Sean Kelly

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


Articles by this author

Government MPs are living in completely different universes from each other
Mixed messages
I have had an odd sense, in recent days, that there is something slightly perplexing about the current political landscape. To describe it should be simple and obvious: the...
Image of Uluru
Uluru will be shut to climbers from 2019
A very good thing
A very good thing happened today. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board announced that Uluru will close to climbers from 26 October 2019. It is a good thing because this...
The developing situation on Manus Island is terrifying
A short note on a big story. A genuine crisis is unfolding today on Manus Island. The Australian detention centre was due to close today. Peter Dutton has conceded that is...
We are witnessing the chaos everyone predicted
Destructive distractions
You’ve been hearing for months that the government risked looking mighty distracted by both the same-sex marriage survey and the dual citizenship debacle. Well, this is what that...
Barnaby Joyce
The High Court decision points to other problems
Crises, plural
Let’s recap: The nation no longer has a majority government. The cabinet lost two ministers. It is not clear, at the time of writing, whether or not there is, or will be soon, a...
The government tripped itself up. What happens next is anyone’s guess.
Yesterday, I wrote that the issue of who tipped off the media ahead of the federal police raids on the Australian Workers Union’s offices was a “fair question, but unlikely to go...
Parliament got nasty today
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Speaking to a class of schoolkids in June, Malcolm Turnbull was asked if he was friends with Bill Shorten. “Yes. We’re rivals … When we’re not fighting away in the parliament, we...
The treasurer is slowly learning
A serious man
There are some interesting ideas contained in a new report released today by Treasurer Scott Morrison. Morrison was keen to make sure people read about those ideas, which is why...
The biggest stories aren’t always the most important
Out of the spotlight
In preparation for a radio spot this morning, I wanted to remind myself of the tidbits of knowledge that had surfaced at Senate estimates earlier this year. So: did you know that...
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
Politicians must take more responsibility for the standard of public debate
Fake fake news
Who could have imagined, eight years ago, that George W Bush would emerge as a rallying point for the American left? And yet, in the past 24 hours, that is precisely what...
Labor needs to choose between striking a deal and derailing it
Decision time
Labor needs to decide what it wants, and it needs to decide fast. Now that Malcolm Turnbull has announced his climate policy – the skeleton of it, anyway – what is Labor’s main...
How much do Turnbull and Shorten really want to talk about climate?
Craving silence
“I can’t say how disappointed I am that rather than talking about the substance of the policy, I'm sitting here with you on AM and you are attacking the credibility of the people...
Josh Frydenberg
A good day for the PM – though not quite as good as he claimed
Declaring victory
Today the nation got a new energy policy, and the word on everyone’s lips was “certainty”. You heard it from Malcolm Turnbull. You heard it from his energy minister, Josh...
What happens next is up to MPs, not the PM
When is a crisis not a crisis?
On any count, Malcolm Turnbull should be panicking today. Let’s run through the litany. A new Newspoll came out today [$] showing Labor at 54, the Coalition at 46, as they were...
The PM needs to get his climate policy right
Malcolm’s sweet spot
Anti-terrorism legislation, gas for the domestic market, health insurance, that unicorn known as climate policy … the government seems busy, doesn’t it? And in fact it is....
A tricky combination for Turnbull might be approaching
A day of tidbits
In her 2016 Harry Evans lecture, constitutional expert Anne Twomey outlined the travails of sometime Labor premier of New South Wales, sometime acting Labor premier, sometime...
Malcolm Turnbull is trying to wrap up all his problems in a neat bundle
Blue skies ahead, maybe
Rip the bandaid off, they say. It is advice that Malcolm Turnbull seems – finally [$] – about to take.   I’m talking about the clean energy target (CET), or,...
Abbott and Turnbull are slowly destroying each other
Bleeding out
As far as any former prime minister can claim to be having a successful time of driving the agenda after forfeiting the right to actually, as prime minister, drive the agenda, one...