Opinion July 13, 2019

Tanya Levin
What Scott Morrison’s faith means

On Tuesday night, Australia’s prime minister was praying for some “very important things”. He began to pray “for all of those veterans in our country who are doing it tough”, asking for protection and “peace over them”. …

Opinion July 6, 2019

Richard Denniss
Money, votes and the ‘pendulum’

What if money didn’t matter much in Australian politics? Clive Palmer just spent $53 million on ads for his United Australia Party and had zero candidates elected. The Greens spent about $320,000 and elected six senators and Adam Bandt in the lower …

Opinion June 29, 2019

Andrew Leigh
Social liberalism fits Labor

John Howard once called himself the Liberal Party’s most conservative leader. His successors, however, have outdone him. Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott are easily more conservative than Howard, who has now slipped to bronze on the ranking of most …

Opinion June 22, 2019

James Boyce
Government services and religious freedom

It is a peculiar fact that during the same period the number of practising Christians went into sharp decline, the church grew to be larger than it has ever been. Proportionally fewer Australians now attend worship than at any other time in history, and …

Opinion June 7, 2019

Jane Caro
Flaws in Coalition’s schools funding

The Coalition won the recent federal election at least in part on its reputation as the better economic manager. It claimed it could be trusted to take care of taxpayer dollars. But does this stand up to scrutiny? Frankly, not when it comes to the way …

Opinion June 15, 2019

Richard Cooke
Free speech, censorship and media raids

One of the first political books I bought was a faded copy of Australia’s Censorship Crisis, edited by Geoffrey Dutton and Max Harris. I picked it up more for its cover than its contents, and this turned out to be serendipitous. Though …

Opinion June 1, 2019

Sarah Krasnostein
Character assessment in sentencing decisions

Some time between 8.58am and 10.43am on June 29, 2016, after Borce and Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, left for work, Borce killed Karen, his wife of 27 years, in a manner known only to himself. He then moved her body from their home, placed …

paul bongiorno

Opinion July 13, 2019

Scott Morrison, prayers and Hillsong

Rapturous applause welcomed Scott Morrison to the annual Hillsong conference. Twenty-one thousand delegates bowed their heads as the prime minister led them in prayer for our nation – for veterans doing it tough, young people considering suicide, …

Opinion July 6, 2019

Faith and tax cuts as 46th parliament begins

In politics, so the wisdom goes, “perception is reality”. And this week, with the opening of the 46th parliament, the perception and the reality of the federal election hit home, particularly for the vanquished Labor Party. But for the victors, …

Opinion June 29, 2019

Labor’s contortions on tax package

This weekend Scott Morrison is rubbing shoulders with 19 other world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, enjoying the status of Australia’s newly elected prime minister. It’s perfect cover for the softening economy back home. Before his departure, …


Opinion July 13, 2019

A matter of respect

The photo is red earth and a line of bodies, snaking the length of the frame. Climbers locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a desperate push to summit. They fill the surrounding campgrounds, and every motel for a hundred kilometres. Their rubbish on the roadside, their black waste dumped in the backyards of unsuspecting properties. For so long, the Anangu people have asked visitors not to climb Uluru. They never banned the practice, asking only for respect, “that, as a guest on Anangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing”. Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima.

Opinion July 6, 2019

Destroying Australia

And so it passes, the greatest assault on the safety net from which Australian life is built. Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are through and the revenue base that provides for health and education and social welfare is shredded. The legacy of the 46th parliament is there in its very first week: the destruction of the social compact that made this country stable.

Opinion June 29, 2019

Maybe God didn’t make your penis

The defining feature of homophobia is that the people who hate you are picturing you having sex. Michael Kirby once made this point, although not as bluntly. The hatred is a kind of jealousy. The challenge of queer sex is a challenge to the notion that intimacy shared between a man and a woman is somehow special. It isn’t.


Opinion July 13, 2019

Gus’s power play defused

Fantastic Angus has been so busy with explanations about the poisoning of endangered grasslands on a family spread that he’s taken his eye off the ball. Both carbon emissions and power prices have gone in the opposite direction to that promised by Schmo Morrison’s junta. Emissions are up, up, up, and so too are power prices. Fantastic. Great move. Well done, Angus.

Opinion July 6, 2019

A slice of Evan

How good is Australia? Gadfly returns home after three weeks on a global escapade and finds nothing whatsoever has changed. Schmo Morrison, Fantastic Angus and Benito Dutton are still strutting their half-baked stuff, and on we stagger. The only noticeable excitement on the horizon is that Schmo has his ears back for a good old beano with Iran.

Opinion June 29, 2019

Taking a punt on political football

This week, the story that combines Australia’s favourite pastimes – brutal team sport and painful culture wars – continued, after sacked rugby player Israel Folau was booted from fundraising site GoFundMe.


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Opinion July 13, 2019

Tax there for the taking

Yes, the Laffer curve is a laff-a-minute, a total concoction, and it is as nasty as you portray it (Editorial, “Destroying Australia”, July 6-12). But for the Grattan Institute to buy into the “pay for” austerity myth just means …

Opinion July 6, 2019

Morrison’s helping hands

Having just read Karen Middleton’s article “Scott Morrison’s inner circle” (June 29-July 5), I am bemused at the plotting, scheming and protestations of loyalty, followed in short order by betrayal, of the various Christians in …

Opinion June 29, 2019

Batty has earned her privacy to grieve

Martin McKenzie-Murray doesn’t attempt to nail Rosie Batty as his splendid writing approaches tentatively (“Rosie Batty: the private toll of public grief”, June 22-28). Our background, environment and character determine our reaction …