Flat White

In-depth analysis of the day's news, plus stories and gossip from Australian politics

Don’t bring them home

23 May 2017, 7:19am

The new religion

21 May 2017, 7:35am

We warn the Tsar

20 May 2017, 9:31am

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Budget notes

Stealing Shorten’s shorts In 1845 Benjamin Disraeli said of Britain’s Tory Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, that he had ‘caught…

20 May 2017

Identity politics

The budget week just gone has marked the moment when both sides of politics officially gave up on budget repair…

20 May 2017

Worth losing the base?

Donald Trump has identified a phenomenon in the Western media which many suspect and which believers in a free press…

20 May 2017

Business/Robbery etc

It’s one of the few bits of Liberal economic policy left in the budget – and judging by the pathetic…

20 May 2017

Turnbull’s twilight urgatory

‘I Told You So!’. These are not words that listeners usually enjoy hearing. In fact, if you’re looking for a…

20 May 2017

Snowflake warriors

Australia’s hopes rest in its youth, or so people used to say in the expectation that rising generations would build…

20 May 2017

Sinking into oppression

We were saying things around the dinner table last Friday night and Gillian Triggs could not stop us. We were…

13 May 2017

A solid dose of aggro

This isn’t an easy confession to make in the pages of this august publication, but I grudgingly admire the ACTU’s…

13 May 2017

Taryn Fiebig for Pinchgut Opera

Baroque opera is increasingly popular in Australia, particularly in recent years through the work of Pinchgut Opera. This administratively tiny…

20 May 2017

Elioth Gruner 1882-1939

Last week I lunched at the Coogee Pavilion on the most perfect day. The scene before me was almost identical…

13 May 2017

Alexander Campbell

Inheriting abilities from one’s parents is one of the happy accidents of birth. A remarkable example of inheritance of exceptional…

6 May 2017

Isaiah Firebrace (centre) with Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasy

It’s been going since 1956. The 62nd season of the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Kiev, Ukraine, starts…

29 Apr 2017

High life

At a chic dinner party last week, a Trump insider gossiped about an American president having had an affair with…

20 May 2017

Low life

Chez Frank is a popular local boar-hunters’ bar, tobacconist and general store at a lonely crossroads in the forest. It…

20 May 2017

Real life

The builder boyfriend has dug himself a hole. I don’t mean he’s in trouble with me. I mean he has…

20 May 2017

Stupid is as stupid votes

John Stuart Mill is usually credited as the person who first called the Conservatives ‘the stupid party’, but that isn’t…

20 May 2017

High life

Much like the poor, the charity ball has always been with us, but lately it’s turned into a freak. Something…

13 May 2017

Low life

I was sitting between mother and daughter on the sofa, and we were having a ‘wee night’ as Glaswegians put…

13 May 2017

Fallen idols

David Hepworth is such a clever writer — not just clever in the things he writes, but in the way…

20 May 2017

A brave new world – at gunpoint

Of the many books published this year to mark the centenary of the Russian revolution, this is perhaps the most…

20 May 2017

Gold and dust

Timbuktu. Can any other three syllables evoke such a thrill? For travellers, explorers and historians of Africa, the ancient desert…

20 May 2017

Not-so-sweet 16

I like novelists who don’t try to do everything in their novels, but just to do something well. This is…

20 May 2017

Escapism for boys

Jack Higgins’s writing routine was said to start with dinner at his favourite Italian restaurant in Jersey, followed by writing…

20 May 2017

No ordinary judge

Justice McCardie was anything but a conventional High Court judge. He left school at 15 and was called to the…

20 May 2017

Paradise or prison?

This daintily dress-conscious and rewardingly heavyweight novel is set mainly in a half imaginary stately home in Oxfordshire. The story…

20 May 2017

Soaring and singing

Whether it’s Coleridge’s nightingale or Petrarch’s, Ted Hughes’s wren or Shelley’s skylark, Helen Macdonald’s hawk or Max Porter’s crow, literature…

20 May 2017

Deeply mysterious

The human urge for personal hygiene has had many improbable side-effects, and I can confidently assert that through the ages,…

13 May 2017

The books the Nazis didn’t burn

For one who has, since boyhood, regarded the secondhand bookshop as a paradise of total immersion, it is quite shocking…

13 May 2017

Signs and spellsnich

On 25 February 1980, Roland Barthes, the great French intellectual, was run over by a laundry van in Paris. He…

13 May 2017

Flee or die

Every nation has the right to control its borders, but we in the West are getting a bit too comfortable…

13 May 2017