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Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly was an adviser to prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. He is the Monthly’s politics editor.

@mrseankelly

Articles by this author

Christopher Pyne’s comments were not “explosive”, but they will create trouble for the PM
Turnbull’s careful strategy was undercut today
Most of Liberal MP Christopher Pyne’s apparently explosive comments were not, in fact, explosive. Nevertheless, the fact that they were leaked is a problem for Malcolm Turnbull,...
 
The government did not fall, but questions should be asked
Who is to blame?
There are two things you need to know about the three ministers who faced the threat of contempt charges being brought against them. The first is that the government has not...
 
The Liberal Party has cosied up to Pauline Hanson, and should be ashamed of itself
Hanson is as Hanson does
It seems very easy to pick on Pauline Hanson. That’s especially so after her mean, miserable, hurtful comments yesterday about children with autism. So it’s important to...
 
Turnbull’s big day
Everyone’s a winner
It was one of those incredibly strange days in politics where everything works out well for everyone. First up, the biggest winner: Malcolm Turnbull. At time of writing, he...
 
This week suggests nothing much has changed
Same old government
It seems the voters were right. Those of you who read yesterday’s column will know that I suggested the prime minister’s amazing inability to shift the polls might be explained...
 
Newspoll would suggest that Turnbull is stuck
Voters can see that nothing much has changed
A couple of quietly extraordinary things are happening right now, both relating to polls. The first is that Newspoll is utterly stagnant [$]. This might not seem like a big...
 
Laurie Oakes was right to report on the Midwinter Ball – but other questions need revisiting
Hypocritical hogwash
In the dying days of 2009 I was in Copenhagen for the global climate change summit, travelling with the prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Negotiations were tense, and complex, and...
 
Abbott and Christensen could bring the PM down
Yep, Turnbull’s future depends on these men ...
Yesterday it was announced that the government has agreed to pay current and former detainees of the Manus Island detention centre $90 million in compensation, including legal...
 
An end to the climate wars? Yeah, right.
The great climate charade
“Just when Australians thought that the climate change wars were over, it looks like a new civil war in the Liberal Party has taken it up to a new level.” That was Bill Shorten...
 
Politicians should show voters more respect
State your case
It is, too often, depressingly easy to determine how little respect a government has for its citizens by the quality of the case it chooses to make. This morning the News Corp...
 
An absolutely massive day in politics
Something for everyone
It has been a massive day in politics. Various elements are still unfolding, so these will be preliminary thoughts. Nobody knows anything anymore Votes in the UK general...
 
An interesting 24 hours in politics awaits
A complicated climate
It’s going to be a big 24 hours for people interested in politics. Sometime around midnight, Australian time, former FBI director James Comey will testify before Congress. From...
 
Murk and blame infect our terrorism debate
Pointing fingers
A day after the prime minister sparked a national discussion about parole for those with terrorist backgrounds, the debate is already descending into murk and blame. The prime...
 
The impact of today’s events will be felt all the way to the next election
A very important day
There were two dramatic shifts in federal politics today. Neither will be the most significant story of today, and they are unlikely to be noticed immediately by most voters....
 
We must respond to the London attacks with calm
Marshalling our fear
I headed into Sydney’s CBD on Friday night to meet some mates for a drink. I got off at Wynyard and walked a few minutes until I reached Martin Place. I’d passed the lights and...
 
Trump has made Turnbull’s life just a little bit more difficult
Climate change of mind
I find it very, very difficult to predict how volatile the forthcoming debate on climate policy within the Coalition will be. As I wrote yesterday, there are some clear...
 
Some complex fault lines are forming in the Coalition
A sense of incoherence
On typical parliamentary days, there is a lot going on. Nevertheless, events often coalesce, and by day’s close it’s pretty clear what the major political event, or theme, has...
 
Politicians need to take their time with the Uluru Statement
Memo to Barnaby: You’re part of the problem
Federal assistant minister for cities, Angus Taylor, responding to unmoving polls earlier this week, said, “Government is a slow grind. A good government takes time.” Education...
 

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