Tony Abbott is gone as Prime Minister. The only pertinent questions are how and when. All this week’s speeches, interviews and TV broadcasts are the actions of a desperate politician trying to save his skin. They won’t work. When he said that 2014 had been a “year of achievement”, voters shrank in horror. When he…

Popular ridicule spells political death for any political leader. That’s because it is almost impossible to overcome and undermines the capacity to lead and carry authority. In just 18 months Prime Minister Tony Abbott has managed to reveal himself as mad and bad. Now he’s a joke. What broke the back of his most loyal…

Two bizarre opponents have emerged to make life agonisingly difficult for the embattled Queensland Premier Campbell Newman in the closing days of the campaign for the state election on January 31. Mining billionaire Clive Palmer and Alan Jones, the millionaire commercial radio ham, have commenced personal vendettas against Newman alleging he is a “liar” and…

Just before New Year the Abbott government’s final action as chair of the UN Security Council was to vote against a resolution supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state and ending Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The only other country to vote against the declaration of Palestinian national rights was…

The words are burned into collective memories: “Today, we take decisive action to deal with the debts we have inherited.” The year was 2010 and Britain’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was announcing his plans to end the UK’s budget deficit by 2015. Now he’s wading through even deeper deficits and his promise…

This week’s Martin Place siege will be remembered as the greatest intelligence failure in Australian history. It cost the lives of two innocent people in a tragedy which was avoidable if NSW police, the Australian Federal Police, the ASIO security service and the criminal justice system had been doing their jobs. The report ordered by…

Maria Vamvakinou, Labor MP for Calwell in Victoria, has tabled a private member’s Bill in Federal Parliament calling for the diplomatic recognition of Palestine, a step already taken by the House of Commons in Britain and the parliaments of Spain and Sweden. Ms Vamvakinou, a co-convener of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group, told MPs:…

Step forward Professor Stephen Parker, vice chancellor of Canberra University, and take a bow while the nation-at-large applauds. This week Parker emerged from the suffocating conclave of vice chancellors where political conformity and conservatism rule, and robustly rubbished the Abbott Government’s plan to privatise higher education and turn it into a wealth-driven free-for-all. The timing…

Terry Moran AC was secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra from March 2008 to September 2011 during the turbulent chaos of Kevin Rudd and his successor Julia Gillard. Trained in nation-building and policy execution, Moran found himself managing a political crisis desk for politicians trying to survive the relentless pathological…