Richard Ackland
is the publisher of Justinian. He is The Saturday Paper’s diarist-at-large and legal affairs editor.

By this author


Diary November 10, 2018

Gadfly: Counting the cursed

It’s wonderful to see British high commissioner Bookshelves Brandis back in business, making policy announcements in London on behalf of the government in Canberra. It looks like he was first out of the blocks with the proclamation that refugee children on the gulag of Nauru will be moved out of detention and to Australia by the end of the year. In a wireless interview from London he said: “There are hardly any children on Nauru and in New Guinea ...”

Diary October 27, 2018

Gadfly: A rake’s progress

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says it’s a “muckraking exercise” on the part of the Labor Party. Indeed, there is much muck about, but that’s more to do with the notorious leak of government classified information that ended up in the hands of the Dutch philosopher and Herald Sun bloviator Dr Andreas Blot (BA-in-waiting). Opposition frontbencher Andrew Leigh has been pursuing the matter for two years or so with FOI requests in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Diary November 03, 2018

Gadfly: Inflight infotainment

Onto the aircraft strides one of Lord Moloch’s former pashas, the silver-haired John Hartigan, viceroy of all he surveyed on the media landscape. Passengers were amazed and delighted that the mighty Harto lowered himself into an economy-class seat. It was only a matter of moments later that the ABC’s taxation affairs correspondent Emma Alberici appeared and was ushered into a business-class seat surrounded by fluttering ladies-in-waiting.

Diary October 20, 2018

Gadfly: Wentworth prism

By now on this Saturday morning citizens would be queueing at polling stations throughout William Charles Wentworth’s electorate. The question on many lips is what happened to Dave Sharma’s association with the accountancy firm Kelly+Partners? In January 2018 there was fanfare when he came on board to lead the firm’s lobbying and government relations team. Yet click on K+P’s online announcement and you’ll get a firm “Page not found”.

Diary October 13, 2018

Gadfly: Lord and hosts

As a good Gold Coast happy clapper, the unstoppable Stuey Robert, assistant treasurer of the Commonwealth, is likely to be redeemed of all his sins – such as running up a huge internet bill for the taxpayers, or going to China to eat roast duck at the behest of a Nasty Party donor, or juggling his directorships and shareholdings in companies with interests in transportation, gold and supplements for gym bunnies. He brings to federal politics all the glamour of the Gold Coast, including his Pentecostal zeal, which he shares with his lovely wife, Chantelle, and Skin Curling SloMo.

Diary October 06, 2018

Gadfly: Sharma chameleon

The fate of the nation hangs on the outcome of the Wentworth byelection two Saturdays hence. Judging by the sheer volume of corfluting, flyers and associated bumf, the Nasty Party doesn’t regard this as a stroll in the park. Letterboxes are crammed with a blizzard of election excitements and the shopping centres choked with campaigners trying to press screeds of nonsense into the paws of citizens, who themselves are trying to flee the horror.

Diary September 29, 2018

Gadfly: One for the ageds

If ever there were a business riddled with log-rollers with access to the top levels of government, it is the aged “care” industry. And what fabulous credentials are on offer. Take The Guild, a name straight out of the Middle Ages, which represents eight of the biggest for-profit providers. The chief executive is Matthew Richter, who describes himself on LinkedIn as, “a dynamic results-oriented strategist … I operate not only as a leader, but also as an agent of change. I motivate and inspires [sic] a sense of purpose in those around me …”

Diary September 22, 2018

Gadfly: Triggs a warning

Last week the Saturday magazine that comes free with The Catholic Boys Daily celebrated its 30th birthday. The occasion was marked by interviews with 30 well-known Australians, including the likes of John Olsen, Toni Collette, Tim Winton, Alan Joyce, Ian Thorpe, Frank Lowy etc etc. They were all asked the same questions, about Australia, the outlook for the next 30 years, favourite people and so on.

Diary September 15, 2018

Gadfly: Let there be lights

Pentecostalists are highly regarded for their ability to speak in tongues, otherwise known as making unintelligible utterances. This may explain why Prime Minister and Shire clapper SloMo Morrison insists that electricity prices will come down because he has abolished what was supposed to be Malcolm Trumble’s national energy guarantee.

Diary September 08, 2018

Gadfly: Who’s done cannot be undone

Gadfly arrives back in the wide brown land to find that one of his personal favourites is now at the helm of a retooled One Nation version of the Nasty Party. Moments after seizing the crown, SloMo was into a skin-curling discussion with sexual identity scholar Alan Jones on concerns about gender whisperers, lezzos and trade unions. To show no one had whispered to him at school, his ample frame, in muddied-oaf mode, was seen later on the telly charging around a paddock with a football.

Diary August 25, 2018

Gadfly: All fail the Duttard

It was not to be for Benito, then. Gadfly speaks for many when he says that for a long time he has been longing for a saviour of the calibre of Peter Dutton. What he lacks in charm, charisma and intellect, Benito makes up for in negatively geared property accumulation, government-subsidised childcare enterprises and the wafting allure of visas for mystery au pairs. But ScoMo’s inside run got him the gong.

Diary August 18, 2018

Gadfly: Enid blight on

Next Tuesday, Menzies “Research” Centre executive director and Queensland floods expert Nick “Goosebumps” Cater is hosting a massive spread at Old Parliament House in honour of the memory of Dame Enid Lyons, the first openly female member of the House of Representatives. The exciting part is that the Tasmanian Liberal Senate Team is hitching a ride on the event and at $2200 a head you could have the pleasure of Otto Abetz at your table or, better still, have him waiting on your table.

Diary August 11, 2018

Gadfly: Legends lost

We’re surrounded by death and the passing of great totems of our time. The death of Fairfax’s independence coincided with the death of one of the era’s standout journalists, Evan Whitton. Then we had news of the death of Clive Evatt, the great Sydney defamation barrister, turf man, art collector and frequent visitor to Wagner at Bayreuth. Whitton and Evatt were polar opposites – one liked to expose wrongdoing while the other liked to sue the backside off newspapers on behalf of punters who were exposed.

Pages