Paul Bongiorno

environment December 19, 2020

Big holes in the Coalition’s pre-election bucket list

As the year like no other draws to an end, the challenges and crises it presented have highlighted the nation’s strengths and dramatised its weaknesses. Facing up to these realities will be particularly daunting for our political leaders as they...

politics December 12, 2020

PM’s year-end review masks ongoing woes

The prime minister was more the circuit preacher than “Scotty from marketing” as he addressed the final Coalition party room meeting of the year. His stirring words of self-congratulation were tempered with a gentle reminder they all needed to stay...

politics November 28, 2020

Can Australia’s relationship with China be healed?

China’s “Wolf Warrior diplomacy” is proving more than a menacing howl for Australia, and what to do about it seems beyond the gumption of the Morrison government. It is one thing for the prime minister to dismiss a list of grievances from the...

politics December 5, 2020

PM looks rattled as he feeds the trolls

Upon mature reflection, it is increasingly looking as though Scott Morrison’s angry reaction to a “truly repugnant” social media attack from a Chinese government official has only deepened the crisis in the relationship between the two nations. The...

politics November 21, 2020

Robo-debt: a government-sanctioned debt sentence

An inconvenient truth rocked the Morrison government this week when it was finally brought to some account over the long-running robo-debt scandal. The whole sorry saga demonstrates how far this cabinet and its leader have strayed from a...

health August 22, 2020

Inquiry sinks ministerial responsibility

Any notion that ministers, state or federal, are responsible for anything much appears sunk in the wake of the Ruby Princess. And the ramifications are significant for the quality of our democracy and what we as citizens can rightly demand of our...

politics August 15, 2020

Our hands-off prime minister

Scott Morrison could have picked up the phone to two members of his much-vaunted national cabinet this week, to sort out what was truly a bizarre situation. But he didn’t, and his decision not to says a lot about his approach to the pandemic...

politics August 8, 2020

Morrison backtracks on WA border closure

Scott Morrison keeps misreading the mood of a nation gripped by fear. Nowhere is this more obvious than his now-abandoned legal case against state border closures – or, to be more precise, against the lockouts in the Labor-governed states of Western...

health August 1, 2020

Aged-care failings hurt Morrison

Scott Morrison went into disaster management mode this week as the coronavirus pandemic came awfully close to home, both personally and politically. The “catastrophe”, as his political opponents described it, was the Covid-19 outbreak spreading...

economy July 25, 2020

Economy in the deep freeze

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s hands were blue as he stood behind his lectern, physically distanced from Scott Morrison in the prime minister’s courtyard on Tuesday. The pair were holding an outdoor news conference on an icy Canberra morning, and...

health July 11, 2020

Labor scrapes through in Eden-Monaro

Four days after the voters of Eden-Monaro kept the marginal seat in opposition hands, the Reserve Bank governor summed up the nation’s predicament: we are all flying by the seat of our pants. Scott Morrison, too, put it succinctly: “This is a global...