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Tony, Pauline and Cory

The best chance of sound and honest government returning to Australia will be the emergence of, if not a grand…

18 Feb 2017

The refugee fetish

On February 8, the Australian published a full page advertisement paid for by 72 organisations calling for the evacuation of…

18 Feb 2017

Picking judges

President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats in the United States are about to engage in political warfare about who will…

18 Feb 2017

Lapping it up

Last time around they managed to put her in gaol. Now they are rolling out the red carpet. Pauline Hanson…

18 Feb 2017

Book lover’s notes

The hot days of summer inspire two impulses, a good clean up, curiously called a spring clean, and the desire…

18 Feb 2017

Hawke’s myopia

Bob Hawke is a respected former Labor PM, but in a recent article in the AFR he incorrectly elevated Israeli…

18 Feb 2017

Mr Trumble’s dumb deal

President Trump was right. It was a ‘dumb deal’, dumb for both Australia and the United States. First, it was…

11 Feb 2017

The Cory revolution

It’s hard to imagine that, less than five years ago, Cory Bernardi was Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary. The role suited…

11 Feb 2017

Vincent van Gogh Wheat Field with Cypresses, Saint-Rémy, 1889. The National Gallery London

Make sure you are in Melbourne between late April and early July to see the important Van Gogh exhibition coming…

18 Feb 2017

James Cook items, Treasures Gallery, NLA, Canberra

If you missed the 100 Objects from the British Museum on display at the Museum of Australia, don’t despair, there…

11 Feb 2017

Jason Chong & Mark Leonard Winter in Chimerica

This is one for the brighter kids in the class. Chimerica by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood was first produced by…

4 Feb 2017

Lucia Martin-Cartón soprano soloist

Countless indignities have been visited upon the Hallelujah Chorus. Currently it is being used in a suggestive television commercial for…

28 Jan 2017

High life

Gstaad One’s unpopularity on account of calling it a night diminishes in direct proportion to the severity of the next…

18 Feb 2017

Low life

A deep frost in the winter of 1821–22 killed the orange trees in Nice. The Anglican minister to the English…

18 Feb 2017

Real life

Fine, so I got it completely wrong. It turns out the sale of my flat was not held up by…

18 Feb 2017

Breathtaking and brilliant

Perfection in sport: unattainable, but sometimes you can come close. Moments, people, actions you never tire of watching: Roger Federer’s…

18 Feb 2017

Can I bear to sack the digital babysitter?

I was astonished to discover in conversation with another dad last week that he and his wife intended to introduce…

18 Feb 2017

The turf

The drumbeats are quickening ahead of the Cheltenham Festival and at this stage there really is no substitute for going…

18 Feb 2017

The classic that conquered the world

Somewhere between his first and second drafts, Victor Hugo decided to change the title of his great novel from Les…

18 Feb 2017

A whirlwind life

The dust cover features one of the best-known caricatures of Richard Wagner, his enormous head in this version opened like…

18 Feb 2017

What the secretary saw

What the secretary sawSarah Churchwell Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of the Jazz Age by Althea McDowell AltemusUniversity of…

18 Feb 2017

The nature of genius

On 21 December 1945, Ezra Pound was confined to St Elizabeths hospital in Washington DC. He had broadcast for Rome…

18 Feb 2017

Bedside manners

‘A tricky part of my job,’ the GP said, scrolling through the next patient’s notes, ‘is breaking good news.’ As…

18 Feb 2017

Tricks of the trades

Oddly enough, one of the most historically influential pieces of British writing has turned out to be an essay that…

18 Feb 2017

Swash and buckle aplenty

A feeble king and his scheming minister, a hunchback noble and the Daughters of Repentance, a botched assassination and a…

18 Feb 2017

Everyday unhappiness

This is an extraordinarily compelling novel for one in which nothing really happens but everything changes. Sara Baume’s narrator is…

18 Feb 2017

In praise of LSD

Ayelet Waldman is, surely, not the first writer to have scrolled through a list of ‘Books of the Year’ and…

18 Feb 2017

Three’s a crowd

James Lasdun’s latest novel, billed as a psychological thriller, opens in Brooklyn in the summer of 2012. Charlie and his…

18 Feb 2017

The game of life

In the introduction to his new book Steven Johnson starts out by describing the ninth-century Book of Ingenious Devices and…

18 Feb 2017

Intimations of mortality

In Deaths of the Poets two living examples of the species, Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, retail the closing…

11 Feb 2017