Sunday 20 Aug 2017 | 23:30 | SYDNEY
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Canberra Column

The UNSC seat: Australia, Israel and Palestine

In its quest for a UN Security Council Seat, to be decided by the General Assembly on Thursday, Australia has kept running into Israel and Palestine.  The race for the seat has been with Luxembourg and Finland, but Israel and Palestine have become a fascinating element of the contest for the

Coral Bell's legacy: great writing

Coral Bell had the gentle manners of Miss Marple and a mind as sharp as Henry Kissinger's. Indeed, Kissinger was a fan of the grand dame who got the modern Oz equivalent of a gong in the 2005 honours for her 'service to scholarship and to teaching as a leading commentator and contributor to

Watergate, forty years on

The Watergate scandal not only gave America a nightmarish civics lesson, but brought about far-reaching changes to government, politics and journalism that are being felt still to this day. The power dynamic between the executive and legislative branches altered radically, as lawmakers on

Mauled by the media monster

Retiring politicians have an occasional habit of issuing a big valedictory warning to their nation. Think George Washington’s farewell advice against foreign entanglements and permanent alliances or Dwight Eisenhower\'s farewell fulmination about the military-industrial complex. The

Julia's tour: Carefully does it

Julia Gillard is far from having a sure touch for foreign policy. Her approach to the international stage is marked by caution and convention. That should not be read as a criticism. A leader who can do caution and convention on the world stage is worth having. Imagination, flair and

Singapore & Oz: Round two

 Australia and Singapore have had two notable arguments recently — one economic and one strategic — over the rules of the game and who sets the rules. One stoush was about trading securities. The other was about regional security. On the economic side, Australia

Singapore slings and arrows

Australia is happy enough to be Asia's quarry and farm, but being a financial branch office for an Asian city-state is apparently too hard to contemplate. 'No-brainer' is the standout comment that will be long remembered from Canberra's rejection of Singapore's $8.4 billion bid to takeover

What should Julia read?

Julia Gillard heads to China this month representing Australia in the Giants' Playground.The image is lifted from the new book by Cameron Forbes, 'The Korean War: Australia in the Giants' Playground'.  I'm nominating this excellent book for a game all readers of The Interpreter are invited to

PNG: Memory and history

The Australian discussion of Papua New Guinea is often shaped by those who have forgotten too much history and those who can't move on from their version of history. The amnesiacs play the kiaps, but the discussion is Australia-centric. The amnesiacs (and Canberra has its share) speak of

PNG disciplines The Chief

No Australian Prime Minister will be forced to emulate Michael Somare and step down for failing to comply with the leadership code. Or be suspended for two weeks for failing to lodge returns on his financial dealings. But the only reason Australia will be spared this drama is because the