Paul Bongiorno

politics October 20, 2018

Judgement day cometh in Wentworth

The previous time a byelection was held to replace a prime minister dumped by his own party, the government lost the seat. It was 26 years ago, when Bob Hawke’s seat of Wills fell to the independent Phil Cleary. The Morrison government is giving...

politics October 13, 2018

Morrison’s race to the bottom

Scott Morrison and his nine-year-old daughter, Lily, had the thrill of their lives last Sunday as white-knuckle passengers in a Bathurst Supercar. They were in the capable hands of champion driver Mark Skaife who skilfully avoided the safety fences...

politics September 29, 2018

Morrison raises the flag again

The Scott Morrison version of the Liberal government – “first elected in 2013”, as he insists – continues to be one of relentless activity and half-baked ideas. Anything to grab attention and push the buttons of the voters he is desperate to win...

economy October 6, 2018

The haunting of Scott Morrison

Not even the west coast of Australia was far enough away from New York to protect Scott Morrison from the ghosts of governments past. In full campaign mode the prime minister headed to Perth to pick a fight with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and to...

politics September 22, 2018

Morrison’s ‘momentum’ peters out

Forget the Muppets, Scott Morrison took the nation into Strawberry Fields this week. That’s where John Lennon sang, “Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever.” The prime minister called a news conference to talk...

politics September 15, 2018

The Morrison muppet show

Scott Morrison thought it was a good idea at the time when he dismissed the power plays bringing down a Liberal prime minister as “a muppet show”. But as a metaphor for a dysfunctional troupe it is proving apt. The show came to town on Monday when...

politics September 8, 2018

Leaks undermine Scott Morrison’s image

There is compelling evidence a vicious “Scuttle Scott” campaign is under way and, unlike the “Kill Bill” strategy, this one is being mounted from inside the government itself. The new prime minister faces parliament next week for the first time...

politics September 1, 2018

Aftershocks of Morrison’s victory

The aftershocks of last week’s political earthquake continue to be felt, not least by Scott Morrison. The new prime minister, who represented the least bad option for just over half the party room, has not escaped the bitter recriminations of the...

politics August 25, 2018

The collapse of Turnbull

Last Tuesday, as he trudged through the biting cold of a Canberra winter morning to Parliament House, one Liberal politician summed up the mood of many of his colleagues. “It didn’t have to come to this,” he said. “I am dismayed at Turnbull’s...

environment July 7, 2018

Tony Abbott’s latest demolition job

Last Tuesday night, Tony Abbott was in his element. Surrounded by climate change sceptics and deniers he set about destroying Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy. And he did so with panache, his opening line more a battle cry: “It takes...

politics June 30, 2018

Bases loaded for Frydenberg

Heartfelt efforts to persuade the government’s climate change deniers and coal champions to embrace the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have failed spectacularly. But you may not have noticed because on the same day former Coalition leaders Tony...