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politics November 18, 2017

Turnbull’s reality check is in the mail

Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t wait to jump on board his RAAF VIP jet and make it back to Australia from Manila for the same-sex marriage survey result. After the eight-hour flight there wasn’t a hint of jet lag as he bounded into the prime ministerial...

politics November 18, 2017

Lack of character in Canberra analysis

One hundred years ago, when I worked in commercial television, I was asked to prepare a slate of program proposals for a mini-mogul, one of the rare types who could write an okay script himself, and also raise money, and who was thus, to network...

environment November 11, 2017

The precedent against Adani

As the Stop Adani campaign grows, and the heat around Adani’s coalmine continues to haunt the Queensland premier, it might seem ironic that at this year’s Queensland Literary Awards the premier’s award for a work of state significance went to a book...

immigration November 11, 2017

Manus Island, dual citizenship and the postal result

The offer from the freshly minted New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, was genuine and in the name of not ignoring “the human face of what Australia is dealing with now”. The immediate focus was the humanitarian crisis unfolding in our name...

politics November 4, 2017

Turnbull’s charge of the fright brigade

With some pride Malcolm Turnbull led a large Australian contingent commemorating the 1917 charge of the Fourth Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba. It was a turning point of World War I. The courage and decisive derring-do of the Australian horsemen...

indigenous affairs November 4, 2017

Bad faith over Indigenous Voice

The First Peoples of this country are unfailingly welcoming people, with important protocols for receiving strangers on country. This custom makes revealing the coarse, ill-mannered nature of the Turnbull government’s decision to shut down open and...

politics October 28, 2017

What’s NXT without Nick Xenophon?

Last Monday, it was clear Nick Xenophon was itching to get out of the place. He sat in his first-floor office on the senate side of Parliament House surrounded by cardboard boxes stuffed full of documents and belongings. He had decided long before...

politics October 21, 2017

Nervous energy on power plan

Craig Kelly, the chair of the Liberal Party’s backbench environment and energy committee, had a very uncomfortable night on Monday. The outspoken climate change sceptic is one of the key players Malcolm Turnbull needed to win over to the latest...

media October 21, 2017

Australia’s welcome mat for right-wing trolls

In so many ways, Milo Yiannopoulos is unremarkable. He is just one of a long line of conservative grifters making hay in Australia. In 1943, a time when the devil had the best poems, if not the best tunes, George Orwell could write: “By and large...

law & crime October 14, 2017

Hollywood’s disgrace of ‘open secrets’

Let’s start at random, with film director Joss Whedon, accused of years of misconduct by his former wife, Kai Cole. Whedon has long been one of Hollywood’s most vocal self-described male feminists, creating Buffy the Vampire Slayer , giving stirring...

politics October 14, 2017

Tony Abbott’s shadow over government policy

The story of the Turnbull government is hauntingly summed up in the Hughes Mearns poem “Antigonish” and its famous line about the man who wasn’t there. This week, the man turned up again. It doesn’t take much to imagine Turnbull recalling the...