Robert Manne


100 ENTRIES Robert Manne is emeritus professor of politics and vice-chancellor’s fellow at La Trobe University. His most recent books are The Mind of the Islamic State and On Borrowed Time.


Lord Monckton and the Australian media. Digitally compiled from news clippings and image © 2009 Joanne Nova, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License.


Lord Monckton and the Future of Australian Media

In July 2011, one of the most extreme climate change denialists, Lord Monckton, accepted an invitation to take a trip to Australia – a country that matters greatly in the struggle against global warming because of its vast deposits of coal. According …

Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard in the background (digitally compiled). © Jerry Morrison/US Department of Defense/Kate Lundy


The Second Rudd Government?

For better or for worse, unlike most commentators, my judgments about Australian politics are generally formed not by conversations with Canberra insiders but almost solely by reading history books, listening to radio, watching current affairs television …

Indonesian search and rescue service responds to sinking ship containing asylum seekers headed for Australia.


The Search for the Least Bad Asylum Seeker Policy

“When the facts change I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?” – John Maynard Keynes On the weekend perhaps two hundred asylum seekers bound for Australia perished off the coast of Java. One key question about Australia’s asylum seeker problem …

The anti-climate science book 'Heaven and Earth: Global Warming: The Missing Science' by Ian Plimer, Connor Court, 2009.


How can climate change denialism be explained?

For several decades I have engaged in ideological disputes. The first dispute involved a disagreement with the Left over the nature of communism. I found it difficult to understand how people of good heart were unable to see what was in front of everyone’s …

Prime Minister Julia Gillard reaches for a football during a visit to the Oval Office, 7 March 2011. © Pete Souza/The White House


Does the Australian Parliamentary Left have a Future?

The opinion poll results over the past eight months are as bad for an Australian government as any I can recall. As measured by Newspoll, Labor’s primary vote has been hovering around 30%. Between early July and late October it was consistently in the …

Notes on Evidence Given to the Media Inquiry

Australian media

Notes on Evidence Given to the Media Inquiry

Somewhat to the surprise of the head of the media inquiry, Ray Finkelstein, I had drawn only two main conclusions in my recently published study of the Australian, “Bad News”. Firstly, the paper would only change as a consequence of courageous …

Cardinal George Pell in Rome.


Category Error or Cardinal Mistake?

Three telling opinion pieces on climate change have been published in the mainstream media in Australia in the past few days. One was alarming. One was fascinating. And one was unusually foolish. On the Drum of 26 October, Stefan Rahmstorf, Professor …

'Boy at the Bungalow', 1920s. National Archives of Australia.

Stolen Generations

“Name Ten”: The journalism of Andrew Bolt

On 28 September 2011, Andrew Bolt was found to have committed an offence under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. He had written two articles in the Herald Sun which had the capacity to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate …

Out of Control: More Bad News

News Limited

Out of Control: More Bad News

Before my Quarterly Essay on the Australian was published there was some discussion about what it should be called. Before “Bad News” my preference was for “Out of Control”. A brief account of how the Australian …

A Vietnamese Refugee with his belongings in-between his teeth, climbs a cargo net to the deck of the USS White Plains in the South China Sea, 30 July 1979.  © Department of Defense / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration


Asylum Seeker Policy: From stalemate to hope?

Since 1976 some 25,000 asylum seekers have arrived on Australia’s shores. Despite these modest numbers, the issue has played a major role in our politics for at least the past twelve years. Yet never in that period has the situation of asylum seeker …

Australian Politics

Deconstructing Paul Kelly

Update: Since writing this, Paul Kelly has pulled out of the debate at the Wheeler Centre. The event is still going ahead.*On September 14 Paul Kelly wrote the first considered response from a journalist at the Australian …

Australian Politics

Left, Right, Left

Why have I decided to begin a blog? In part I relish the opportunity to write more freely and with greater immediacy than is possible with print. In part, as I have just entered an area fraught with danger—a critique of the Australian,

The Cypherpunk Revolutionary


The Cypherpunk Revolutionary

Julian Assange: the unknown story

John Howard and his wife Janette wave to the audience at the launch of the Liberal Party's doomed election campaign, Brisbane, 12 November 2007. © William West / AFP / Getty Images


Man of Wood

Robert Manne on John Howard’s ‘Lazarus Rising’

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.


The rise of the Greens

Politics is indeed a strange business. We have recently experienced the most dismal election campaign in memory, where the argument between the major parties turned on a series of confected panics about cynically selected non-problems – the reincarnation …