Sean Kelly
is a columnist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and a former adviser to Labor prime ministers.

By this author

Opinion July 28, 2018

Negative reinforcement for Super Saturday

“This was not just negative campaigning as it is usually understood – attacking your opponent rather than focusing on your own strengths. Instead, each side put its case in terms of what couldn’t be done if the other side got its way. On company tax …”

Opinion July 21, 2018

Turnbull backs in the race favourite

“Early in his prime ministership, approval numbers rocketing, he would have imagined himself breaking the mould, a new type of leader. But like most political leaders, over time Turnbull has, wisely if not admirably, accepted the narrowness of his immediate …”

Opinion July 14, 2018

Political attention seekers to the fore

“I have just returned to Australia from some months spent in London, and it was something of a shock to return to all this. Howard fighting culture wars, Hanson pulling stunts, Latham yelling – oh, and there was Abbott, too, trying to tear down a leader …”

News September 02, 2017

Welcome to the ‘No’ case

Led by established and co-ordinated conservative voices, the ‘No’ case breaks down into three key arguments, under which sits the backbeat of homophobia.

News August 26, 2017

Keeping asylum seeker healthcare offshore

The government’s determination to avoid onshore legal challenges to asylum-seeker detention has endangered detainees requiring serious medical attention.

Opinion July 22, 2017

Security and Malcolm Turnbull’s bluff

“By now we’ve all seen enough of Turnbull not to expect a tough guy. We want the guy who knows stuff, who is across his brief, who can explain things in detail and persuade us he has it all in hand. Instead, this week, we got Turnbull as played by Sly …”

Opinion June 18, 2016

Men of few deeds

“Morrison warned that Greens activists had ‘infiltrated’ the Labor party, as though the entire election were an episode of Get Smart. ”

News June 11, 2016

The two battles of the 2016 election

“That is all you need to know about election 2016. It is a battle of two battles. The Coalition needs voters to see it as a choice between stability and instability. The ALP needs the same voters to decide their vote based on fairness versus unfairness.”

Opinion January 23, 2016

Abetz and Andrews’ petty politicking dogs statesman Turnbull

“It is the worst type of cynicism to use the battle against Daesh as some kind of proxy for the fight between Liberal moderates and conservatives.”