“When the numbers don’t mean much, meaning must be attached to them. As the example of the recent Liberal coup shows, that can lead to disaster.”
As public faith in democracy collapses, the institution is further undermined by suspect polling, gormless politics and a media dependent on both.
“It has been a wretched year for our collective faith in democracy. This faith isn’t a luxury. Its absence in America helped elect an anarchic crook as president and swelled the ranks of white nationalists. The sum of disorder and cynicism is the exhausted faith of the people – who will start looking elsewhere.”
In a year bookended by National Party MPs in disgrace, we saw big banks and cricketers shamed, international politics teeter and literary and musical icons shuffle off this mortal coil. A look back at the year that was.
“Change the date, don’t change the date – I am agnostic. I think a national day could be a valuable tool in the binding of a nation, but only if it finds ways of including the three narratives, as Pearson has described them. I can imagine a three-stage national day of the future, one that stretches from our long First Nations history, through the narrative of the British arrival, to the waves of immigrant arrivals and life here now. Past, present and future.”
“The Prime Minister’s Office insists Morrison only learnt about Broad’s use of a website for ‘sugar daddy’ arrangements on the day New Idea broke the story. It is simply an incredible and grave dereliction of duty on McCormack’s part. He lamely claims he doesn’t ‘tell the prime minister everything about every member of parliament’ because he ‘has enough on his mind’. ”
It’s the annual speech day at St Brutes, the very private non-selective school and training ground for future Nasty Party boiler room operatives and their underlings in Cockies Corner at the other end of the dorm. The headmaster, Mr Morrison, was hoping for a speech day built around the theme of “fair dinkum” – to reflect the authenticity of Australia and its values. A cat was set among the pigeons, though, when it came to light that “fair dinkum” was actually an authentic Chinese expression from the goldfields of the 1890s.
Letters & Editorial
Independent advice required
Anne Summers makes an important observation in stating “it is easy to forget just how recently policy and politics became unhitched – if not unhinged” (The dead policy scrolls”, December …
Robin DiAngelo knows a lot about white privilege – it’s in her DNA. The American academic, author and anti-racism advocate talks about how structures of whiteness and so-called white progressives are continuing to damage the lives of people of colour. ‘I grew up in poverty … I was a feminist for most of my life before I realised I could also be an oppressor. But I draw from my experience of oppression … I think that helps. The key is not to exempt myself from being an oppressor, just because I experience oppression. Ask anyone if they’d rather be poor and white or poor and brown – I knew I was poor, but I also knew I was white.’
“Ten more days and I would have had a chance to delve deeper behind the humorous anecdotes, to gain a deeper understanding of how humour in itself was a form of sustenance. Who knows what I would have discovered about him, what I would have found out about myself.”
Bursting with colour, overwrought with emotion and rich in symbolism – the grandiloquent works of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood leave the Tate to enliven the walls of the NGA in an exhibition powerful enough to convert even a non-fan.
The beverage director for Andrew McConnell’s restaurants recommends the top tipples for the festive season.
Cathy Freeman winning gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Australian Diamonds netball team.
A theatre company.
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.
The Catcher in the Rye.
Charles and Ray Eames.
Wear it (it’s a type of body armour).
Blood group B.