Paul Bongiorno

politics September 16, 2017

Turnbull turns Chifley on energy

In a sure sign the Turnbull government is thrashing about in its death throes, this week it resembled the Labor Party of Ben Chifley in 1949 more than anything else. The late Labor icon was a champion of big government. He favoured intervention and...

politics September 9, 2017

Coalition tensions fuel energy debate

The Liberals’ Ian Macdonald has been around the federal parliament a long time, as he proudly boasts. He is the father of the senate and the parliament – the double due to his 27 years in the place. At this week’s meeting of the government party...

politics August 26, 2017

Echoes of Gillard in citizenship fight

A Labor staffer who was part of the wild ride that was the Gillard minority government says there’s more than a whiff of deja vu about what’s happening to the Turnbull operation right now. He says the process goes like this: the prime minister gets...

politics September 2, 2017

Turnbull and the greasy poll

Next week is shaping as a watershed for Malcolm Turnbull and his government. The parliament resumes, the latest Newspoll will be published and the High Court will consider two challenges to the voluntary postal survey on same-sex marriage. And if...

politics August 19, 2017

The mad Katter’s tea party

He may be the “Mad Katter” to friends and foe alike but the idiosyncratic independent MP from Queensland was razor sharp in his diagnosis of this week’s descent into absurdity. Assessing Malcolm Turnbull’s handling of the citizenship crisis...

law & crime August 12, 2017

Why Tony Abbott can’t be ignored

Australian politics surely could not get more bizarre than the spectacle of the Turnbull government tearing itself apart this week over what it dismisses as a second-order issue. And it all comes down to the dynamics generated by one embittered man...

politics August 5, 2017

Turnbull’s conviction problems

In the far south-west of the Australian continent Malcolm Turnbull shared his deepest convictions about himself as the nation’s prime minister. It was in response to a question from a student at Albany Senior High School. With disarming anticipation...

politics July 29, 2017

Canavan’s dual citizenship imbroglio

The 45th parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia has more twists and bizarre turns than an Italian opera. So much so, doubts over the eligibility of a cabinet minister to even be a participant are now waiting for the fat lady to sing. In this...

politics July 15, 2017

The Liberals’ fight for Menzies’ legacy

Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, is back at the centre of political controversy and skulduggery thanks to his successor as Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull. He evoked the ghost of Menzies in a contentious speech...

immigration July 8, 2017

Tony Abbott keeps up the fight

Malcolm Turnbull is in full international statesman mode, representing Australia’s interests on the world stage. He’s rubbing shoulders with heavy hitters at the G20 in Germany and he is on his way to London to see the Queen. Never has it been truer...

politics July 1, 2017

Pyne and Abbott deliver Turnbull a rough ride

Malcolm Turnbull loves to boast about his love of public transport. The enduring image this week was the prime minister being studiously ignored by fellow travellers on a Melbourne tram. The social media was captivated and many tweets saw it as a...