Paul Bongiorno

politics February 17, 2018

Joyce ruins Turnbull’s turnaround

The Turnbull government’s much-hyped better start to 2018 hit a brick wall this week, or more accurately a barn door with Barnaby Joyce’s face painted on it. The deputy prime minister has spectacularly exposed what is wrong with the Coalition...

politics February 10, 2018

Brandis departs amid LNP pessimism

One of the prime minister’s closest allies, Senator George Brandis, was upbeat as he bid farewell to his colleagues in the joint party room on Tuesday. He reminded them that everyone had written off the Howard government in the run-up to the 2001...

politics January 26, 2018

Turnbull presses on over summer

Malcolm Turnbull has spent the holidays striving to further turn back the tide of disappointment that has swamped his prime ministership. So intent on the task he did not take a formal break over the silly season. He defied the wisdom that says it...

politics February 3, 2018

Shorten outpaces Turnbull on vision

At his major scene-setting speech at the National Press Club this week, the Opposition leader warned that Australia is in danger of becoming “a left-behind society”. While that is to be avoided, he is certainly working on applying it to Malcolm...

politics December 23, 2017

Spoiled for Joyce

Malcolm Turnbull was upbeat at the news conference unveiling the latest reshuffle of his ministry this week. “We’ve had a lot of difficult issues to deal with this year,” he said. “You know, and we’ve dealt with them.” He was standing at the same...

politics December 16, 2017

Political missteps over China

Malcolm Turnbull’s carpet-bombing of Labor’s Sam Dastyari was always desperate politics and it has not served Australia’s national interest well. Saturday’s byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong will define the forced resignation of Dastyari...

politics December 9, 2017

Is Bill Shorten running out of luck?

In the truncated last session of the house of representatives for the year, Malcolm Turnbull adopted the mien of a political headkicker. He bellowed an attack on Bill Shorten so loudly at his Tuesday courtyard news conference he startled journalists...

politics December 2, 2017

Nationals turn on Turnbull

The theatre of the absurd that was the British TV comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus has a contemporary rival in the Australian parliament, or more precisely the federal Coalition government. But next week few will be laughing as the increasingly...

politics November 25, 2017

Queensland MPs threaten revolt

The Turnbull government’s overdraft with the Australian electorate is well and truly spent. And the prime minister’s desperate attempts to keep his creditors at bay have only served to worsen his precarious position. His decision to cancel next week...

politics November 18, 2017

Turnbull’s reality check is in the mail

Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t wait to jump on board his RAAF VIP jet and make it back to Australia from Manila for the same-sex marriage survey result. After the eight-hour flight there wasn’t a hint of jet lag as he bounded into the prime ministerial...

immigration November 11, 2017

Manus Island, dual citizenship and the postal result

The offer from the freshly minted New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was genuine and in the name of not ignoring “the human face of what Australia is dealing with now”. The immediate focus was the humanitarian crisis unfolding in our name...