Paul Bongiorno

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 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 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 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...

politics May 26, 2018

Pauline Hanson’s need for attention

Pauline Hanson sees herself as an Australian Joan of Arc. The saviour of a nation under siege from crippling debt, excessive spending and immigrants, neglectful of self-funded retirees, and abused by multinational energy companies. Worse, a nation...

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 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 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 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...