Abbott free to push his North Shore politics

Unless the inner-city leftists can get the Western Sydney types back on side, Tony Abbott will be left free to push measures that benefit his North Shore constituents to the detriment of others, writes Nigel Bowen. Post budget, entire episodes of Q&A have passed without a single question from the audience about same-sex unions and … Read more

Rhonda and Ketut as the faces of female sex tourism

The Rhonda and Ketut ads tap into the Western fantasy of a paid fling with an exotic foreigner, writes Nigel Bowen. Would we feel the same about the campaign if it featured a bloke called Ron with a younger Thai girl? Staying in an inexpensive hotel in Kuta a decade ago, I would sometimes walk … Read more

A westie apologises: it must be all our fault

As the political battle digs in on the western (Sydney) front, Nigel Bowen defends his turf against endless media clich├ęs. Warning: May contain traces of satire. Dear rest of Australia, On behalf of my fellow residents of Western Sydney I would like to offer my sincere apologies. First, a brief summary for those who may … Read more

Why Abbott should Lord it over the electorate

Perhaps Tony Abbott’s path to victory at the federal election lies in embracing his conservatism and his old-fashioned sense of morality. Conventional wisdom holds the only thing now preventing Tony Abbott winning an historic victory on September 14 is Tony Abbott. The commentariat is almost as one in arguing the only issue that could potentially … Read more

The light on the sand dune

The classic Aussie beach holiday could serve as a model for a more egalitarian, tolerant and joyful society, writes Nigel Bowen. Granted, it’s easy to start entertaining fanciful notions after spending too much time in the midday sun, but I’ve begun wondering if serious consideration should be given to the question millions of Australians have … Read more