flat white

Australia is already at Net Zero

Australia has a landmass of 7,692,024 square kilometres with a sparse inland population, greenhouse gas-emitting livestock, and heavy industry. Combined…

24 May 2022

De-Carbonising the Liberal Moderates

The process of counting the casualties from the weekend’s political massacre continues. That hasn’t slowed Labor down. The first official…

24 May 2022

Farewell to freedom

At face value, the 2022 federal election is a run-of-the-mill change of government election. In the post-Menzies era, the average…

23 May 2022

The media's obsession with crucifying Scomo

Scott Morrison and his faith have been the subject of national discussion for three years, and yet journalists still don’t…

23 May 2022

Election 2022: lessons and consequences

This year’s federal election was insane. It was chaotic. It was all over the place. And it has catastrophic consequences…

23 May 2022

Progressive or conservative? Αsk Deves

O me miserum; mea culpa! and other Latin phrases of a similar kind. The worst federal government in many years…

23 May 2022

The rich vote Left

The least conservative Liberal (and National) government in Australia’s history lost last weekend. There was no enthusiastic move to Labor.…

23 May 2022

Is this (rough) democratic justice?

In December 1989, the Queensland National Party government lost power after 32 years in office. As David Barnett recounts in…

22 May 2022

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Biden's vow to defend Taiwan marks the end of Obama-era neutrality

Joe Biden will be flying back from his trip to Asia having made a big promise: that the US will…

23 May 2022

Should a trans woman inherit a peerage over their older sister?

It’s House of Lords reform, Jim, but not as we know it. Matilda Simon has applied to contest the next…

23 May 2022

Is Ukraine going to win?

The climactic battle for Ukraine is being fought in the east, on the dangerous, open terrain of the Donbas. Since…

23 May 2022

How the West is helping Putin's propagandists

One might not think that J. R. R. Tolkien has much to do with the bitter war in Ukraine, but…

23 May 2022

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Kiwi crime capers

It looked like a scene from a Hollywood heist movie. Three expensive, late-model cars (stolen, of course) race through a…

14 May 2022

New Zealand's Maori language obsession is baffling Kiwis

New Zealand’s borders have finally reopened after a two-year Covid shutdown. But those who travel down under are in for…

9 May 2022

New Zealand in turmoil

Political corruption may always be endemic, but moves by our powerful, now immensely wealthy neo-tribal corporations have become so blatantly…

7 May 2022

A Covid retrospective

Two years ago, I and a small group of multi-disciplinary New Zealand-based academics published our Covid Plan B. The plan…

30 Apr 2022

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The end of religious freedom in Hong Kong

If future historians wish to date the end of religious freedom in Hong Kong, they can note Wednesday, 11 May…

21 May 2022

Failure of the Fourth Estate

How many readers have heard of the Republican-leaning polling operation, Rasmussen? Rasmussen’s results are as good as the many left-leaning…

21 May 2022

Lose-win

Is this a good election for the government to lose? If you are a current Coalition parliamentarian, the answer would…

21 May 2022

Don’t mention the swastika

Having experienced the warmth and openness of Victorians, the idea of the Garden State as a stomping ground for neo-Nazi…

21 May 2022

Being Penny Wong

The march of post-modern irrationalism through our democratic institutions continues unabated. The latest example of how the extraordinary achievements of…

21 May 2022

Back to the future?

As the polls soften in the final week of the campaign, two prospects loom before the electorate. A Coalition that…

21 May 2022

Bad policy, bad politics

On 19 April Wimbledon decided to ban all players from Russia, the aggressor in Ukraine, and Belarus, which let Russia…

21 May 2022

Saving the Liberal left?

There is nothing like a very long, very tedious election campaign that totally ignores the pain of the truly dispossessed…

21 May 2022

Great Tenor, shame about the bric-a-brac

Lohengrin is early, just after Tannhäuser in the cavalcade of Wagner’s masterpieces, with a swan-drawn Arthurian hero in thrall to…

21 May 2022

A dramatic dream of Australia

1922 is the wonder year of twentieth century literature, the so-called annus mirabilis: T.S. Eliot published The Waste Land, James…

14 May 2022

Life from both sides now

It’s a strange thing the way we keep interpreting and re-interpreting the different aspects of our culture that have become…

7 May 2022

Anatomy of a forgettable scandal

An evening of shorts, courtesy of Flickerfest, even at a lustrous cinema like the Kino in the Sofitel complex off…

30 Apr 2022

Aussie life

The education of the young is an essential component for the transmission of culture from one generation to the next.…

21 May 2022

Language

We all know ‘adult’ the noun, and we know what an ‘adult’ is (‘because,’ as a friend said to me,…

21 May 2022

My one to watch at the French Open

The timing of Brendon McCullum’s appointment as England’s Test match coach couldn’t be better for him, or for the matey…

21 May 2022

Dear Mary: How do I dodge my village’s Jubilee tug-of-war contest?

Q. I’m 28 and lucky enough to own a four-bed house in Notting Hill. I let three of the rooms…

21 May 2022

Is Anna Wintour human?

Apparently Anna Wintour wants to be seen as human, and Amy Odell’s biography goes some way to helping her achieve…

21 May 2022

The sad fate of Edna St Vincent Millay – America’s once celebrated poet

In June 1957, Robert Lowell attended a poetry reading by E.E. Cummings. Sitting dutifully and deferentially alongside him were Allen…

21 May 2022

The danger of learning too much from Covid

When Ray Bradbury was asked if his dystopian vision in Fahrenheit 451 would become a reality, he replied: ‘I don’t…

21 May 2022

The treatment of mental illness continues to be a scandal

There is much more desperation in this searching and enlightening history than there are remedies. Andrew Scull is a distinguished…

21 May 2022

Travels in time and space: Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel, reviewed

It’s a bold writer who confronts a major historical moment such as a pandemic before it’s over, but Emily St.…

21 May 2022

The history of Nazism in small objects

‘I can’t cook,’ writes the historian Karina Urbach, ‘which is probably why it took me so long to realise that…

21 May 2022

Operation Chariot succeeded because it was unthinkable

Eighty years ago, just after midnight on 28 March 1942, the British destroyer HMS Campbeltown crept up the estuary of…

21 May 2022

For ruthless inhumanity, the Bolsheviks were unbeatable

‘For far too long,’ Sir Antony Beevor writes, ‘we have made the mistake of talking about wars as a single…

21 May 2022