Mungo MacCallum

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.

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Boat debate not so simple


Suddenly the asylum seeker debate is not quite so simple. The Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has made it clear even to the most stubborn voter in the front bars of the western Sydney pubs that Tony Abbott does not have the answer. His …

The queen must be sacrificed


To save the game, the queen had to be sacrificed – well, not so much sacrificed as replaced by the previously sidelined king. And of course there will be consequences, and not all of them will be pleasant – the removal of a monarch can never …

The Australian’s Vendetta Against Clive Palmer


The Australian already runs plenty of vendettas against the Greens, the ABC, the NBN, climate science, the Fairfax press and of course the Labor government and the independents who support it, to name but the most obvious. But it is a surprise …

The Mad Election


Can it get any crazier? As the Australian political scene descends into a wallow of pettiness centred around who is and who is not wearing a blue tie, the long-suffering electorate is preparing to install a Prime Minister less than one fifth of the voters …

Afghanistan: When Will We Ever Learn?

Afghanistan war

So the Australian troops are packing up their base at Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan province and preparing to leave Afghanistan. And not before time. Going into Afghanistan was always a bad idea: not as bad an idea as going into Iraq, or into Vietnam, or into …

The Departure of Martin Ferguson

Australian Politics

It says something about the nature of modern Australian politics that when the Labor veteran Martin Ferguson announced his imminent retirement, his own leader Julia Gillard was clearly less upset than was Liberal leader Tony Abbott. And in fact the two …

Betting Rules


Julia Gillard is a very cautious punter; she prefers to have a dollar each way rather than risk all on a straight out plunge. So it is unsurprising that her proposed code for spruiking betting during sport on television is a pretty half-hearted one. There …

Another Abbott First


Another first for the ever-unpredictable Tony Abbott. There is, he says, much in the budget that he finds objectionable – in fact, he doesn’t like it much at all. But he’s not going to oppose it – indeed, he’s not even going …

Slippery Pete and the Record for Political Flexibility

For a couple of days there it looked as though Peter Slipper had his sights set on an unlikely quadrella. Had his application to join Clive Palmer’s still-putative United Australia party stuck, it would have meant that he had sat in the House of …