Author Archives: Mungo MacCallum

Mungo MacCallum

About Mungo MacCallum

Mungo MacCallum is a veteran political journalist and commentator. His books include Run Johnny Run, Poll Dancing, and Punch and Judy.

The federal government is hiding under the covers

Having tried pleas, threats, restrictions, lockdowns, fines and closures in vain, our political masters are now apparently cutting to the melodramatic climax: scare the living crap out of us writes Mungo MacCallum. Continue reading

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University Failures and Canberra parsimony.

Cynical, short-sighted and gutless – everything a proper university should eschew. But perhaps the teachers have been taking lessons from their political masters. If so, both deserve a fail.

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Some good news emerging from the bad

Another month, another setback – several, unfortunately. With preparations for the budget being finalised in an atmosphere of quiet desperation, COVID-19 is now clearly out of control.

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It’s a terrible thing to say, but Joel Fitzgibbon is rapidly turning into Labor’s answer to Barnaby Joyce

We hasten to add that we are not comparing him to the Beetrooter’s personal failings, but his drift away from the political mainstream.

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A second wave of relief for Morrison

We would never dream of accusing Scott Morrison of being relieved by the onset of the second wave of coronavirus, but nonetheless it has postponed a nagging Jobseeker problem for him.

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An obituary for our native flora,fauna and habitat.

The essential reform…the appointment of “an independent cop on the beat” to remove politics from a system infested by donors and lobbyists, mainly miners and developers.

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Economic recovery is their only target, but do they have a plan?

The consensus is in: the economy rules, okay? Finally, what remains of the national cabinet is essentially united.

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The Queen’s plausible denial is risible

The queen did not pull the trigger. But she, her family and her closest advisers were well and truly in the loop during the events of 1975. And since 1975 was all about politics, the neutrality of the crown is … Continue reading

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A second wave of economic stimulus

If this isn’t the dreaded second wave of COVID-19, it will do until the real thing comes along.

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The absurdity of border protection

Closing borders never really works. The Great Wall of China eventually crumbled and in modern times there were always trickles through the Iron Curtain (incorporating the Berlin Wall) until the trickles became an outbreak.

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Morrison and Sebastian, exemplars of Australian art

I have nothing against pop singers, Some of them are very nice people, generous, tolerant, kind to children and dogs. And they give pleasure to many Australians.

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A win’s a win in Eden-Monaro

A messy and unedifying campaign – gaffes, sabotage and dirty tricks. And a pretty ordinary result in the Eden-Monaro by-election.

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Our dream run over COVID has come to an end

Australia awoke last week to the strains of Spike Milligan’s poignant refrain, “I’m walking backwards to Christmas.”

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Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Universities are not, and must never be, walled citadels – protected enclaves sheltering from the societies that surround and nurture them.

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Bloody Vics!

Déjà vu all over again. In the dim, dark ages before I even arrived in Canberra, I was writing stories about the Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party – its bullying exclusion, its factional resistance to change, its impotent … Continue reading

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What to do with monuments!

New statues commemorating heroes like Pemulwuy and other great leaders of the indigenous resistance must be accorded pride of place in a reconciled nation.

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Hypothetical protests cost not worth the hyperventilation

Shock, horror. Someone has been tested positive to COVID-19 after the Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne and  Peter Dutton is terrified – his worst fears have been realized, he hyperventilated.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

There has to be better reason for a beer and a barbecue.

No real Australian would ever knock back the chance of a day off. But having said that. surely it is time for the meaningless ritual of the Queen’s birthday to be consigned to its use by date.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. The patience of our first nation, while remarkable, is not inexhaustible.

Whether we like it or not, it doesn’t take much for racism to come out of the underbelly of this country. We only have to think back to Cronulla in 2005. And of course the Adam Goodes story just last … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics, Top 5 | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The G7 and Trump’s protege.

Coming from anyone else, an invitation for Australia to participate in the G7 meeting would be seen as a tremendous compliment.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 9 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Scott Morrison’s cooing of doves.

 Morrison has finally built a store of political credit through his deft and lucky handling of the COVID-19 crisis and obviously believes that as long as he keeps moving, there is a fair chance that the punters will forgive him … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACALLUM. Thanks to Jenny Hocking’s indefatigable efforts, national pride has been salvaged.

It has taken more than 40 years, but Australian social democracy has prevailed over British hereditary privilege.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. The miracle of being two-faced and saving both faces

In the end, it was all about saving face. The dodgy compromise resolution to set up an inquiry over the origins of coronavirus left everyone claiming a win.

Posted in World Affairs | 15 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Angus Taylor’s thought bubbles: from the second rate to the already discredited

Our current government has become inordinately keen on producing road maps, and its most recent cartographer is our constantly embarrassed and embarrassing energy minister, Angus Taylor.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. The gruesome twosome’s crystal ball

In last week’s truncated edition of parliament, Scott Morrison declared stridently that he did not have a crystal ball.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Vale Comrade Jack Mundey

It is impossible to overstate the legacy of Jack Mundey.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. The false promise of a COVIDSafe economy

The latest catchphrase from our government spin doctors is a COVIDSafe economy – optimistic and reassuring. And, unfortunately, a cruel hoax, a contradiction in terms.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Eden-Monaro: For whom the bellwether chimes ring

A three cornered contest, they warned us – messy and unpredictable. But what did they know? The fiasco of the Eden-Monaro by-election already has at least seven corners, and counting.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. The COVID-19 App

I must admit to a moment of apprehension before unloading the COVID-19 app; anything that involves Amazon or Stuart Robert has to be either incompetent or dodgy or both.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Cook and the continuing culture wars.

He was also an 18th century Englishman, convinced of the innate superiority of his race, his culture and his class.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 3 Comments