Friday, October 28, 2011

Impressions of Afghanistan

The unit of journalism is the 'story'.

Everything is composed around that idea. Beginning, middle and end. The narrative drives inexorably in one direction.

But sometimes it's not possible to fit everything into this formula, and that's why I chose a different approach with today's column . . .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Afghanistan, Again

Back to Afghanistan.  Getting here has taken a while, hence no posts for some time.

This time I'm over with the Australian Army. The result is, inevitably, I'm being exposed to a very different picture. In some ways it's more complete . . . in other ways there is a lot missing.

I'll put up the posts in the order they were filed to the Canberra Times . . .

Monday, October 10, 2011


What is real power?

Position is one thing, but it's no guarantee of the real ability to change the actions of others as this column attempts to show . . .

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Wayne Swan's ideal moment - everyone focussed on him.

But don't expect anything will actually happen. That would mean doing something and risk changing the status quo.

The trouble is that by doing nothing we actually are making decisions, because of the flow on effects. If you want to spend money on the CDF's salary there won't be enough to pay for musical instruments for military bands, as this column suggests . . .

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Everyone's gotten very excited about the need for Julia Gillard to keep moving forward until she's finally out of the picture.

This column simply makes the point that the delicate balance of parliamentary numbers makes it clear that she will decide both who comes to the Lodge and the manner of their coming.

It also reviews Susan Mitchell's new book on Tony Abbott.