Simon Holmes à Court is an energy transition expert. He's a Senior Advisor to at the Climate Energy College at Melbourne University, sits on the board of the Smart Energy Council and spends a lot of his time on twitter correcting the likes of Josh Frydenberg and Chris Uhlmann when they say silly wrong things about climate and energy issues issues.
In this conversation (recorded on an unseasonably warm April day), Simon talks me through the influence of fossil fuel money, the dumb culture war between coal and renewables, why he's a climate optimist and what the parties are offering in this climate election.
Greg Larsen is one of the funniest people I've ever met in my whole bloody life. He and I worked together on Tonightly where we made some very silly and naughty comedy together before we were cruelly cancelled by the FASCIST LIBERAL GOVERNMENT.
In this chat I ask Greg to reflect on the Tonightly months, his political punk band The Feminazis, wokeness, debate and the pointlessness of protests.
Cause of the Week: Donate to The Australian Greens (greens.org.au/donate)
Sorry about the delayed episode, all! My bad. Comedy Festival is on and all that. Anyway.
Sally McManus has been the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions since 2017. She's the public face of the trade union movement in Australia and she takes little to no shit whatsoever.
We recorded this chat on the day the ACTU launched their call for the minimum wage to be raised to a living wage. I asked Sally to explain what that means, as well as her stances on democratic socialism, neoliberalism, privatisation, insecure work, just how hard it is to go on strike in Australia and how the ALP could become a helluva lot better.
Cause of the Week: JOIN YOUR FUCKING UNION PLEASE (australianunions.org.au)
Samah Sabawi is a playwright, poet and activist who is passionate about fighting for the rights of the Palestinian people. Just days after the horrific massacre in Christchurch, Samah explains to me why she was "disappointed but not shocked" by the horrific attack and how nearly two decades of poisonous Islamophobia has led us to this point.
Samah also lays out what life is like for Palestinians in their own land, what the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement is calling for and why it's important you #BoycottEurovision2019.
Melissa Davey is the Melbourne Bureau Chief for Guardian Australia. She’s done brilliant reporting about lots of different things over her career, but over the past few weeks has been diligently covering on the trial and conviction of George Pell.
As Pell receives his sentencing today and as we learn more about his case for appeal, Melissa explains what it’s been like following this massive story, the journalistic ethics at play, the judicial process and the reactions from the media and the Church to the guilty verdict.
WARNING: This conversation contains discussion of sexual assault and abuse
Cause of the Week: Dementia Australia (dementia-australia.org)
Emma is in Year 11, Anthony has just started uni and together they're involved in organising the second School Strike 4 Climate on Friday March 15th. It's a nation-wide, non-partisan, student-led protest demanding our political leaders take some GODDAMN REAL ACTION on climate change for once please.
It was an honour to sit down with these two passionate, funny, committed young people to discuss their motivations for organising the march, their hopes for what it might achieve and their thoughts on the very dumb criticism it's received from right-wing dumbos.
Trust me: listening to this will fill your heart with hope.
Cause of the Week: SUPPORT THE STRIKE ON FRIDAY MARCH 15TH! SEE YOU THERE! THANKS!
Giordano Nanni is a historian and satirist and the driving force behind The Juice Media.
He was the co-creator of the hugely successful Rap News series which has tallied millions of views and featured cameos from the likes of Noam Chomsky and Julian Assange and since 2016 he's been collaborating in his lounge room with his partner Lucy and actors Ellen and Zoe to make the very-funny-and-extremely-on-point Honest Government Ads series. The series has tackled everything from net neutrality to East Timor to the arms trade to Australia Day and they make me laugh and they make me angry.
Here Giordano and I have a bloody lovely chat about the story of The Juice, how history forms his politics, working with Assange and Chomsky and how doing satire could potentially see him sent to prison for five years. Funny stuff!
Cause of the Week: East Timor Women Australia (etwa.org.au)
Aimee Terese is a law student, podcaster and socialist.
Until this week she was the co-host of the Dead Pundits Society podcast in which she picked apart US politics from a Leftist perspective, filling my brain with a bunch of smart insights and funny jokes. She doesn't suffer contradictions or bullshit and I loved getting to pick her brain during this conversation about the origins of her politics, electoralism, "lesser evil voting", Jordan B. Peterson and Bernie Sanders.
Cause of the Week: The NSW/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service (alsnswact.org.au)
I'M BACK, BABY.
It's a new year and I'm unemployed so what better time to restart this podcast. This is just a cheeky little tease ep, but a brand new episode with a fascinating guest will be out this Wednesday. Hurrah.
I have set up a Patreon for the show, not to become a billionaire but to try to cover the basic costs associated with making this thing (transport/time/snacks).
I really appreciate anything you can give (if you can afford it). PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE NO REWARDS FOR BECOMING A PATRON. YOU GET JACK SHIT, OK? SORRY.
It's nice to be back. Talk soon.
This is part two of an interview I recorded live at the inaugural Yack Festival at Giant Dwarf a few weeks ago.
Stan Grant is a journalist, author and presenter who has worked all over the world for the likes of CNN, Sky News, SBS World News, NITV, the Guardian and the ABC. He is a Wiradjuri man who writes and speaks about race, racism and history in Australia, most recently in his Quarterly Essay released last year, The Australian Dream. He has just become the ABC’s Chief Asia Correspondent and will host a nightly discussion show on ABC News next year.
In this second part of our conversation, I ask Stan about one or two things I've heard about him and picked his brain on his critics, plus we take some questions from the floor. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to pick Stan’s brain. Big thanks to the Giant Dwarf and Yack for having us and to all the Sydney friends who came along.
Due to Tonightly (my cool TV show that you can watch every bloody night of the week!), I won’t be able to bring you another podcast for a little while I’m afraid. But hey, there’s a back catalogue of 121 episodes for you to enjoy at your leisure. YOU ARE WELCOME.
Check out #Tonightly please!
Cause of the Week: The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (aief.com.au)
Hello! I know this has been a long time coming. Apologies: I have been busy writing jokes about Bob Katter.
This is part one of an interview I recorded live at the inaugural Yack Festival at Giant Dwarf a few weeks ago.
Stan Grant is a journalist, author and presenter who has worked all over the world for the likes of CNN, Sky News, SBS World News, NITV, the Guardian and the ABC. He is a Wiradjuri man who writes and speaks about race, racism and history in Australia, most recently in his Quarterly Essay released last year, The Australian Dream. He has just become the ABC's Chief Asia Correspondent and will host a nightly discussion show on ABC News next year.
This is a wide-ranging conversation about everything from the Taliban to North Korea to constitutional recognition to white guilt to history and victimhood. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to pick Stan's brain. Big thanks to the Giant Dwarf and Yack for having us and to all the Sydney friends who came along.
Due to Tonightly (my cool TV show that you can watch every bloody night of the week!), I won't be able to bring you another podcast for a little while I'm afraid. But hey, there's a back catalogue of 121 episodes for you to enjoy at your leisure. YOU ARE WELCOME.
Check out #Tonightly please!
Cause of the Week: The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (aief.com.au)
Hello everyone! I am sorry I have not posted an episode in a while.
I have a reasonably good excuse: I am going to host a TV show.
Geoffrey Winters is a native title lawyer who ran against Tanya Plibersek as the Liberal Party candidate for the seat of Sydney in the 2016 election. He's a Gamillaroi man who's openly gay and who regularly appears on ABC's The Drum.
This is a frank discussion, featuring me trying to get my head around where Geoffrey is coming from as an Indigenous queer man who's also a conservative. From the marriage equality survey to being in a party alongside people he disagrees with with to being "pragmatic" to what conservatism can offer first nations peoples to what (if anything) would make him consider leaving the Liberals.
I got a lot out of this conversation and Geoffrey was mighty patient with me. I hope you like it.
Cause of the Week: Libs & Nats Say Yes (libsnatsyes.com.au)
Alex Greenwich is an independent MP in the NSW parliament and the National Convenor of Australian Marriage Equality. He's been campaigning for equal marriage for 10 years now and kindly gave me some of his time to reflect on how the postal survey is going, from the incidence of violence to the notion of "respectful" debate to what will happen if the No side is successful (an annoyingly real possibility).
Cause of the Week: Get the YES ad back on air
Owen Jones is an activist (first) and celebrated writer (second). He's the author of bestselling books Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment And How They Get Away With It, is a regular Guardian columnist and has a cracking YouTube channel. He's a major Leftist voice in UK politics and quite frankly, I was pretty stoked when he agreed to give me some of his time.
Here we talk about democratic socialism, what Corbyn's political rise means for that cause, the dangers of centrism and the basics of Brexit. We also touch on what defines the "working class", being friends with Tories and Owen's cat.
Cause of the Week: The Advocacy Academy (theadvocacyacademy.com)
Acclaimed comedian and all-round nice guy Ahir Shah was just nominated for the big award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his passionate, insightful and hilarious show Control. It's a brilliant treatise on the fallout of Brexit and Trump and humankind's inability to learn from its past mistakes.
Here Ahir tells me about how the racist debate surrounding Brexit affected him personally, why he couldn't vote for Jeremy Corbyn in this year's election, the "economic anxiety" argument used to explain demonstrations of racism, being friends with conservatives and punching Nazis.
Cause of the Week: British Red Cross South Asian Flood Appeal
Geoff Norcott is a rare thing indeed: an (openly) right-wing comedian. His recent stand up shows have explored his working class background and his conservative politics and they've been mighty funny.
This was a fascinating discussion about Goeff's thoughts on capitalism, right-wing politics in comedy, Brexit, immigration, outrage, Corbyn, Brixton and personal responsibility.
Cause of the Week: Medicins Sans Frontieres (msf.org.uk)
What better week to talk about Australia and marriage equality lolololol
Sally Rugg is an out and proud campaign director at GetUp! calling for queer rights. She's been leading the marriage equality campaign for a while now (it regularly makes her "wake up tearing her hair out") and this week the movement has seen another ridiculous setback.
This chat was recorded a few weeks ago but I think it's a really important insight into where we're at in Australia with the marriage equality debate and the underlying issues around it. From the ACL to the stupidity of the plebiscite to what it all says about our politics, Sally is frank and passionate about this cause and makes it very clear that she won't be stopping until this discrimination is removed from the Marriage Act.
Cause of the Week: Twenty10 (twenty10.org.au)
Mark Di Stefano is the outgoing political editor at BuzzFeed Australia.
This is a frank chat where we both air our grievances about the shitty state of Australian politics, media and debate at the moment. From the cosy relationship between the press and the political class, the plethora of pundits who never get their comeuppance for being wrong to the good ol' fashioned outrage industry.
Also Mark explains what the Milkshake Duck is. I am old and uncool.
Cause of the Week: Copwatch (huffed.org/project/copwatchnjp)
Caroline Marcus is the "Political Reporter for the People" for Sky News and an opinion columnist for The Daily Telegraph.
Caroline joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touch on the media landscape, bias, identity politics and her experience reporting on the Australian detention centres on Nauru for A Current Affair. Our disagreement occasionally got heated, but I really appreciated the chance to explore this stuff with Caroline in detail.
A huge thank you to the Giant Dwarf for having us.
You can hear the first episode recorded on the night with Tanya Plibersek here.
Cause of the Week: Lifeline (lifeline.org.au)
Tanya Plibersek has been the Member for Sydney since 1998. She's the Deputy Leader of the ALP and Shadow Minister for Education and for Women.
Tanya joined me live onstage at the Giant Dwarf theatre in Redfern in front of a lively crowd on Wednesday July 12th. We touched on the ideological rift bubbling up in the Coalition at the moment, gender equality, Mark Latham, education funding and Labor's refugee policies.
A huge thank you to Tanya for making the time (particularly as she was battling a cold on the night), everyone for coming out to see the show and to the Giant Dwarf for having us.
The second conversation with journalist Caroline Marcus will be next week's episode.
Cause of the Week: Oxfam's East Africa Appeal
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, broadcaster and activist. He's a former member of the International Socialist Organisation and was one of the founding members of the Socialist Alternative.
I've been wanting to talk to Jeff for a long time and really appreciate this chance to ask him about radical politics, Marxism, class, oppression, the widespread rejection of centrism and the matter of taking one's politics "seriously".
Cause of the Week: Triple R (rrr.org.au)
This week I'm bringing some highlights from a panel I chaired last week for Amnesty International Australia entitled Defending Human Rights In A Time Of Heightened Populism.
The panel included refugee rights advocates Andre Dao and Aran Mylvaganam, Indigenous lawyer Meena Singh and businesswoman and social activist Hana Assafiri. Claire Mallinson, the National Director of Amnesty Australia, was also on the panel, but unfortunately due to audio issues I haven't been able to include her here.
I thought this was a really enlightening discussion on the way that populist politics affects our conception of human rights and plays into public debate. We reflected on what does and doesn't work for human rights advocacy in the face of populism, the death of facts and reason, persuasive storytelling and the impact of the Murdoch media on this conversation.
Please bear with the audio: I guarantee you it's worth it.
Cause of the Week: Amnesty International Australia (amnesty.org.au)
Samantha Ratnam is a social worker and Greens politician who's currently serving as the Deputy Mayor of Moreland City Council. She's previously served as Mayor in Moreland and in 2016 ran as the Greens candidate for the federal seat of Wills, losing out to Labor MP Peter Khalil.
This is a great insight into local politics and why Sam's passionate about it, particularly its ability to inspire change by example. We also cover the situation in Sri Lanka and how that's informed Sam's attitude towards conflict and multiculturalism, how Australia's approach to race feels like it's going backwards and the future of the Australian Greens.
Julian Burnside AO QC is a barrister and refugee advocate who has acted in some of the highest profile legal cases in Australian history, from the cash for comment inquiry to the waterfront dispute to the Tampa affair.
For the past 16 years Julian has tirelessly spoken out about Australia's cruel immigration policies and has acted pro bono for refugees and people seeking asylum. He received the 2014 Sydney Peace Prize for "his brave and principled advocacy for human rights and for those wronged by government [and] for insisting that we respect our international legal obligations toward those seeking asylum".
I got to go to Julian's (freaking amazing) house and talk to him at length about the state of refugee rights in Australia today, why he's never run for office himself, how the MUA case changed the way he looked at governments, the arts, justice and evil.
Cause of the Week: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (asrc.org.au)