Author Archives: Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell

About Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell is a former Sydney Sun-Herald State Political Editor whose commentary appears every Friday. His latest book is Murder in Melbourne – The Untold Story of Palestinian exchange student Aiia Maasarwe.

Historic houses in NSW up for sale

NSW has a priceless collection of historic houses. They go largely unnoticed, unappreciated and unfunded. Conservative politicians and their wealthy supporters stole the timeless landscape of indigenous Australia and gave it to white settlers. Now they want to profit from … Continue reading

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Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg invoked the name of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to support his plan to rescue Australia’s economy in the era of pandemic. My first reaction was furious anger. On reflection, Frydenburg has done us a great … Continue reading

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Gough Whitlam’s dismissal and the CIA

Buried in the Palace Papers was a letter from Governor-General Sir John Kerr to Sir Martin Charteris. Kerr scorned an article in New York’s Village Voice that he was a CIA agent, and that America’s spy agency was involved in … Continue reading

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Morrison has joined the US led war party against China.

Tony Abbott hailed China’s President Xi Jinping as a true friend and welcomed Australia’s trade boom with China. Should he be expelled? When NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane publicly supported China, Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian destroyed his political career.

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Moslem MP branded a terrorist. Is there a fair go?

Armed police and a media lynch-mob terrorised Labor Upper House MLC Shaoquett Moselmane, his family, neighbours and friends. His parliamentary rights, civil liberties, privacy and reputation have been trashed.

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Sydney as a global city down the drain?

The concept of turning Sydney into a Global City was hatched during the Olympic Games in 2000. The Liberals revived it in 2011 when they swept to power. Property developers loved it. But is the concept still viable?

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Dyson Heydon bites the dust

Former High Court of Australia judge, Dyson Heydon, was chosen by ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott to run a royal commission to put “the boot into the unions”, Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard. The whole exercise was a disaster.

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Premier Berejiklian’s last hurrah

Her planning was immaculate. She would vacate the Premiership, leave a strong economy, and install her Deputy Leader, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, as the next Premier. Then everything fell apart.

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The white elephants of NSW

Recent economic policy in NSW requires the nimbleness of musical chairs. One day everyone is in favour of neoliberalism and austerity, then they charge the minds and everyone adopts Keynesian big spending. As a result, billions of dollars have been … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. We are not “All in this together”!

Since COVID-19 was officially recognised as a killer pandemic in March 2020, NSW people, and Australians generally, accepted the view that it does not distinguish between classes, colour, religion, gender or age. Then politicians, urged by bankers and the super-rich, … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. NRL power play in NSW

Who governs NSW – Premier Gladys Berejiklian or NRL boss Peter V’landys? One is elected, the other isn’t. One is a blue-stockinged Tory from Sydney’s North Shore, the other is a Labor supporter from working-class Wollongong. Who will prevail?

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ALEX MITCHELL. Don Harwin becomes cactus

In the halcyon days of the NSW Liberal Party’s ascendancy, Don Harwin was a fast-rising star. Then he hit a wall and fell from being one of State’s most powerful Liberal Ministers to the lowly status of an unloved backbencher. … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. Top cop’s pay rise

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has been given a pay rise of $87,000 while nurses, teachers, firefighters and most public servants have been handed a pay freeze. A major row was inevitable.

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ALEX MITCHELL. Constance dream turns to nightmare

At the start of this week, NSW Cabinet Minister Andrew Constance was Liberal Party front-runner to take the Federal seat of Eden Monaro. Now his long-held career ambitions to shift from Sydney to Canberra are in ruins. What went wrong?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: How Sydney survived the 1900 bubonic plague

Sydney was struck by bubonic plague in 1900 creating panic throughout the ramshackle town on Sydney Cove. The city fell under a state of siege and a shutdown. Why did it work?

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Changing of the guard in NSW

Damien Tudehope, ultra-conservative Minister for Finance and Small Business, is the new Leader of the Government in the NSW Upper House. He replaces former Arts Minister Don Harwin who quit in disgrace. The Liberal Party’s right-wing faction is now calling … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL: NSW prisoner release in chaos

Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Government has begun releasing minimum security prisoners as a health measure to ease overcrowding as the COVID-19 pandemic presents an alarming threat. But is prisoner release driven by health concerns or budget blow-outs?

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ALEX MITCHELL: The Ruby Princess scandal and Liberal Party links

The Ruby Princess scandal is not going away anytime soon. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her key ministers may have perfectly plausible explanations for their role in the spread of the killer virus, COVID-19, from the luxury liner after it berthed … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL: NSW Labor should be streets ahead of the Libs

Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government is regarded by voters as being among the worst in living memory. So why isn’t Jodi McKay’s Parliamentary Labor Party in front by miles?

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ALEX MITCHELL: Mark Latham goes all nuclear – again!

Mark Latham, former Federal Labor leader who now sits in the State Legislative Council as head of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in NSW, is running a one-man campaign to end the ban on uranium mining which came into force in … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL: Defending TAFE is a winner for NSW Labor

Created by the Whitlam Government, TAFE tuition was free, offered trade and technical training to a generation of young men and women and upgraded education and career opportunity to all those who wanted it.

Posted in Education, Politics | 1 Comment

ALEX MITCHELL: NSW Parliament is a politicians’ tuck shop

All Liberal and National MPs in the NSW Parliament get a prize. Their basic salary is topped up by appointing them as junior ministers, assistant ministers, parliamentary secretaries or committee chairpersons.

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ALEX MITCHELL: Move to expel Richo from NSW Labor

Graham Richardson, aka “Richo” or “Cardinal Richlieu”, has infuriated his comrades in Sussex Street with anti-Labor broadsides prompting moves to expel him. Is this a good idea?

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Ex-NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell quits for India

When Barry O’Farrell became NSW Liberal Party leader in 2017 his mission was to turn the Liberals into “the natural party of government”.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: How NSW is becoming a corporate autocracy

Since winning the State Election almost one year ago, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has remodelled herself as the “listening” premier who wants to “reconnect” her Coalition Government with voters. Is it working?

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. NSW Liberals torn apart by factional Game of Thrones

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Coalition partners are fond of declaring that they are free of factions. But factionalism is alive and well.

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ALEX MITCHELL. Unrepresentative Tory swill choosing the next British Prime Minister

All registered members of the British Conservative Party are currently voting to elect a new leader to replace Prime Minister Theresa May. Hailed as an exercise in party democracy, it’s more like a chook raffle.

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ALEX MITCHELL. Does this ring a Bell? (Justinian 21 March 2019)

The backstory of Justice Andrew (Taco) Bell’s role in helping Schmo Morrison grab the seat of Cook … Wheels within wheels … Memories of the Cook preselection rort … The PM’s Muslim baiting goes back to the beginnings of time … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. Gladys clings on in NSW

Liberals and Nationals will vote in all kinds of weather and in all circumstances. They will show up in coaches, hire cars and even wheelchairs. Some dress up in their Sunday best as if they are going to the races.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. A deeply divided NSW is heading for a deadlocked State Election

With NSW voters facing a State Election on Saturday, March 23, politicians are nervously asking each other, “How are we going?” Meanwhile, journalists on the campaign trail are equally nervous, asking colleagues: “Who do you think will win?”

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments