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politics September 16, 2017


Women’s entrappings of high office

The popular chant at Donald Trump’s election rallies was, invariably, “Lock her up! Lock her up!” So popular, in fact, it continues at his post-election rallies, now that he is United States president. The woman they want to lock up, of course, is...

politics September 9, 2017


Australia chases America’s decline

Have you noticed how the term “alarmist” only ever gets applied to climate science, and never economics? Make persistent, incorrect claims about fiscal apocalypse, and that’s just prudential. Government debt? The road to Greece. Reforming negative...

politics August 26, 2017


Cashless welfare unsuccessful and unwelcome

As I am writing this, with the radio on, Christian Porter, the cabinet minister in charge of welfare, is announcing the local government area of Canterbury-Bankstown in New South Wales as the first site for his welfare recipient drug trial. This is...

rural September 2, 2017


Malcolm Turnbull caves in to Tasmanian loggers

Last weekend, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull flew to Launceston for the Tasmanian Liberals’ yearly conference. Accompanied by Premier Will Hodgman, Turnbull’s first stop was the timber yard of logging company Neville-Smith Forest Products, once a...

politics August 19, 2017


Rewarding the politics of failure

“In crisis” is a relative term this week. America is deciding if its racial unrest will be the 1960 version or the 1860 version, so it’s hard to feel too het up about Barnaby Joyce. Still, the soft collapse of the Turnbull government is another kind...

health August 12, 2017


Responding to Martin Place’s tent city

If it weren’t so serious, you might call it irony. As it stands, it’s a grim symbol of how we treat our most vulnerable. This week is national Homelessness Week – a time to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues they face...

religion August 5, 2017


Misunderstanding Islamophobia

In the two-and-a-half decades between the publication of his groundbreaking book Orientalism and his death, Edward Said spent considerable energy rejecting claims that his work is a defence of the “real” Islam. Such an assumption, he wrote, “would...

media July 29, 2017


Opinion journalism and clickbait

In the age of viral videos, you never quite know what will become the next internet sensation. It could be a North Korea expert being upstaged on camera by his children while conducting a live interview, or a police shooting of an unarmed black man...

immigration July 22, 2017


Security and Malcolm Turnbull’s bluff

A bloke named Craig Morgan got his 15 minutes of fame this week. Barnaby Joyce identified him as the man who once knocked out his front teeth. “You remember his name?” the journalist at GQ magazine asked. “When someone removes your front teeth, you...

media July 22, 2017


Comments and the discourse of distraction

At what point does a hangover become cirrhosis? Perhaps it was the revolting public kicking of Yassmin Abdel-Magied, or MP Craig Kelly’s claim that renewable energy was killing elderly people, or Rowan Dean’s “fuck off we’re full” invitation for...

economy July 15, 2017


The death of neoliberalism

Socialism is back. It’s been gone for decades, unmentioned and unused, a dead concept. Then suddenly, there it was. The word returned with the rise of Bernie Sanders and the movement around him, a vast rolling insurgency of youth, union workers,...