Flat White

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Rejecting the vote

If you ask anyone in a Western nation whether he or she believes in democracy as a system of government,…

25 Mar 2017

The Thawley Essay Prize 2016

Mulga Creek Farm Sept 15th 2026 Dear Sis, I thought I would write a long letter this time seeing as…

25 Mar 2017

Where’s the due diligence on renewables?

You know that lovely warm glow you get on a summer’s evening when it’s still 42 degrees outside and you’re…

25 Mar 2017

Attacking the rule of law

The rule of law has been a trending topic this year, both in Australia and overseas. Much of the discussion…

25 Mar 2017

Business/Robbery etc

It really works! When the big end of town puts its mind to it (along with a few million dollars),…

25 Mar 2017

Tarnished crown jewel

With Malcolm Turnbull hanging on by a one-seat majority federally, the devastating result in the Western Australian state election leaves…

25 Mar 2017

Whacky schemes

When the Rudd government greatly expanded the Renewable Energy Target in 2009, turning an innocuous Howard government initiative into the…

25 Mar 2017

Bureaucrats and barbarians

We have mourned Bill Leak. Now we must avenge him. The time for tears has passed. It’s anger we need…

18 Mar 2017

Michael Parekowhai The English Channel, 2015 stainless steel, 257 x 166 x 158 cm.

Australians have a proprietorial interest in Captain James Cook but of course he belongs to the whole world. That is…

25 Mar 2017

Tapestry in progress: Gordian Knot, 2016

For a creative arts organisation to operate successfully in Australia for 40 years is an achievement in itself. The Australian…

18 Mar 2017

Cressida Campbell Margaret Olley interior (detail) 1992 hand-coloured woodblock Private Collection

Margaret Olley had a gift for friendship, that is, in addition to her gifts as a wonderful painter. Among her…

11 Mar 2017

Cressida Campbell Margaret Olley interior (detail) 1992 hand-coloured woodblock Private Collection

Margaret Olley had a gift for friendship, that is, in addition to her gifts as a wonderful painter. Among her…

9 Mar 2017

High life

A cloudless sky, crunchy spring snow, longer, warmer days. I’ve finally got in some good skiing, twisting around moguls like…

25 Mar 2017

Real life

‘Mesdames et messieurs, allow me to introduce you to your meals,’ said the waiter. Oh lordy, I thought. Here we…

25 Mar 2017

The liberals and the deplorables

In America, an argument has broken out among journalists, writers and intellectuals in the aftermath of the presidential election about…

25 Mar 2017

High life

At a chic dinner party last week, a friendly chow as big and black as a dog can be without…

18 Mar 2017

Low life

After circuiting Spain by train, I went east to Italy, stopping on the way at the French border town of…

18 Mar 2017

Real life

Someone has given the builder boyfriend an iPhone and things will never be the same. Until now, he has always…

18 Mar 2017

The best sort of magic realism

Michael Fishwick’s new novel tells the story of a young man called Robbie, who has been uprooted from his London…

25 Mar 2017

A genial green guide to 2000 AD

I can recall exactly where I was 40 years ago when I didn’t buy the first issue — or ‘prog’…

25 Mar 2017

Mach the Knife

The business of banking (from the Italian word banco, meaning ‘counter’) was essentially Italian in origin. The Medici bank, founded…

25 Mar 2017

Prophesying doom

Boualem Sansal’s prophetic novel very clearly derives its lineage from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. A totalitarian surveillance state, a fundamentalist…

25 Mar 2017

Holy heroes

The Reformation is such a huge, sprawling historical subject that it makes sense, in this the 500th anniversary of Martin…

25 Mar 2017

The road to independence

Alone with her father’s dead body, Olive Piper says, ‘I don’t know anything, except what I feel, and how can…

25 Mar 2017

An epic for our times

Trailing rave US reviews, fan letters from Yann Martel and Khaled Hosseini and a reputation as ‘Doctor Zhivago for the…

25 Mar 2017

Charming old fox

Talleyrand was 76 when he took up the post of French ambassador in London in 1830. Linda Kelly deals only…

25 Mar 2017

The man and the moment

The centenary of the Russian Revolution has arrived right on time, just as the liberal democratic world is getting a…

25 Mar 2017

Bear essentials

In Yoko Tawada’s surreal and beguiling novel we meet three bears: mother, daughter and grandson. But there will be no…

25 Mar 2017

Changing lanes

It’s fair to say Sonja Hansen’s life has stalled. Forties, tall and ungainly, veteran of failed relationships, she’s an uncomfortable…

25 Mar 2017

Beautiful thoughts for all occasions

Kahlil Gibran was 40 years old, a short — he was just 5’3” — dapper man with doleful eyes and…

25 Mar 2017