Paul Bongiorno

politics May 19, 2018

Byelections beware

Truth, they say, is the first casualty of war. And make no mistake, the government is in the battle of its life. Malcolm Turnbull is doing whatever it takes to regain a political ascendancy he has not had over the Opposition since last year’s...

economy May 12, 2018

Morrison’s budget fails to inspire

As treasurers go, Scott Morrison is no Paul Keating. He’s not even a Peter Costello when it comes to wit and making speeches. Morrison is dully combative and unimaginative. Even his own side found little that was inspiring in Tuesday night’s...

politics April 28, 2018

Turnbull’s about-face on the banks

Maybe it was the Berlin location. More likely, it was the stark realisation that the government’s appalling handling of the banking royal commission was creating even more damage. Two kilometres away from Hitler’s bunker, where the Führer perished,...

politics May 5, 2018

Morrison’s budget play

Next Tuesday Treasurer Scott Morrison will unveil the government’s blueprint for survival. His political opponents are convinced one bold move would go a long way to achieving it. And it’s giving Bill Shorten nightmares. Not that he’s admitting that...

politics April 21, 2018

Turnbull’s home fires blazing

The prime minister and his immediate predecessor will commemorate Anzac Day on the site of a World War I battleground at Villers-Bretonneux. Tony Abbott will be there, at Malcolm Turnbull’s invitation. The atmosphere is expected to be cordial and...

politics April 14, 2018

Life after 30 for Malcolm Turnbull

The traffic jam of black ZIL limousines in the car park outside Stalin’s dacha is a potent image of the “dysfunctional circus” that the government of Australia now presents. In the Armando Iannucci film The Death of Stalin , currently amusing and...

politics April 7, 2018

Pro-coal right comes after Turnbull

The frustration down the phone was palpable. “Does this prick know or care about how much damage he is doing to the government?” The Liberal marginal seat-holder was reacting to his colleague Craig Kelly becoming the mouthpiece for a new ginger...

politics March 31, 2018

Abbott’s giving up is not the same as letting go

The image of Tony Abbott planting a kiss on the cheek of Pauline Hanson was too much for some of the Coalition’s most seasoned campaigners. “He needs a kick up the bum,” was the angry reaction of one who believes the former prime minister is making...

education March 24, 2018

Bill Shorten’s strategies paying off

The atmosphere was electric when Labor’s victorious Batman candidate, Ged Kearney, entered the room flanked by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. You would think they had just won the general election rather than retained a seat they had held for the...

politics March 17, 2018

Shorten acts on tax as Batman votes

This week, Bill Shorten made sure the chattering classes would be talking about more than Saturday’s byelection in the Melbourne seat of Batman, which Labor is expected to lose. The opposition leader seized the political agenda in a dramatic way on...

politics March 10, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull’s poll count looms

Senior Labor figures are convinced they won’t be facing Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister at the next election. Their calculation is based on the survival instinct that is a primal motivating force for all members of parliament. It was the one that...