flat white

Forget about “noisy Australians”. What about self-absorbed, obsessive-complusive Twits?

After the bushfires, the Australia Day bashing brigade kept pretty quiet this year. Other than the lunatic fringe, most of…

27 Jan 2020

The Greens: fingers on the pulse

If you live outside Sydney’s inner-west and don’t follow the internecine warfare between the Watermelons and Deep Greens of the…

26 Jan 2020

Don’t tell us when or what to celebrate. It’s our day, Australia Day, January 26

Change the date on this one and it will be a win for those people who hate Australia and all…

26 Jan 2020

Bushfires and the big truths about big charities

An important thing to remember about large parts of the government bureaucracy and the not-for-profit/community sector is that they are…

24 Jan 2020

The six shades of Australian fire lighters

Australian fire-lighters come in six colours – yellow, black, white, blood red, dark green, and light green. All are relevant…

24 Jan 2020

It’s time to end the madness passing as politics

No one who was in Parliament House on the morning of October 3, 1997, will forget when they heard a…

24 Jan 2020

Gillian Triggs is now at the United Nations – UN for unreliable on human rights?

How would you feel discovering that your local or state government had entered into an agreement with, say, McDonald’s to…

24 Jan 2020

How to keep our values in the face of China’s challenge

Australia and New Zealand face a geopolitical predicament as a consequence of China’s rise. How do we preserve our Western…

23 Jan 2020

Donald Trump, president of peace

This article is in The Spectator’s February 2020 US edition. Subscribe here. Groupthink is the last thing a country needs when debating…

26 Jan 2020

Do alarmists know the difference between weather and climate?

Until recently, those expressing scepticism about climate-change catastrophe have been hauled over the coals (or the renewables equivalent) for not…

25 Jan 2020

How to fight back against ‘cancel culture’

‘Cancel culture’ is a horrible term because outside of a dictatorship nobody can actually be ‘canceled’ or otherwise ‘disappeared’. All…

25 Jan 2020

Why aren’t leftists happy Joe Rogan endorsed Bernie?

As a twenty-something man who spends excessive amounts of time on the internet I have of course watched countless hours…

25 Jan 2020

Business/Robbery etc

My merchant banker son tells me I’m wrong. He rejects my criticism of Australian corporate boards that respond to noisy…

24 Jan 2020

How I learned to stop worrying and love CO2

At Davos this week, history lived up to its reputation of repeating itself as farce. In the 1980s, the triumvirate…

24 Jan 2020

Cave diving into the culture wars

If Nick Cave is the answer, what is the question? Almost any you might fancy putting to him, as it…

24 Jan 2020

Fox hunt

It’s now apparent that Stalinism has re-emerged, not in Russia it’s birthplace, but in the Western world. Dissent from the…

24 Jan 2020

An ill wind

They’re like coastal scavengers of the eighteenth century, plundering the cargoes of wrecked ships. Or looters after an earthquake, pillaging…

24 Jan 2020

King Kevin through the back door

Extraordinary plans are afoot in Canberra for Malcolm Turnbull, Paul Keating, Kevin Rudd or someone of their ilk to succeed…

24 Jan 2020

Sacha Baron Cohen’s brilliant new comic device

Sacha Baron Cohen’s recent anti-defamation league speech was quite a performance, even by his standards. In shrill, bordering on hysterical…

18 Jan 2020

Gastrointestinal disease, climate change and a republic

Whenever something adverse  happens these days, the event will more likely than not be attributed to,  or associated with, the…

18 Jan 2020

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Marta Dusseldorp

Known throughout his life as Dick, Gerardus Dusseldorp had just come to Australia and created Civil and Civic (later Lend…

24 Jan 2020

Heritage Cai Guo-Qiang, China b.1957

We talk about it a lot. One of life’s most essential elements it is now being celebrated in an exhibition:…

18 Jan 2020

Lachlan Macquarie

One of the Scots who made extraordinary contributions to Australia was Lachlan Macquarie. Grantley Kieza has published several biographies including…

11 Jan 2020

Natalia Aroyan and friend at Sydney Opera House

It’s summer in Sydney, so there is an Opera Season. Two productions by the distinguished British director David McVicar –…

21 Dec 2019

Why do monsters make such good writers?

Did any of you know that most of the 20th-century monsters — Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Ceausescu, Duvalier, and even the…

24 Jan 2020

Whisky and striptease: stories from an old people’s home

For the last four years of her long life, this upstairs room and this magnificent sea view belonged to Mrs…

24 Jan 2020

What has Mr Benn got to do with horse insurance?

‘Time to begin your adventure with Mr Benn!’ said the letter that came through my door, in a big loopy…

24 Jan 2020

The trainer who gives the big boys a run for their money

Racing’s New Year began well with the award of OBEs to both Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, showing that they…

24 Jan 2020

How David Rosenhan’s fraudulent Thud experiment set back psychiatry for decades

In January 1973, Science (along with Nature, the most influential general science journal in the world) published an article that…

24 Jan 2020

Babies are aware of bilingualism from birth — if not before

Probably most of the world is bilingual, or more than bilingual. It is common in many countries to speak a…

24 Jan 2020

Rembrandt remains an enigma

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–69) is not only the presiding genius of the Dutch golden age of painting, but one…

24 Jan 2020

The Pearl Harbor fiasco need never have happened

It is sometimes said that intelligence failures are often failures of assessment rather than collection. This is especially so when…

24 Jan 2020

We were highly amused: the Queen — and Mrs Thatcher — thought Ken Dodd tattyfilarious

Doddy! Thou shouldst be living at this hour. England hath need of tickling sticks. So also hath the rest of…

24 Jan 2020

Dreaming of the desert: my life in the Sahara, by Sanmao

Travel writing is ‘the red light district of literature’, as Colin Thubron aptly put it, a space where anything goes.…

24 Jan 2020

The wanderings of Ullis: Low, by Jeet Thayil, reviewed

Jeet Thayil’s previous novel, The Book of Chocolate Saints, an account of a fictional Indian artist and poet told in…

24 Jan 2020

Desperate to preserve her sister Jane’s reputation, Cassandra Austen lost her own

Poor Cassy. The Miss Austen of this novel’s title is Cassandra, Jane’s elder sister. She was to have married Thomas…

24 Jan 2020