Singapore-based fund manager Alex Turnbull is the son of the ousted PM Malcolm and self-described "activist in most senses of the word".
Since the leadership coup in August of last year, Alex has been publicly scathing of the state of the Liberal Party and has actively campaigned to get centrist independents elected in traditionally safe Liberal seats. Alex joined me via Skype to talk with me about about his new approach to politics and public debate, what the heck the "sensible centre" really means and whether or not his dad ever watched my TV show.
Cause of the Week: Carbon Tracker (carbontracker.org)
Richard Di Natale is a Senator for Victoria and the leader of the Australian Greens. His seat isn't up this election but he is out there campaigning hard for the Greens to retain their positions in the Senate and potentially pick up some lower house seats too.
In this conversation we covered a lot, from Richard's thoughts on the egging of the PM to the ghosts of social media past sinking young people's political careers to his party's political fortunes to capitalism to MDMA. But it's clear that the Greens' and Richard's passion is focussed on the existential threat of climate change (as you'd expect). Here Richard outlines the importance of the battle against Adani, the bizarre coal culture war and what a just transition for coal miners might actually look like.
Cause of the Week: The Australian Greens (greens.org.au)
My childhood friend Alex Dyson is a very nice and very funny man who I got to host the triple j breakfast show with for four years.
Now, somewhat insanely, he is running as an independent candidate in our home seat of Wannon in south-west Victoria. It's a seat that's been held by the Liberals for 64 years and is currently held by Minister for Education Dan Tehan by a margin of 10%.
We drank a lot of wine, watched the godawful Leaders' Debate and had a long and fun and slightly-tipsy chat about his politics, why he thinks it's worth running in a safe seat, political ideology and Lupe Fiasco. We laughed, we reminisced, we respectfully disagreed, we danced. Enjoy!
Cause of the Week: Dangerous Females (dangerousfemales.com.au)
Kath Larkin is a unionist and socialist activist. She’s the Victorian Socialists candidate for the seat of Cooper (formerly Batman) in the 2019 federal election, running against Labor’s Ged Kearney.
In this conversation Kath told me about asking Jordan Peterson a question on Q&A (that he didn’t like), her history of union organising, why she’s running in Cooper (and whether she’s going to win), her vision of a socialist future in Australia and she maintains hope in the idea of achieving radical change.
Cause of the Week: Victorian Socialists (victoriansocialists.org.au)
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.