Robert Manne

Robert Manne
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.

By this author

The 1901 Federal Labor Party and Julia Gillard digitally compiled from © 2011 Kate Lundy/Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

The Long Goodbye: Explaining Gillard’s Collapse

Labor Party

Almost every political observer recognises that unless something altogether unexpected happens, by late 2013 Australia will have an Abbott government. The more contentious question is what has gone wrong for Labor. This piece is offered as a contribution …

Payback: The Bullying Tactics of the Murdoch Press

The Australian newspaper

The Australian is not a subtle newspaper. But it certainly has a genius for timing. Within hours of the publication of the Finkelstein report, which documents the widespread public disillusionment with the ethical standards and the political …

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

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 …