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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...

politics July 15, 2017

The Liberals’ fight for Menzies’ legacy

Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, is back at the centre of political controversy and skulduggery thanks to his successor as Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull. He evoked the ghost of Menzies in a contentious speech...

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,...

immigration July 8, 2017

Tony Abbott keeps up the fight

Malcolm Turnbull is in full international statesman mode, representing Australia’s interests on the world stage. He’s rubbing shoulders with heavy hitters at the G20 in Germany and he is on his way to London to see the Queen. Never has it been truer...

law & crime July 8, 2017

The Coalition’s legal appointments

Providing cover is as much a political as a military art form, distracting the enemy with a few grenades in one direction while forces scuttle more freely in another. It doesn’t get any more sophisticated in Canberra. Peter Dutton, the immigration...

politics July 1, 2017

Pyne and Abbott deliver Turnbull a rough ride

Malcolm Turnbull loves to boast about his love of public transport. The enduring image this week was the prime minister being studiously ignored by fellow travellers on a Melbourne tram. The social media was captivated and many tweets saw it as a...

indigenous affairs July 1, 2017

Adani, native title and risky strategies

Adrian Burragubba is the key litigant against the Carmichael mine in Central Queensland right now. He has a right to be a litigant, but during the past decade he has in my opinion put at risk the native title rights of the majority of the...

politics June 24, 2017

Polls unmoved as parliament breaks for winter

Federal parliament has now gone into its six-week winter recess. At his end-of-session party room pep talk, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull advised the troops to recharge their batteries and get in touch with their voters. Many will flee the colder...

education June 24, 2017

Gonski’s troublesome twin

The reason I supported the original Gonski schools funding formula was because it was both needs based and sector blind. The formula wasn’t perfect, but what is? Implementing it, for example, was more expensive than it should have been because of...

immigration June 17, 2017

Citizenship opportunism

The great English man of letters Samuel Johnson left the world a pithy aphorism on false patriotism. “Patriotism,” he opined, “is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” No one knows what prompted the thought but it has been applied unkindly ever since to...