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
‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ by Paul Kelly & Kev Carmody
Illustrations by Peter Hudson & Gurindji schoolchildren
Kevin Rudd personifies generational change in Australian politics, in part because he is the first prime minister not to have served an apprenticeship in Old Parliament House. Rudd entered parliament a mere ten years ago, and the amazing erection on Capital …
Jung at heart
A seldom-noted characteristic of the Australian political class is that almost all its members - participants, commentators and spectators - are fervent disciples of Carl Gustav Jung. Jung, along with Sigmund Freud, was one of the founders of modern psychology, …
Banker-turned-politician-turned-commentator Professor John Hewson is very cross with the Australian media. He thinks journalists have become infatuated with Kevin Rudd and will probably continue to back him uncritically "until long after he's relevant".
Dropping the ball
About two and a half thousand years ago, the historian Herodotus records, the Persian tyrant Xerxes was rampaging through northern Greece at the head of the greatest army the world had seen. He had forced the pass at Thermopylae, and now had an apparently …
Le parti, c’est moi
Liberal leaders since Menzies
El pollo loco
At the beginning of 1971 the Australian Labor Party found itself in the unusual position of having some spare money in the bank. A little over a year earlier Gough Whitlam had produced a massive swing to Labor, putting the party within easy striking distance …
Stars in their eyes
Imagine that you are a member of the Labor Party living in the regional New South Wales electorate of McMahon. The seat is held by the National Party, but the long-standing member is retiring this year, and that, combined with demographic changes, has …
As federal parliament began its final session of 2006, John Howard must have been feeling a bit like his beloved Australian cricket team: all he had to do to win was turn up. The past three elections had proved conclusively that he was not only omnipotent …
Walk the line
Mark Latham's latest work, A Conga Line of Suckholes, takes its tasteful title from one of the author's own more memorable epithets. Boof was referring to Liberal ministers queuing to service the American president, but the line could equally …
The ghost gum of garden city
Australia isn't very good at political monuments. We have nothing to compare with the Lincoln Memorial, let alone Mount Rushmore. Our greatest leaders are seldom commemorated by more than a brass plate on the house where they were born, or, in the case …
A word from Deakin
Strange are the twists of Fate.
As a young man and an aspiring politician I was an avid believer in the power of Spiritualism. Indeed, so convinced was I of my ability to communicate with the great men of the past that I thought, or imagined, to receive …
Stacking the board
When Henry Kissinger, the architect of the Vietnam War, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the satirist Tom Lehrer announced that he was going into retirement: he could no longer compete with reality. I confess to feeling the same way when I heard that …
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