Australian politics, society & culture


Robert Manne

Robert Manne is emeritus professor and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University. In the late 1970s he was president of the Indo-China Refugee Association and in 2004 the author with David Corlett of the Quarterly Essay ‘Sending Them Home: Refugees and the New Politics of Indifference’.

Articles by this author

Robert Manne responds to Klaus Neumann
Seeking a workable solution for asylum seekers
I am grateful to Klaus Neumann for his willingness to respond to the arguments that Frank Brennan, Tim Costello, John Menadue and I have mounted over the past nine months. Apart...
An open letter to the supporters and opponents of the Nauru and Manus Island asylum seekers
It’s time to rethink asylum-seeker policy
Not a day passes when, like many hundreds of thousands of Australians, maybe even more, I do not think about the unspeakable suffering our country is inflicting on 2500* innocent...
Donald Trump and Russia
The Muscovian Candidate?
In the past there have frequently been discussions on the left about what was called a crisis of legitimacy within the countries of democratic capitalism. Most of these...
How precisely is this kind of permanent terror to be explained?
Dabiq and the Islamic State massacres
“First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin” – Leonard Cohen Fearsome terror attacks led or inspired by the Islamic State group have now become an occurrence almost every...
Despite Canberra group-think, there is no longer any plausible reason to keep asylum seekers in detention
Yes, Virginia, there is a solution to Australia’s asylum-seeker problem
A year or so ago I met with a very senior official in the Turnbull government’s Border Force. We discussed the fact that the lives of 32,000 people who had sought asylum after...
The Australian’s campaign against Gillian Triggs is another in a long line of crude culture-war offensives
The national broadside
For the past three weeks, I’ve been observing the world from a hospital bed. One of my pastimes has been to read the Australian carefully each day, something I haven’t done since...
The climate-science champion of 2010 has morphed into the fossil-fuel supporter of 2016
Malcolm Turnbull: A brief lament
There are two kinds of political people in today’s world: a minority who believe that climate change is the most consequential problem humans now face or have ever faced, and a...
The government’s new legislation is an opportunity for Labor to end 15 years of bipartisan cruelty to asylum seekers
It’s time
It is likely that the Turnbull government will soon introduce new asylum seeker legislation into parliament. It appears to have two parts. The first part will aim to prevent any...
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
An ideology of savagery
The mind of the Islamic State
Two years ago, the armies of the group that would soon call itself the Islamic State, a group that already controlled large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, entered Mosul,...
Thornton McCamish’s ‘Our Man Elsewhere: In search of Alan Moorehead’ is an antidote to forgetfulness
Born in Australia
Thornton McCamish – I'll call him Thornton from now on, even though I know him only through Our Man Elsewhere – has written a truly wonderful book about the writer...
Our asylum-seeker system has been taken over by a rigid, irrational mindset
How has it come to this?
Now that the High Court has decided that the offshore detention of asylum seekers is lawful, reports suggest that the Turnbull Government is considering returning 234 asylum...
Why have we failed to address climate change?
Unless by some miracle almost every climate scientist is wrong, future generations will look upon ours with puzzlement and anger – as the people who might have prevented the...
Deterrents and resettlement may be the only way to break the asylum-seeker gridlock
Slow death
For many years Australia’s asylum-seeker debate, or, more exactly, the debate over those asylum seekers who reach our shores by boat, has been in gridlock. The besetting sin of...
The papal encyclical is the first work that has risen to the full challenge of climate change
Laudato Si’: A political reading
When I was young the intellectual milieu was shaped by the need to come to terms with the unprecedented crimes and the general moral collapse that had taken place on European soil...
Australia has cheerfully grown complacent, self-absorbed and selfish
Broken faith in politics
For Malcolm Fraser, who saw what was happening In October 2006, two months before he became leader of the Opposition, a little over a year before he became prime minister,...
Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’
Wilful blindness
There is nothing in history even remotely as momentous as what humankind is now doing in full knowledge of the facts – gradually destroying the habitability of large parts of the...
The revenge of the Kelly Gang
In the October issue of The Monthly I wrote “Kelly Country”, a 2,200 word Comment on Paul Kelly’s Triumph and Demise. The Comment began by praising Kelly’s The End of Certainty as...
The ideological sheltered workshop, a.k.a. "The Australian"
The ‘Cut and Paste’ section of The Australian on October 8 had the following headline: So who’s in denial now about what the science is saying about global warming? It was...