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Coronavirus: time for Plan D?

I think it’s time for plan D.  Plan A, as I’m sure you remember, was to “flatten the curve”. For…

27 Jul 2021

Are the states pushing the constitutional limits of their ‘police powers’?

Let’s be clear. The essence of our federal system as it applies to the ordinary citizen is that we are…

27 Jul 2021

Can Do can – but at Amanda Stoker’s expense

My esteemed colleague Terry Barnes, here in the ethereal pages of the Speccie Australia, this morning wrote a ‘Double Shot’ briefing piece…

27 Jul 2021

When are we going to get out of this mess?

When are we going to get out of this mess? When are all of these lockdowns, mask mandates, on-again, off-again…

27 Jul 2021

The fading case for vaccine passports

Last week, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the current surge in NSW infections is due to the Delta variant,…

27 Jul 2021

Illegal tobacco syndicates are a problem Australia and Asia doesn’t need

Recently, the joint Australia-ASEAN Taskforce on Illicit Tobacco seized over 19 million illegal cigarettes bound for our Indo-Pacific region. The…

26 Jul 2021

Campbell Newman: can Can Do do it?

Let’s open with a trivia question: which Royal Military College Duntroon colleague did Campbell Newman act as best man to? The…

26 Jul 2021

One continent, eight nations

The British rugby fans have their Six Nations. Well, we now have eight nations, if you count our beloved territories. …

26 Jul 2021

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The Lancet, China and the origins of coronavirus

Right from its first issue in 1823, the Lancet was more than just an ordinary medical journal. Its founding editor,…

27 Jul 2021

The man behind Xi Jinping

At the height of the Cultural Revolution, over a billion copies of Mao’s Little Red Book were distributed across the…

27 Jul 2021

Trouble for the US at the Woke-yo Olympics

Can Trumpists still believe in ‘America First’ if they root against America in the Olympics? Yes, apparently. The US team…

27 Jul 2021

Can I join Marjorie Taylor Greene in Twitter jail?

Marjorie Taylor Greene held a press conference late last week. It took place inside, meaning the Jews with the space…

27 Jul 2021

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New Zealanders are revolting against Ardern

Thousands of tractors this recent week lined the streets of towns and cities throughout the country. In ‘The Howl of…

24 Jul 2021

New Zealand's transgender debate is turning nasty

New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. But now,…

14 Jul 2021

Will fairy dust power New Zealand?

Wishful thinking, allied to government incompetence and the ambition of our Prime Minister, is lining up trouble ahead. In one…

13 Jul 2021

Kiwi Life

One of my goals over the coming months is to watch an entire rugby game for the first time in…

10 Jul 2021

New Zealanders are revolting against Ardern

Thousands of tractors this recent week lined the streets of towns and cities throughout the country. In ‘The Howl of…

24 Jul 2021

Flirting with the Marxists

I would vote for any party that promised either to privatise the ABC or to make it a subscription service,…

24 Jul 2021

Business/Robbery, etc.

It’s a legal double-whammy, especially for the resources sector. ‘Perceived bias’ in the Australian judiciary on the one hand and,…

24 Jul 2021

The moral scolds are now in charge

I am in charge of streaming in our household. Someone has to be. Let face it, there is a dizzying…

24 Jul 2021

The Big Lie vs Stop the Steal

The soporific vision of genial old Joe, eating ice cream and mumbling through an autocued speech, belies what’s actually happening…

24 Jul 2021

Ivermectin. It’s as Aussie as Vegemite

As more than five million Sydneysiders woke up to their fourth week under house arrest, they were greeted with the…

24 Jul 2021

Why does the Pope dislike conservatives?

To pray for someone’s death is morally wrong, yet it will be difficult for many Roman Catholics to resist the…

24 Jul 2021

Constitutional outrage

The Wuhan virus could never be sufficient reason to justify the evasion of much of the separation of powers and…

24 Jul 2021

The Greeks

What a time of captivity, what a time of plague. The Disney musical Frozen, long delayed by the mammoth Melbourne…

24 Jul 2021

Martin Clunes

Just as the lockdown imprisons the people of Sydney those in Canberra have had the chance to see that exhilaration…

17 Jul 2021

Opera Australia’s production of Otello

Lockdown must be making me irritable; an article during the week really got me going. It concerns two forthcoming productions…

17 Jul 2021

Ethos

A Sydney lockdown on the heels of Melbourne: what price entertainment? It seemed natural as ever to have recourse to…

10 Jul 2021

Aussie Life

It used to be that sporting endeavour was regarded as a noble cause, and that our sporting pastimes were governed…

24 Jul 2021

Aussie Language

Talking to Peta Credlin on Sky News I coined a new expression, ‘language communists’. I used to call the bullies…

24 Jul 2021

Can the Lions prise open the strong Boks?

You would need a digger to explore the levels of irony in a Springbok chief slagging off an opponent’s dirty…

24 Jul 2021

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends asking to stay in my holiday cottage?

Q. My beloved wife has been studying Chinese metaphysics for 18 months. Our house and garden have been badly neglected…

24 Jul 2021

The least familiar stretches of Nile prove the most interesting

It’s one of the most tantalising travel images in the world — a felucca floating along the Nile at sunset,…

24 Jul 2021

Terence’s stamp: The Art of Living, by Stephen Bayley, reviewed

Rumours reach me that the libel report for Stephen Bayley’s forthcoming biography of Terence Conran was longer than the book…

24 Jul 2021

Playing with fire — did QAnon start as a cynical game?

On Easter Monday 2018, Donald and Melania Trump stood on the balcony of the White House next to a giant…

24 Jul 2021

As circus gets serious, is all the fun of the fair lost?

What’s so serious about a red nose? How should we analyse the ‘specific socio-historical relations’ and ‘aesthetic trends particular to…

24 Jul 2021

Even psychiatrists don’t know how the drugs they prescribe work

What is it like to go mad? Not so much developing depression or having a panic attack — which is…

24 Jul 2021

The great awakening: Henry Shukman becomes a child of the universe

For eight years I rented a small house in Oxford overlooking the canal. The landlord, a poet and novelist younger…

24 Jul 2021

The man who made Manhattan: The Great Mistake, by Jonathan Lee, reviewed

What makes a city? The collective labour of millions packed into its history; the constant forgetting of incomers who arrive…

24 Jul 2021

The young bride’s tale: China Room, by Sunjeev Sahota, reviewed

Sunjeev Sahota’s novels present an unvarnished image of British Asian lives. Ours Are the Streets chronicles a suicide bomber’s radicalisation,…

24 Jul 2021