Flat White

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Strong men armed?

G. K. Chesterton wrote in The Everlasting Man that Christianity has died many times but always somehow – miraculously –…

20 Jan 2018

Catholics needed in the fight for freedom

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa – how much longer does the breast-beating have to go on? The Royal…

20 Jan 2018

Conserve what?

If, like me, you are a small government, strong borders and national defence, lots of free speech and as little…

20 Jan 2018

On culture, parenting and education

The Sydney Morning Herald recently announced that the NSW Education Minister, Rob Stokes, is considering opening up the selective schools…

20 Jan 2018

Aux bien pensants

Drive-by media’s bias against Trump The reporting of the 2016 presidential election can hardly be celebrated as the media’s finest…

20 Jan 2018

Blasphemy or art?

When Indonesian artist Arahmaia-ni Feisal first exhibited Lingga-Yoni, she received death threats. Against scrawled Arabic script, the 1994 artwork showed…

Have a great Invasion Day

Like a national sports event, the annual Australia Day clash between patriotism and shame is upon us again. It’s a…

13 Jan 2018

Business/Robbery etc

It’s not President Trump’s corporate tax cuts, or even the retailer-busting arrival of Amazon to these shores that poses the…

13 Jan 2018

Rembrandt live

The link between music and painting is not a direct one. The aural and visual impacts of the two art…

20 Jan 2018

Vox Clamantis

For many of us it probably qualifies as ‘a distant country of which we know little’. Estonia, after decades of…

13 Jan 2018

The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

Judith Brett has written extensively about liberalism in Australia. The emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University, her output…

6 Jan 2018

“The Wider Earth”

It’s predecessor was the quaintly titled Waratah Festival which ran for a few days in October. In 1977 Stephen Hall,…

16 Dec 2017

Taki: In praise of French women

I spent the better part of two sunny days indoors writing about authenticity for a Greek magazine, a strange subject…

20 Jan 2018

Jeremy Clarke: The power of ‘Bonjour’

In France, or in Provence at least, polite rule number one is to say hello. You must offer a distinct…

20 Jan 2018

Melissa Kite: The death of humour

A vet has accused me of a ‘hate crime’ for making a joke about vets. On the basis that everything…

20 Jan 2018

Why I’ll chain myself to an earthmover at Kempton Park

I have never been one for system betting but one little piece of guidance returns to my mind at the…

20 Jan 2018

Culinary cold war at the White House

‘Tell me what you eat and I shall tell you what you are.’ The best known adage in food literature,…

20 Jan 2018

Leeches, bats and toxic sap in Borneo’s Eden

Eton turns out prime ministers of various stripes and patches, but it also forges fine explorers. It seems to prepare…

20 Jan 2018

An 80th birthday party causes no end of trouble in Barney Norris’s latest novel

‘People live in the space between the realities of their lives and the hopes they have for them,’ muses the…

20 Jan 2018

Ethnic cleansing and the horrors of Buczacz

I thought I knew the history of the years 1914 to 1945: the first world war and the terrible casualties…

20 Jan 2018

Mary Shelley’s monstrous creation close up

There are few more seductive figures for biographers than Mary Shelley. The daughter of the radical philosopher and novelist William…

20 Jan 2018

Getting women on board: the history of the WRNS

This book is a thoroughly researched account of the parts played by women in the service of the Royal Navy…

20 Jan 2018

Jenny Erpenbeck finds a novel way to tackle the migrant problem

The title of Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go Went Gone, and the autumnal tone of its beginning — a classics professor retires,…

20 Jan 2018

Australia was ruined the moment Europeans set foot there

Many believed in Australia for 1,000 years before its discovery. There had to be a commensurate weight — somewhere Down…

13 Jan 2018

Has Ann Quin’s time come at last?

Like A Fiery Elephant, my biography of the experimental novelist B.S. Johnson, contains one particularly careless sentence: the one where…

13 Jan 2018

Did the reprisals following the Indian mutiny seal Britain’s fate in the subcontinent?

Many and various are the things one finds in Kentish pubs (I’m told); but few could top the sepoy’s skull…

13 Jan 2018

Never had it so good: British novelists in the 1980s

In 1990, the BBC’s adaptation of David Lodge’s culture-clash novel Nice Work won an award at a glitzy soirée in…

13 Jan 2018

My ex-lover’s T-shirt can join the other tragic tat in the Museum of Broken Relationships

I loved a man. But our affair was nasty, brutish and short. Copious weeping was my un-tart retort. All that’s…

13 Jan 2018