How clumsy Hollywood broke the hearts of two Australian schoolgirls

HOLLYWOOD is now actively crushing our children’s hopes and dreams. Too dramatic? Let me explain… A pair of 7 year old Melbourne schoolgirls recently hand wrote a letter to the US producers of their favourite movie. “We really like Rio 2,” they declared, cutely. “We have an idea for Rio 3.” The proposed plot would take place in Egypt, they wrote. “NigelContinue reading “How clumsy Hollywood broke the hearts of two Australian schoolgirls”

Even Republicans can enjoy the royals

This article first appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald. I HAVE some advice for all those rabid supporters of an Australian republic. The most productive thing you can do when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Australia in April is simple: take off your grumpy pants and get on board. That’s right, you heardContinue reading “Even Republicans can enjoy the royals”

‘Human rights’ built on a bedrock of shame

When a troublesome child is chastised for bad behaviour they’re often quick to point the finger at somebody else, as if that other child’s wrongdoing might somehow lessen their own guilt. New research suggests this very natural ‘Look! Over there!’ impulse — enacted on an international scale in the 1970s — might have spurred enthusiasmContinue reading “‘Human rights’ built on a bedrock of shame”

AKA Why I started… There is a serious debate to be had in Australia about asylum seeker policy. Millions of people flee persecution every year, and their passage from danger to safety needs to be regulated. Most people agree with this, even if their views on exactly how  then to manage the issue differ. HenceContinue reading “”

The troublesome truth about politics

This review of Jonathan Green’s The Year My Politics Broke (Melbourne University Publishing) first appeared in The Voice.  As a detailed account of how politicians and politicking has veered off course in Australia over recent years The Year My Politics Broke isn’t an enjoyable read. But then, it isn’t meant to be: the book isContinue reading “The troublesome truth about politics”

Lamenting “Do Something-ism” in Australian politics

This piece first appeared on Election Watch. “AT LEAST DO SOMETHING!  DO!”  former Hawthorn coach John Kennedy Snr (right) famously urged his players during the 1975 VFL Grand Final. The rousing address was recorded, and now forms part of footy folklore. But the speech might also speak volumes about our approach to national politics. Callers toContinue reading “Lamenting “Do Something-ism” in Australian politics”

Confessions of a ‘sexist’

I emerged from a long meeting yesterday to learn Victorian police had charged St Kilda forward Stephen Milne with rape. My reaction? Rather pathetic. After the initial ‘wow’ moment, I almost immediately engaged in a passionate discussion with two male colleagues about… football. Has Milne been arrested? Bailed? I wondered aloud, but only as aContinue reading “Confessions of a ‘sexist’”

Why we miss the ‘old’ Game of Thrones

I ASSUME we’re all familiar with those trendy tapas restaurants where the food is brought out in annoyingly tiny portions which are consistently too small to ever really satisfy? One bite and the dish is gone, and you’re once more hungrily awaiting for the next (also unfulfilling) culinary instalment. Yes, well in a case ofContinue reading “Why we miss the ‘old’ Game of Thrones”