Don Watson

Don Watson
Don Watson is an award-winning author and former speechwriter for Paul Keating. His books include Death Sentence: The Decay of Public Language, Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: A Portrait of Paul Keating PMAmerican JourneysThe Bush, the Quarterly Essay ‘Enemy Within: American Politics in the Time of Trump’ and There It Is Again, a collection of his writing.

By this author

Lost for words


Our politicians have paltry ideas and express them poorly


Whitlam’s ghost

Australian Politics

Remembering Gough Whitlam puts modern Labor to shame

Andrew Bolt and Tony Abbott. © Jason Edwards / Newspix

The conservative crusade against the ABC

Federal politics

Why do Andrew Bolt and company love to hate the national broadcaster?

Lest we go over the top

History Wars

How should we remember World War One?

Tony Abbott apologises

Prime ministers

The prime minister is sorry about everything

The all-purpose election victory speech


Thank you, thank you, thank you, no, really, please, thank you. A short time ago, my opponent called me to offer his congratulations. He’s a good bloke, whatever his colleagues might say. I thank him and I thank Australia, and the people of Australia. …

In praise of Tony Windsor


Fan mail for the former MP

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

The Kings and I


Horse racing’s inegalitarian streak

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Comment: A New Dusk

Tertiary education

In 1967, when La Trobe University was brand new and underpopulated, John O’Brien, an Irish historian with a wild and feverish laugh, told us about the enemy within. It was not for anything the administration had done, or any of the horrid things that …