar and a bully. Roberts-Smith is a huge man, towering over all around him. When he was presented alongside other