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.
By this author
The bleak choices facing Manus Island demonstrators
The best medicine
Freedom of speech
Inevitably, in the wake of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, the argument has turned to the line between satire and offence. But, in fact, this is a false dichotomy.
The two are indivisible; if satire does not offend at least someone, …
Tony Abbott determined not to repeat Gough Whitlam’s mistakes in Queensland
Never gonna give you up
University fee deregulation and why Christopher Pyne just can't let it go
Pushing the button
On Tony Abbott's pledge to keep the faith with the Australian people
Tony Abbott's political suicide
Gough Whitlam, 1916-2014
Gough Whitlam may have taken great delight in designing his own funeral arrangements – or at least a self-mocking fantasy version of them. But the pleasure of reciting his epitaph rested with a colleague, the acerbic New South Wales premier Neville …
The Australian’s war on plain packaging
Let me declare an interest. I smoked heavily until 1990, when I quit. I have not touched a cigarette for 24 years. I was diagnosed with throat cancer earlier this year, and have undergone 15 hours of surgery followed by a brutal program of chemotherapy …
All obligation and no mutual
John Howard called it “mutual obligation”, but to most of us it was just work for the dole.
The idea was that those who received an unemployment benefit from the government had to do something to earn it. Usually that involved digging holes …
Abbott’s Friends, Frenemies and Floundering Fools
Forget the bomb throwers of the mad right: Malcolm Turnbull is not gunning for Tony Abbott.
Of course, he is still hoping against hope that the Liberal Party will regain its lost sanity and restore him to his rightful position as its leader, but he is …
The Dogs are Talking
A lot of political hardheads thought it would happen sometime, but few expected it so soon: barely six months after Tony Abbott led the Coalition to a very comfortable election win, speculation about his leadership is already underway.
His judgement, …
Medicare: With friends like Liberals, who needs enemies?
The reason for the much-loathed $7 co-payment for visits to bulk billing GPs, we were solemnly assured, was that the Medicare system is simply becoming unsustainable; something had to be done to rein in the costs.
That was bullshit, and easily demonstrable …
Sometimes, the Good Guys Really Do Win
Last week the giant Metgasco Company was preparing to move a drilling rig onto farmland at Bentley, west of Lismore, and the New South Wales government was preparing to confront the locals resisting it. Some 800 police, including elements of the Sydney …
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