Richard Cooke

Richard Cooke is a writer, broadcaster and contributing editor to the Monthly.

@rgcooke

Articles by this author

The ISIS attack on Paris can’t be shoehorned into existing narratives
Ne plus ultra
“And it’s absolutely incumbent on all decent people, but particularly on religious leaders, Muslim religious leaders, to say, ‘This is not part of our faith’. It never should have...
 
A failure to differentiate itself from the Liberals has left the ALP with little to sell
Making progress
“My fellow progressive Australians, it seems most of us have fallen in love with a guy who is going to break our hearts.” That’s former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally,...
 
Any argument will do when it comes to raising the GST
A mature debate
As the season changed, so too did the tone. The prime minister tried to strike a moderated note on the GST. “What I am proposing is that we have a mature and rational debate about...
 
Australia has never come to terms with its role in the Iraq War. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change.
Stuck in flypaper
It’s a week since Tony Blair apologised for the Iraq War. “I can say that I apologize for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” he told Fareed Zakaria on CNN, “...
 
Thinking globally has to mean more than shipping refugees to Kyrgyzstan
The small time
Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull was inevitable. Business culture has permeated so deep inside the world of politics, especially conservative politics, that a prime minister who talks...
 
How did Australian leadership get so unstable?
Future shock
So what the hell happened? The Chosen One has finally fulfilled the prophecy. But Malcolm Turnbull’s ascension to the prime ministership marks a coda on one of the most bizarre...
 
Julia Gillard has changed her mind on same-sex marriage. But has she reformed?
Something old, something blue
Exactly how late did Julia Gillard change her mind on same-sex marriage? You could measure it as “six years after Dick Cheney” or “two years since leaving office”. But here she is...
 
Why Australia won’t help the Rohingya
Nope, nope, nope
Three years. That’s how long the United Nations thought it would take to solve the world’s refugee problem. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees began with this...
 
The literary comic novel and Steve Toltz’s ‘Quicksand’
A quality of chaos
“Well, the comic novel, I feel, is perhaps the most difficult form a writer can attempt. I can think of only three or four successful ones – Cakes and Ale, Count Bruga, and Lucky...
 
Why would the Coalition give Bjorn Lomborg four million dollars? It can already ignore his advice for free
Quite contrary
The Danish economist Bjorn Lomborg has been described as many things these past weeks: a minimiser, a denier, a neo-Galileo whose pearls of insight have been scorned by the...
 
Critics say unqualified private school students paying their way into uni will cheapen education. It’s a bit late for that.
From sandstone to millstone
At the University of Sydney, the rooms in which classics and philosophy are taught are next to the main quadrangle. That’s because in the past they were considered the institution...
 
Fancy bottled water is sometimes worth the price
Eau spéciale
Cape Grim is not the most outlandish gourmet bottled water in the world. The claim that its Tasmanian rainwater is so pure that “even the ice you put in it will pollute it” seems...
 
The Freedom Fanclub’s love for Singapore shows its true priorities
Can’t chew gum at the same time
For the most humourless society on Earth, Singapore does do one form of comedy brilliantly: accidental satire. Who else could make its most famous building a shopping centre full...
 
Cancer fantasists come along all the time. So why did this one get so far?
Belle’s hells
“Be authentic” was one of Belle Gibson’s most common bromides, uttered whenever she was interviewed about her success. In one of those interviews, conducted by Annette...
 
Why is Mark Latham so obsessed with mental illness?
Toughen up, princess
Mark Latham is a man of rare abilities. Not many of those abilities are positive, but that doesn’t stop them from being impressive. Few people, for example, can make left-...
 
Bloomsbury; $29.99
‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johann Hari
  How did the war on drugs start? How is it ending? Johann Hari, former columnist for the UK Independent and former plagiarist, tries to find out. The cover carries an...
 
A double disillusion election – part two
In other countries, voters disenchanted by their options simply stop voting. While both opinion polls and a rising number of informal votes show that many Australians would like...
 
Tony Abbott is the symptom, not the cause of the Coalition’s woes
A double disillusion election – part one
“What’s wrong with these people?” That was Prince Philip’s reported response to the 1999 Australian republic referendum result; also a question we can ask again now. (Savour this...
 

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