The Clan Fraser Commission: Part 2

‘Pleased to meet ye, Mr Fraser.’ ‘And you, sir.’ ‘I can’t recall seeing you in Ryan’s Place before.’ ‘No,’ Fraser conceded, ‘tonight is the first time, but I’ve been out of the Cove for a little while now. Nearly a year.’ ‘And what brings ye here tonight?’ ‘Well, if you mean the Cove, then its […]

Perth City waterfront redevelopment

I quite like the idea of a new waterfront recreational and restaurant area, and agree with proponents that it could add to the life of the city. I just think the proposals so far have been for the wrong bit. I think the heritage considerations of the Esplanade area are sufficiently significant to warrant thinking […]

The Clan Fraser Commission: Part 1

The tavern was cosy, sure enough, but rough as befits a colonial venture of its kind. It was one of many servicing the fifteen hundred colonists of Sydney Cove, Robert McInnes had been to them all, and this one, generally known as Ryan’s Place, was his favourite. That’s why he’d made it the venue for […]

Four scars

The four scars in this story are the ones that resulted from having stitches, but they’re not the only scars I have. The one I least remember was the first, naturally. It happened in the bath when I was I guess four or five. My sister and I were still having baths together at that […]

Back to work

You may have noticed I took a break from writing here. To those visiting for the first time, hello. I won’t write much here, but, because it’s probably normal to acknowledge slackness and the end of slackness, I thought I’d get that out of the way quickly before doing something more substantial.


Plenty has been written over the past week or so about the clearing of the decks by the Prime Minister that appears to have taken place in advance of the budget and the highly anticipated election campaign to come. In particular, critics have been scathing over the government’s decision to defer reconsideration of an emissions […]

Indonesian parliament claims a scalp

The real test of the maturity of Indonesian democracy might turn out to be nothing to do with how it handles an election, but what the parties do with the legislative power they received after that election. Those that provide critique of liberal democratic approaches to transitional constitutionalism – that is that merely instituting democratic […]

A small victory for ugliness

There is a great deal about illegal street art that I like. Some of the more complex works that are sometimes undertaken can be stunning and inspiring. They can transform otherwise tediously sterile public spaces. Graffiti can be intelligent and thought provoking. Some of the best work in this vein is provided by stencil artists. […]

Australian realism and the Anglosphere

The keyboards got a solid workover this weekend as News Corporation journalists and columnists found themselves receiving a concerted scolding from online commentators across the country. Yes, yes, these bloggers are people generally poorly disposed to News Corporation at the best of times, blah, blah, blah, bias, blah. The point is, they’re giving the Australian […]

Secession from the Commonwealth: a simple plan

Those of us who have studied Australian politics at all learn a fairly important point about referendums under the Commonwealth Constitution, i.e. that they’re pretty hard to win. That’s why if there’s another, simpler way to achieve an objective Federal governments attempt it first. Like getting all the State and Territory governments to agree, which, […]


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