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education May 27, 2017

Labor pushes on with budget reply

On Monday, the first day back for parliament since budget week, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce almost blew a gasket attacking Labor’s Bill Shorten. The opposition leader’s days were numbered, Joyce fulminated, because Anthony Albanese was going...

indigenous affairs May 27, 2017

Cultural appropriation and power

Recently, within the span of a week, my newsfeed, possibly like yours, was filled with stories of cultural appropriation so out of place one’s immediate reaction was to laugh. One story was of boomerangs being sold by Chanel for nearly $2000, one of...

economy May 13, 2017

Multinationals' brazen tax avoidance

American Express has paid no net tax in Australia for nine years, according to its latest financial statements. That is zero tax on $10 billion in revenue. Well might this story end there. Enough has already been said. But Amex is by no means alone...

politics May 20, 2017

Scott Morrison's pitch for a post-budget bounce

The budget-selling roadshow has been in top gear for almost two weeks but early signs are the spruikers are finding it hard to be heard above the noise of the carnival. And that is despite every effort to be in tune with the vaudeville act of its...

politics May 13, 2017

Turnbull's budget turnaround

One of Malcolm Turnbull’s inner sanctum was upbeat as journalists pored over the details of this week’s budget. “Labor’s got nowhere to go,” he said. Judging from his demeanour in the Parliament House lock-up, Treasurer Scott Morrison shared this...

politics May 6, 2017

Scott Morrison unveils ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt

On Tuesday night at 7.30 Treasurer Scott Morrison will preside over the burial rites for the economic belief system that has guided the Liberal Party for 25 years. Gone is the dogma that the market knows best and the national interest is optimally...

media May 6, 2017

The ABC's unchartered waters

In Ken Inglis’s forensic history of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, he quotes then communications minister Neil Brown as saying in the early 1980s that the ABC “jealously guarded their independence and resented any intrusion”. It “went into...

politics April 29, 2017

Turnbull adopts a war footing

Malcolm Turnbull has put his prime ministership on a war footing. It worked for a similarly besieged Liberal PM 16 years ago, and it’s definitely worth a shot now. The image of a helmet-wearing, Kevlar-vested Australian leader scurrying out of an...

politics April 29, 2017

Abbott and Latham, the masters of delusion

Somewhere out there, in old piles of books and on dusty shelves, tucked between the Paulo Coelhos and Women Who Run with the Wolves , there’s a few neglected copies of a classic of Australian political humour. Not anything by the late John Clarke...

immigration April 22, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull crosses the line on 457 visas

“When the dogs are baying for blood or at your throat, there is one foolproof way to deal with them. You get a great big hunk of raw meat and you heave it as far as you can away from you.” The imagery and the wisdom is quintessential Paul Keating...

politics April 22, 2017

The state of radical dissent

Over the past week, I have spent many hours at a gallery in Redfern, in inner Sydney, at an exhibition called Tharunka to Thor: Journalism, Politics and Art 1970-73 . The exhibition charts the story of a group of students, writers, artists and other...