Paul Bongiorno

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 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 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...

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 April 7, 2018

Pro-coal right comes after Turnbull

The frustration down the phone was palpable. “Does this prick know or care about how much damage he is doing to the government?” The Liberal marginal seat-holder was reacting to his colleague Craig Kelly becoming the mouthpiece for a new ginger...

politics March 31, 2018

Abbott’s giving up is not the same as letting go

The image of Tony Abbott planting a kiss on the cheek of Pauline Hanson was too much for some of the Coalition’s most seasoned campaigners. “He needs a kick up the bum,” was the angry reaction of one who believes the former prime minister is making...

education March 24, 2018

Bill Shorten’s strategies paying off

The atmosphere was electric when Labor’s victorious Batman candidate, Ged Kearney, entered the room flanked by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. You would think they had just won the general election rather than retained a seat they had held for the...

politics March 17, 2018

Shorten acts on tax as Batman votes

This week, Bill Shorten made sure the chattering classes would be talking about more than Saturday’s byelection in the Melbourne seat of Batman, which Labor is expected to lose. The opposition leader seized the political agenda in a dramatic way on...

politics March 10, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull’s poll count looms

Senior Labor figures are convinced they won’t be facing Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister at the next election. Their calculation is based on the survival instinct that is a primal motivating force for all members of parliament. It was the one that...

politics March 3, 2018

The Coalition after Barnaby Joyce

Malcolm Turnbull returned from Washington in an ebullient mood, very early on Monday morning. He had just been feted by President Donald Trump and by all reports his visit had been a success. He and Trump were now “mates” and indeed “allies” in...