Paul Bongiorno

environment April 13, 2019

PM sets tone for May 18 election

The 2019 election campaign is off to an inauspicious start. The tone has been set by the prime minister, who admits he is the underdog and seems to have decided the best way to win over voters is to treat them like mugs, launching an absurd attack...

economy April 6, 2019

Coalition banks on infrastructure

“Scott’s giving it his best shot.” That was the generous assessment of one of the prime minister’s troops, who voted for him reluctantly in last year’s leadership coup. The prompt for the observation was the Morrison government’s first budget, a...

religion March 23, 2019

The politics of hate

The Australian white supremacist who allegedly massacred 50 Muslims while they were at Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand has recast the political debate in this country. The cowardly, hate-filled attack has shaken both nations to their...

media March 30, 2019

Morrison gears up for last-ditch budget

The government is rushing at breakneck speed towards its date with destiny. On Tuesday night the treasurer will unveil the first budget of the Morrison government, which the polls suggest will almost certainly be the last fiscal prescription of the...

rural March 16, 2019

Joyce’s war on metropolitan Liberals

“Stare the bastards down, Malcolm, they have nowhere to go.” This was the advice from two of Malcolm Turnbull’s closest allies given to the newly installed Liberal leader immediately after the September 2015 coup. The Nationals were holding out for...

politics March 9, 2019

Outgoing Liberals and parliamentary pensions

At the end of the most recent sitting fortnight of parliament, Scott Morrison invited his MPs and senators to the Lodge for drinks. During the evening, a couple of them ducked out for a smoke. “You know we’re fucked,” one said to another. “We’re...

environment March 2, 2019

Climate of fear as election campaign begins

At the end of the gruelling eight-week election campaign in 2016 an exhausted Malcolm Turnbull assured his assembled staffers, “We’ll never do that again.” His words were prophetic, though not in the way he meant them to be. Turnbull is gone but his...

politics February 23, 2019

Helloworld, this is free

No longer confident it controls the parliament of Australia, the Morrison government has shut it down for the next six weeks. And no wonder: it is reeling from revelations of cronyism, incompetence and profligate, unaccountable spending. Scott...

immigration February 16, 2019

Morrison doubles down on security

What a week for the Morrison minority government. It started with the prime minister promising to keep Australians safe and secure. It ended with him and his government looking less assured they will be around long enough to deliver. Tuesday’s...

politics February 9, 2019

The beginning of the end game

Australia’s part-time federal parliament resumes next week, with just 10 sitting days scheduled before an election in May. To say the government is running scared would be an understatement. Equally, to say Labor is calmly in cruise control is wrong...

politics February 2, 2019

A trip down memory pain

Scott Morrison wants us to forget why he is prime minister. Instead, he assured a national TV audience he was “getting on with it”. The problem is his own MPs, party members and supporters – and the electorate – remain vividly aware of the turmoil...