Nick Dyrenfurth

Nick Dyrenfurth is the executive director of the John Curtin Research Centre. He is the author or editor of seven books, including A Little History of the Australian Labor Party, Mateship: A Very Australian History, A New History of the AWU and All That’s Left. Nick is an adjunct research fellow in the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University.


Articles by this author

Commentators are wrong to talk about a “Labor-lite” budget
Things don’t always get better
I’m showing my age – and an embarrassing musical collection – but for a moment on Tuesday night we were back in the mid 1990s. At the heart of Scott Morrison’s 2017 budget was a...
The Turnbull government loves to announce big new policies, but can’t get any of them to stick
Rinse, repeat
Cliché alert. The definition of insanity, Albert Einstein reputedly said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Whatever its veracity, this rule...
The government's move on 457 visas is proof that John Howard’s short-termism is here to stay
Howard’s chickens come home to roost
One of the peculiarities of Australian politics is that the most short-lived governments have often shaped our future for generations. Andrew Fisher’s six-month federal Labor...
Too many Liberal ministers have an uncritical nostalgia for the Howard years
Howard’s children
Among the commentariat there has been a tendency to regard Australian federal politics as having never escaped the events of mid 2010. According to this narrative, our elected...
The great hope of the Labor Party has become what he once despised
The tragedy of Mark Latham
On 26 August 2002, an ambitious, outspoken federal Labor shadow minister rose in the House of Representatives to rail against “the new political correctness” of the “conservative...
The fallout over 18C puts the Liberal Party at odds with mainstream conservatism
Once were conservatives
‘PM’s crusade for free speech’. ‘Change was won the day Bill died’. ‘Mission founded on Liberal values’. Three headlines on Malcolm Turnbull’s legislative attempts to water down...
One Nation’s leader claims to champion the working class, but her actions tell a different story
Pauline is no friend of the workers
Pauline Hanson is fond of styling herself as a plain-speaking, truth-telling anti-politician. Salt of the earth. Standing up for ordinary, so-called battler Australians. Sticking...
Like its predecessors, the Coalition government is still struggling to find a clear direction
It’s the mandate wot lost it
With mates like Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, who needs enemies? 2017 has begun awkwardly for Malcolm Turnbull. The internecine warfare between him and his...
Malcolm Turnbull’s tirade revealed more about the PM than it did about Bill Shorten
Losing focus
Breathless. It’s the only word that adequately sums up most of the press gallery’s reportage of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s withering, highly personal attack on Opposition...
Theatrics in Canberra don’t do much for those left behind by economic change
Bubbling along
The last Holden 6-cylinder motor rolled off the company’s Port Melbourne production line on Tuesday morning. With that ended 68 years of local engine manufacturing, ahead of the...
Australia’s right-wing populists fail to understand the economic underpinning of Donald Trump’s appeal
Trump down under?
“We’ve had Brexit, and that’s happened, and now America — good on you guys. You got it right. I’m so happy that Donald Trump is there.” So cheered One Nation leader Pauline Hanson...
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the prime minister is simply not up to the job
In search of Turnbull’s mojo
In September 2015 I found myself in unusual solidarity with the conservative pundit Andrew Bolt. As the Canberra press gallery and much of the general public salivated over the...
Malcolm Turnbull needs to make some tough decisions before 2016 gets away from him
Not so exciting times
Few would blame Malcolm Turnbull for wanting to extend his first prime ministerial visit to the United States. The odd Instagram malfunction aside, Turnbull enjoyed something of a...
Bill Shorten has held Labor together, but the party is still ignoring what voters want
Back to the people
Recent opinion polls make grim reading for Labor strategists. Assuming they are accurate, next year Labor will suffer a repeat of the 2013 federal election, when the party endured...
We should remember much more about World War One than just Gallipoli
Lest we forget
“Lest we forget.” It is a phrase Australians have solemnly invoked at memorial services commemorating the efforts of our soldiers during times of war, such as on Anzac Day or...
The saviour complex has a long history in Australian politics
Malcolm the messiah
One hundred years ago this week, members of federal parliamentary Labor party made a fateful decision. In spite of well-founded reservations, caucus unanimously elected Billy...
The times may not suit Malcolm Turnbull
A man for some seasons
In July 1986, John Howard famously said “the times will suit me”. Facing a wildly popular Labor prime minister in Bob Hawke, and himself leading a divided party, Howard misjudged...
Underestimate the prime minister at your peril
Don’t write off Tony Abbott yet
Six months after the prime minister’s curious promise that “good government starts today”, an opinion piece slating Tony Abbott’s leadership writes itself. For left-of-centre...