flat white

America’s wildfires: products of the policies that left us so badly burnt

First Australia in the first months of the year — and now the western parts of the United States. Australian…

22 Sep 2020

New health advice from Victoria: get stoned

If you are a Victorian who has never tried illegal drugs, now might be a good time to start. Get…

22 Sep 2020

More great jobs news from Victoria

There’s yet more evidence out today from the Bureau of Statistics that instead of #IstandwithDan, the hashtag should read #IstandinaqueueatCentrelinkthankstoDan.…

Celebrity pollies and turncoats may flame in – but most simply flameout

No-one could accuse Senator Kristina Keneally of being a turncoat, but a political ‘celebrity’? I reckon she’d settle for that. …

22 Sep 2020

A Newspoll tick, but Daniel Andrews is still bottom of the class

There’s been much buzz this morning around the Newspoll in The Australian which shows 62 per cent of Victorian voters…

Daniel Andrews’ indefinite detention plans – and yet more questions

The lack of specificity in the Covid-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill raises critical questions on which the Bill is mute…

22 Sep 2020

The danger of following the experts

People should be wary of politicians justifying their actions in terms of “following the experts.” Victorians are learning that lesson…

22 Sep 2020

Replacing RBG – much ado about the same thing

Aren’t the Democrats hoping to win the Presidency so they can nominate a left-sympathiser judge to the vacancy on the…

21 Sep 2020

The dangers of a Covid ‘elimination’ policy

It’s understandable that, in a crisis, politicians reach for wartime metaphors – but they don’t always fit. There was the…

22 Sep 2020

How environmentalists destroyed California’s forests

I believe it was John Fremont who once exclaimed in astonishment and pride that one could ride his horse at…

22 Sep 2020

Five questions for Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance

The chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, made a statement this morning on…

22 Sep 2020

Is Covid really rising in Spain? A look at the data

In a press briefing today Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance showed epidemic curves for Spain and France — demonstrating…

Has Sweden really pulled it off?

Those who question Australia’s official coronavirus narrative are met with the dismissive retort: Australia with 25 million people has 770…

19 Sep 2020

The rise of the bureaucrats

Victorians seem to have accepted the need for their extended Covid lockdown, which has been the longest and harshest anywhere…

19 Sep 2020

The ABC’s democracy deficit

‘The fires. The virus. The crisis,’ intones the ad in the weekly rural paper. ‘Imagine them without the ABC.’ One…

19 Sep 2020

Virtual reality check

There is an old joke that a geologist, a physicist and an economist are marooned on a desert island with…

19 Sep 2020

The Melbourne disease

Alas, Australia’s sad little secret is out. If we ever were a nation of larrikins, we are no longer. Larrikin…

19 Sep 2020

Business/Robbery etc.

Rio Tinto’s ‘cave-in’: a major boost to shareholder activism A triumph of shareholder activism in a good cause – or…

19 Sep 2020

Once upon a time there was a wicked virus…

Australia’s political class is bewitched, bothered and bewildered by a fairy tale. It goes like this: Once upon a time,…

19 Sep 2020

Remembering the Greatest

‘You don’t have it!’ Muhammad Ali bellowed at Joe Frazier as his rival clambered into the ring and made his…

19 Sep 2020

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason

The world became aware of Sheku Kanneh-Mason when he played the cello at the wedding of Harry and Meghan Sussex…

19 Sep 2020

Cynical Theories

They are possibly the most politically incorrect authors in the world.  And they have universities squarely in their sights.  Helen…

12 Sep 2020

Angus Cerini

No longer confined to the digital space, the Australian Chamber Orchestra is returning to the platform in City Recital Hall…

5 Sep 2020

Paul Newton

Things are starting to happen culturally, at least outside of Victoria. Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre is rehearsing a play to…

29 Aug 2020

Aussie Life

Simon Collins ‘That’s 6 in a row. #Melbourne is, once again, the world’s most liveable city!’ So tweeted a proud…

Have big cities had their day?

About 15 years ago I noticed a few surviving chattel houses in Barbados and wondered what they were. As it…

19 Sep 2020

Dear Mary: how can I avoid my friend’s awful favourite restaurant?

Q. Almost a year ago I attended the funeral of my godfather — a bachelor and distant relation whom I…

19 Sep 2020

The WFH community are finally walking their own dogs — with terrible consequences

Every time I get on a horse I have to face the likelihood that a dog, or pack of dogs,…

19 Sep 2020

City of dazzling mosaics: the golden age of Ravenna

When we refer to someone as ‘Byzantine’ we usually mean guileful or too complicated and labyrinthine in manner or speech.…

19 Sep 2020

The Special Relationship was never very special

I have a book of essays from 1986 by a group of British and American scholars called The Special Relationship.…

19 Sep 2020

A dazzling fable about loneliness: Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke, reviewed

Susanna Clarke is a member of the elite group of authors who don’t write enough. In 2004, the bestselling debut…

19 Sep 2020

Bringing up Benzene: Charlie Gilmour adopts a magpie

One day a baby bird falls from its nest into an oily scrapyard in Bermondsey, south London and seems unlikely…

19 Sep 2020

Family secrets: Love Orange, by Natasha Randall, reviewed

The line between obsession and addiction is as thin as rolling paper. Neither are simple and both stem from absence,…

19 Sep 2020

When sexism was routine: the life of the female reporter in 1970s London

This book made me almost weep with nostalgia, but heaven knows what today’s snowflakes will make of it. Fleet Street…

19 Sep 2020

Is Germany really such a role model?

The British romance with Germany has always been an on-off affair. At the turn of the century, Kaiser Bill enjoyed…

19 Sep 2020

Eager for beavers : the case for their reintroduction

Conservationists are frequently criticised for focusing on glamorous species at the expense of others equally important but unluckily uglier —…

12 Sep 2020