Paris attacks: progressives’ threadbare philosophy torn apart

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Even before the carnage in Paris, the quest for a binding, universal agreement on climate change had become irrelevant to all but a tiny few.

Malcolm Turnbull’s attendance at the Paris climate change conference next month will be a matter of supreme indifference to most Australians since the popular panic is over.

In the aftermath of the Copenhagen summit, the environment was second only to the economy in a poll of issues that most concerned voters, …


Paris attacks: Give migrants voice in review of multiculturalism

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Paris attacks: Give migrants voice in review of multiculturalism

Even the most committed moral equivocator must be running out of excuses after the sickening news from Paris.

Friday night’s atrocity defied explanation save for the depravity of its perpetrators and the wickedness of their ideology. Attempts to rationalise the behaviour of these demented people serves only to ­dilute their guilt.

It is enough to say simply that they are our enemy. They are enraged by everything civilised people stand for and claim the …


Jamie Oliver’s sugar levy would do Australians a fat lot of good

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

If you want to serve a sorbet but you just can’t be faffed, Jamie ­Oliver has the answer. “Chilled grappa, good-quality chocolate and delicious frozen grapes,” he says, “are a great little combo that show you care.”

Conspicuous caring is important to Oliver. He showed he cared about climate change by buying offsets to make Jamie’s American Road Trip the first carbon-neutral travel program on television.

Now he wants the British government to show …


Migrants must make the effort to assimilate into society

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

If the Grand Mufti’s appeal for dialogue fell on deaf ears he should hardly be surprised. He was speaking, after all, in Arabic, a language incomprehensible to 98.7 per cent of the population.

“We want proper dialogue,” explained his patient translator, “so that we can engage into learning exercises and to refute any misperceptions.”

After 18 years in this country, one presumes that Ibrahim Abu Mohammed spoke Arabic by choice. As a tactic for refuting …

The art of policy

NICK CATER writes in the latest Federal Young Liberal Policy Journal, which includes articles by Senator Eric Abetz and Senator Dean Smith.

The art of policy


There was nothing unwholesome about Colgate Kitchen Entrees, a range of heat-and-eat meals that briefly appeared in American supermarkets in 1982. Yet despite Colgate’s trusted brand and corporate selling power, the product was a flop. The narrative was confusing; in the minds of consumers, Colgate made products for cleaning teeth, not products to get your teeth into. 

In business they take that kind of setback on the chin, rightly assuming that the …


Don’t curb the marriage equality debate

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

There is a limit to how much diversity we can take, even in the tolerant, generous and inclusive land that Bill Shorten calls home.

“Every Australian no matter what their faith, country of birth or their gender should believe that their background is as equal as every other Australian,” Shorten told parliament earlier this month.

The construct “as equal” has an Orwellian tone. “Equal” is an adjective that cannot be graded; things are alike in quantity, …


Government is no agent of change

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Only a pedant would insist that Bill Shorten was stating the obvious when he promised that next year’s election would be “a referendum on the future”.

A decision on the future prime minister is, after all, very much on the cards. In turn, that may shape the future of the Opposition Leader, a future that, on current form, doesn’t look terribly bright.

The future of the Marriage Act, however, won’t be included in Shorten’s referendum. Labor is nervous of a …


Nightmare behind the diversity dream revealed

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Nightmare behind the diversity dream revealed

Europe was once the exemplar of the good society when seen through the dreamy eyes of Australian sophisticates.

Now, like the images of disease and deformity on cigarette packets, Europe serves as a graphic warning. We must quit our addiction to social engineering before it’s too late.

The European financial crisis of 2008 demonstrated the limits to government spending. This year’s chaos at the borders shows the limits of mass migration. Europe has been eroded of …


Rule of law flourishes in proud Hong Kong

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater recently visited Hong Kong and was hosted by the Hong Kong Government.

There was pessimistic mood at the bar of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club on the night of the handover to China.

Few of us imagined the plan for “one country, two systems” would survive for 18 months, let alone 18 years.

Yet the prosecution of former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang this week inspires an uplifting thought. In defiance of our cynical, San Miguel-fuelled expectations, the common law system is thriving in this fortunate enclave …


Selective Multiculturalism in Australian Society - From Many: One

Ian Goodenough is the Liberal federal member for Moore, Western Australia

Selective Multiculturalism in Australian Society - From Many: One

In my maiden speech to the Australian Federal Parliament I addressed two contemporary issues confronting our nation - the notions of reconciliation and multiculturalism in present day society and the struggle to reach a common resolution within the Australian mindset. 

At the time I said that the processes of reconciliation and multiculturalism are two-way streets – that there must be a degree of give-and-take to achieve harmony.  The challenge for us as …


Refugees, Human Rights and the Destruction of Citizenship

Nick Cater writes in the October edition of Quadrant

Refugees, Human Rights and the Destruction of Citizenship

The tide of humanity rolling north across Europe evokes pity and dread in equal measures. On television the pity prevailed. Images of anxious faces, children being passed over the heads of adults on railway platforms, and of course that body, invited only one response: for mercy’s sake, let them in.

Discordant evidence was left on the cutting room floor. As downtrodden masses go, this one was relatively well heeled. It was also somewhat picky about the safe havens for …


Progressives on the case of ‘retirement rorters’

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Readers of The Age were greeted with an improbable splash on Friday. Malcolm Turnbull, they were told, was declaring war on the wealthy.

The new Prime Minister had “reached in-principle agreement with unions, employers and welfare organisations to reduce a raft of tax breaks, including negative gearing and superannuation concessions, that primarily benefit the rich”.

It was an example of what comedian Steven Colbert calls “truthiness”, a story …


Mathias Cormann: Heading in the right direction, much more work to do

Senator The Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Address to the Sydney Institute, 28 September 2015

The Liberal-National Party Coalition has been in government now for just over two years.

Looking back, there is no doubt that we have made significant progress in putting Australia on a stronger more resilient economic and fiscal foundation for the future.

There is equally no doubt that there is much, much more work to be done.

It is a matter of historical record, not political interpretation, that when we came into government, we inherited a weakening economy, rising …


Josh Frydenberg: Our democratic capitalism model under challenge

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Address to the Cranlana Programme Alumni Speaker Series, 29 September 2015

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

It is a great pleasure to be invited tonight to participate in the Alumni Speaker Series here at Cranlana.

The previous speakers form an illustrious group of eminent Australians and I feel humbled to be in their company.

The promulgation of ideas is not only noble but critical to the advancement and health of our society.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Myer family for their unrivalled good citizenship. Their unswerving commitment to philanthropy has bettered the …


Finding consensus after the National Reform Summit

PM Malcolm Turnbull galvanises leaders to discuss shared reform priorities

Menzies Research Centre Executive Director Nick Cater will join corporate, community and trade union leaders this week to brief the Prime Minister on the outcomes of the National Reform Summit.

The summit began as a Menzies Research Initiative in cooperation with The Australian and The Australian Financial Review aimed at finding common ground for reform.

Cater, a co-convenor of the summit in August, welcomed Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to consult with summit …

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