Opinion November 28, 2020

Leanne Smith
Why we need a feminist foreign policy

Seventy-five years ago, Australia committed to a rules-based international order. Our continuing commitment to that order is based both on pragmatism – the peace and prosperity it has provided; and on principle – the “fair go” …

Opinion November 21, 2020

James Boyce
Colonisation and disease

As a remarkable year nears its end, it seems a once-in-a-century opportunity to reflect on the most traumatic event in modern Australian history has been squandered. In 2020, Australians have become more conversant with the ravages of the Spanish flu …

Opinion November 21, 2020

Karen Middleton
The politics of deploying the SAS

The decision to use the SAS on high-tempo deployments was political: it made Australia a useful ally to the US. It may have also contributed to a culture of abuse.

Opinion November 14, 2020

Arash Rahnama
A letter from detention: Help before my soul is gone

I am a stateless, Kurdish Feyli. I was born on March 21, 1978, in Baghdad. I was almost two years old when Saddam Hussein killed my parents. One day Ba’ath soldiers took my parents from home and they never came back. This was when my sad life …

Opinion October 31, 2020

Kevin Rudd
After the virus: A green recovery

Covid-19 is the biggest economic and social crisis we have faced since the Great Depression and World War II. Australia’s failure then to understand and grapple with the direction of the international economy meant our recovery was much slower and …

Opinion November 7, 2020

Yanis Varoufakis
After the virus: How to design a post-capitalist world

When even the bankers of the ultra-rich, along with the bailiffs working diligently on their behalf, are panicking about excessive inequality, it becomes hard to say our world is morally defensible. UBS recently reported that, between April and July …

Opinion October 24, 2020

Wesley Enoch
After the virus: Radical optimism for the arts

This Christmas, I’ll be asking for a hard hat and high-vis. It’s not that I need them for the work I do, although I have been known to wear high-vis for onsite visits and major set builds. It’s more that this guise may be the only way …

paul bongiorno

Opinion 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 …

Opinion 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 conventional …

Opinion November 14, 2020

Political climate changes with Biden win

Australia’s political leaders were among the first to declare their faith in America’s democracy when the Biden victory in the presidential election became clear. They realised that what was at stake was the credibility of a nation that for …


Opinion November 28, 2020

No pants, no target

Scott Morrison’s response to climate change is to take off his pants. It is not yet summer and his office has released pictures of him dressed for press conferences from the waist up. Below his jacket are a pair of shorts and rubber thongs.

Opinion November 21, 2020

Genie in the subtle energy lamp

It’s not only Pete Evans. He’s just the untreated symptom of a politics that cannot deal with complexity. It is a politics without any real constituency, stretching and searching to find something that might give it power.

Opinion November 14, 2020

What rhymes with colonial theft?

It is striking that this week, NAIDOC Week, the most substantial government discussion of Indigenous rights was the New South Wales premier proposing we change the word “young” to “one” in the national anthem, as if the legacy of colonial theft could be solved in half-rhymes.


Opinion November 28, 2020

Cormann the barbarian

Citizens have been kicking up a dreadful fuss about Mathias Cormann spinning around Europe in an RAAF jet while lobbying to land his well-padded backside on the top chair at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in not-so-gay Paree. The Belgian Waffle (hat tip, Mike Carlton) has been clocking up $4300 an hour for taxpayers as part of this global pocket-moistening tour. The Europeans have been warned that Cormann may not be all he seems – despite what passes for an Australian charm exercise.

Opinion November 21, 2020

A sorry slate of affairs

Like flies they drop, as quickly as their pants. In recent days, it has been Hugh (Percy) Marks, the Nine Entertainment panjandrum, and Carl Lentz. Yes, Lentz, the “celebrity pastor” dishing out blessings for Brian Houston at the New York branch of the Hillsong business. Carl, who strayed from the paths of righteousness with someone other than Mrs Lentz, has been defrocked by Brian. For good measure, Mrs Lentz’s pastoral duties at the New York office were also terminated.

Opinion November 14, 2020

Christian lessons

It was time for a few heads on pikes, or should that be Poles? Sadly, it is those adornments to public life, The Christian and The Tudge, who got piked. There’s nothing quite so enjoyable as seeing lecherous, hypocritical politicians squirming in the Four Corners spotlight. Alan Tudge, whose name comes straight out of Dickens, expressed “regret” – most likely he regretted being a family-values man who got sprung.


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Opinion November 28, 2020

Political casualties

Karen Middleton’s two commentaries on our Afghanistan horrors (“How ‘prestige, status and power’ led to Australia’s war crimes” and “The politics of deploying the SAS”, November 21-27) vindicate that ancient …

Opinion November 21, 2020

Getting through to Rupert

Mike Seccombe asks “How do you cure a cancer like Rupert Murdoch?” (November 14-20) The short answer is by refusing to buy, or read online, his newspapers; and refusing to watch Sky News. As a scientist with broad interests, I could be labelled …

Opinion November 14, 2020

Biden, his time

Thank you, Mike Seccombe, for the cool-headed analysis of the anti-democractic structural flaws of the United States electoral system (“One small hand clinging to everything except reality”, November 7-13), in which a projected winning margin …