Paul Bongiorno

politics December 5, 2020

PM looks rattled as he feeds the trolls

Upon mature reflection, it is increasingly looking as though Scott Morrison’s angry reaction to a “truly repugnant” social media attack from a Chinese government official has only deepened the crisis in the relationship between the two nations. The...

politics November 28, 2020

Can Australia’s relationship with China be healed?

China’s “Wolf Warrior diplomacy” is proving more than a menacing howl for Australia, and what to do about it seems beyond the gumption of the Morrison government. It is one thing for the prime minister to dismiss a list of grievances from the...

politics November 14, 2020

Political climate changes with Biden win

Australia’s political leaders were among the first to declare their faith in America’s democracy when the Biden victory in the presidential election became clear. They realised that what was at stake was the credibility of a nation that for the past...

politics November 21, 2020

Robo-debt: a government-sanctioned debt sentence

An inconvenient truth rocked the Morrison government this week when it was finally brought to some account over the long-running robo-debt scandal. The whole sorry saga demonstrates how far this cabinet and its leader have strayed from a...

environment November 7, 2020

Palaszczuk’s one day, and also the next

You may not have noticed, and that was the whole idea. The moment it was clear Labor’s Annastacia Palaszczuk had won a thumping victory in the Queensland election, Scott Morrison disappeared from view. The prime minister, who had spent a week on the...

politics October 31, 2020

Keeping the government honest

“Keeping the bastards honest” taps neatly into a sentiment ingrained in Australia that whoever is elected to govern needs a check – namely, by not controlling the numbers in the senate. The phrase was coined about 40 years ago by Don Chipp, the...

politics October 23, 2020

Will Scott Morrison go full-term?

It is always fascinating to watch the cat-and-mouse game that Australian prime ministers play with election dates. Unencumbered by fixed terms, convention dictates that the campaign starts whenever the incumbent believes they are in the best...

politics October 17, 2020

Dark clouds descend on PM in the Sunshine State

A beaming Scott Morrison gave the TV news crews the sort of picture opportunity they really appreciate. Perched behind a machinegun in the turret of a military tank, the prime minister was having a fun ride. The fun, however, didn’t last and the...

economy October 10, 2020

Furiously digging a deeper hole in the budget

The usual wisdom is that when you are in a deep hole you stop digging. Any doubt about how deep a hole the federal budget is in was blown away on Tuesday night but, instead of stopping, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg brought in even heavier earthmoving...

economy October 3, 2020

Changing gears in a two-speed economy

“The first thing Josh Frydenberg should do in next Tuesday night’s budget speech is say sorry,” says Wayne Swan, the man whom the Liberals cut no slack after he failed as treasurer to deliver Labor’s promised budget surpluses. Neither a global...

economy September 26, 2020

Ripping up Tony Abbott’s legacy

Tony Abbott has a lot to answer for. The former prime minister’s judgement on the national broadband network, climate and energy have led to costly and embarrassing failures. Now Scott Morrison is left to pick up the pieces – trying to reposition...