topic

politics September 15, 2018

The Morrison muppet show

Scott Morrison thought it was a good idea at the time when he dismissed the power plays bringing down a Liberal prime minister as “a muppet show”. But as a metaphor for a dysfunctional troupe it is proving apt. The show came to town on Monday when...

indigenous affairs September 15, 2018

Abbott’s envoy appointment derisory

As an Aboriginal person, a leadership spill is an interesting phenomenon to observe. There is a lot of earnest frustration – this isn’t who we voted for! – and there is a feeling that important decisions are being made about your life without you...

politics September 8, 2018

Leaks undermine Scott Morrison’s image

There is compelling evidence a vicious “Scuttle Scott” campaign is under way and, unlike the “Kill Bill” strategy, this one is being mounted from inside the government itself. The new prime minister faces parliament next week for the first time...

media September 8, 2018

Speaking for freedom

Online, in forums around the world, at the United Nations and beyond, the Australian government is quick to point out how important free speech is to a functioning democracy. The Liberal Party’s own website proudly proclaims, “We believe in those...

politics September 1, 2018

Aftershocks of Morrison’s victory

The aftershocks of last week’s political earthquake continue to be felt, not least by Scott Morrison. The new prime minister, who represented the least bad option for just over half the party room, has not escaped the bitter recriminations of the...

politics September 1, 2018

Scott Morrison and the ‘strongman’ capitulations

Tony Abbott’s face as he emerged from the party room is the image I can’t get out of my head from the chaos of the past weeks. Defeat had done its work. He was pared back to the bone. His skin looked a mess and his eyes barely focused as he mouthed...

politics August 25, 2018

The collapse of Turnbull

Last Tuesday, as he trudged through the biting cold of a Canberra winter morning to Parliament House, one Liberal politician summed up the mood of many of his colleagues. “It didn’t have to come to this,” he said. “I am dismayed at Turnbull’s...

indigenous affairs August 25, 2018

The folly of Jacinta Price

No one with a revulsion for the influence of the alt-right or neo-Nazis in our body politic would be surprised to learn that an aspiring Aboriginal candidate for the House of Representatives could graduate from the role of children’s entertainer “...

politics August 18, 2018

Red flags and crossing the line

“If we’d gone into battle earlier, seriously and united, we might have got somewhere. We were too slow to recognise the threat. Too late, and probably too polite, in pushing back.” Given the task of this column is to summarise the week in politics,...

religion August 18, 2018

Fraser Anning and racist politics

Oh, but doesn’t Australia have a lot of them? These watershed moments of lines crossed and politics forever changed, where the bar set for public discourse is not so much lowered but dispensed with altogether. This week it was crossbench senator...

immigration August 11, 2018

Manus prison theory

Last week, my book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison was finally released. It’s the product of five years living in exile on Manus Island, depicting the raw and unadulterated experience of incarceration in a remote prison...