Comment

politics November 10, 2018


You’re neither on the bus nor off the bus

Like others among the mystically inclined, Christians can be prone to portents. Ominously for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a flash storm last weekend tore apart the oak tree opposite The Lodge’s day-to-day working driveway on Canberra’s National...

immigration November 10, 2018


Saving Planet Earth

Historians and political scientists have classified recent world history into two distinct periods, with the end of World War II as the dividing line. The period from 1901 to 1945 was marked by aggressive nationalism – trade wars, high tariffs,...

politics October 27, 2018


Running against Tony Abbott in Warringah

There’s a line of Shakespeare that has been running around in my head over the past few days. Mind you, when I say “days”, I really mean nights, particularly in the wee small hours. The line that keeps ringing in my tired brain is, “Sleep no more,...

ir November 3, 2018


Unions key to workers’ wage growth

For much of human history, economic growth puttered along slowly – so slowly, in fact, that shops would sometimes carve prices into their stone walls. Then, in the late 1700s, one of the most dramatic transformations in world economic history took...

indigenous affairs October 20, 2018


Razing the white flag

During the 18th century, a European travel writer visiting the colonies in what is now South America was astounded to stumble upon a town where a biracial governor was casually going about his business. More astounding still was how completely...

politics August 4, 2018


How Turnbull is stuck in reverse

After a brief period in which it seemed the only issue that mattered in federal politics was immigration – immigration and infrastructure, immigration and gangs, immigration and refugees, immigration and surrendering our sovereignty – this week,...

politics August 4, 2018


Fairfax and Turnbull’s Potemkin village

All over Italy the oleanders are in summer bloom. Great galleries of pink, red and white flowers cascade through Rome’s Villa Borghese gardens, flourish high on the terraced streets above the Bay of Naples, march along the E90 autostrada from...

politics July 28, 2018


Negative reinforcement for Super Saturday

We are in a period of barren, defensive politics. The byelections that take place today bring to an end a long campaign – it has been nine weeks since we learnt the date – and lines have been locked down. At an event in Tasmania this week Bill...

law & crime July 28, 2018


Laa Chol and racist fear

We have seen it all before. Moral panic too often stimulates governments to adopt extreme and racially based responses to social problems. Victoria’s 19th-century gold rush led to an explosion in the state’s Chinese population. Forty thousand people...

politics July 21, 2018


Turnbull backs in the race favourite

In April, excitement rippled through the ranks of politics-watchers. There had been a reported sighting of that unicorn of Australian politics: Malcolm Turnbull saying no to Peter Dutton. Dutton had, according to a story in The Australian , told...

politics July 21, 2018


Socialism’s newfound popularity

They raised the roof in Queens, New York, a few Tuesdays ago, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won. Not an election, simply a primary for the candidacy. But the seat’s safe, the opponent was an establishment Democrat heavy, and Ocasio-Cortez is a...