Australian politics, society & culture


Mungo MacCallum

Mungo MacCallum is a political journalist and commentator. His books include Run Johnny Run, Poll Dancing, and Punch and Judy. Visit his blog, The View from Billinudgel.

Articles by this author

What does the government think it will achieve with its proposed reforms?
The thin edge of the citizenship wedge
You might not know it, but Australia is in deadly peril. National security is endangered on all fronts, the most obvious indicator being the imminent arrival of fleets of boats...
The Trump impression is just another eggshell for the PM to walk on
All jokes aside
Let’s face it, it was hardly surprising to find Malcolm Turnbull taking the piss out of Donald Trump. For starters, just about everyone does it – indeed, for much of the time, The...
Theresa May and Malcolm Turnbull are both regretting their early elections
Malcolm Turnbull can hardly rejoice about the conservative debacle in the UK last week. But he must be feeling a perverse satisfaction that he is not the only mug who called an...
The opposition to the Uluru statement is dispiriting and frustrating but predictable
Foregone conclusions
The crusaders of the far right have delivered their sentence: the Uluru statement is to be dead, buried and cremated before it can infect the fairness and decency of the ignorant...
The anniversary of Menzies’ forgotten people speech is a plea by the conservatives to get back to their roots
The mythical Menzies
For much of last week the Liberal Party was creaming its well-tailored trousers over a speech made 75 years ago by the party’s founder. Actually he was not the party’s founder...
The rumours of Anthony Albanese’s leadership challenge have been greatly exaggerated
The non-existent coup
It was less than a week after the budget before febrile stories of a leadership coup started to surface. Not, specifically, about Malcolm Turnbull: the fact that he is on...
The government was brave to stand up to the banks but the battle has just begun
Take it to the banks
At last, a truly courageous decision from the government of Malcolm Turnbull. Even Sir Humphrey Appleby would be somewhat gobsmacked. It is still not entirely clear what...
The ban on gambling advertising during live sporting events is welcome and necessary policy
Regulate responsibly
Two cheers for the nanny state – or, if you prefer it, a regime attempting to enhance the physical, mental, economic and social wellbeing of the community. The big one was a...
John Coates’ 27-year AOC tenure must end before real change can take place
Marathon man
John Coates has been the Australian Olympic Committee’s unchallenged supremo for 27 years – that’s already ten years longer than the reign of Robert Menzies as prime minister –...
The government is more concerned about opinion polls than solving real problems
Housing divided
Scott Morrison says that Labor’s eight-point plan to help ease the housing crisis will make no real difference. Well, he should know. Barely a week ago Morrison cautioned that...
Turnbull’s trip to India produced very little except another PR boost for the Adani mine
A pointless passage to India
It has to be said that Malcolm Turnbull’s passage to India was a bit of a letdown. For starters, he played an almost inaudible second fiddle to the country’s wildly popular...
Tony Nutt takes the fall for the Liberal Party’s election campaign but could still be its biggest winner
Nutt bolts
There is an old and wise maxim that a politician should never institute an inquiry unless they know precisely what the result is going to be. But there are always exceptions to...
Latham’s sacking reveals the hypocrisy of the free-speech crusaders
Sky’s the limit
What a craven capitulation to political correctness. What a surrender to the great values of Australian democracy, the most important of which, it needs hardly be said (although...
Turnbull is being dragged into an 18C crusade he cannot win
The lose–lose battle
Malcolm Turnbull celebrated International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by seeking to remove sanctions against Australians who want to insult, offend and...
The defenders of free speech are happy to shut it down when it suits them
The great crusades
The elitist couch crusaders of the far right have had a busy but productive week – so many pesky lefties to sneer at, so much political correctness to whinge about. It was almost...
George Christensen’s resignation as National Party whip changes little
There’s no appeasing George
George Christensen has resigned as the Nationals’ whip, but he has not left the party – yet. Instead, he will shoot his mouth off in all directions, and, if he fails to get his...
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Australia drew attention to a growing consensus in the Labor Party
Two states of mind
For most Australians, the ceremonial visit of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was probably something of a non-event. The aficionados were enthused, of course, and...
Attacking Bill Shorten won’t give Malcolm Turnbull the policy legitimacy he needs
The great dominators
Paul Keating regarded parliamentary performance as a crucial part of his leadership. If you couldn’t win in the parliament, he declared, you couldn’t win in the country. And it...