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

By this author


news December 23, 2017

Gadfly: Ding Dong! Merrily on high-vis

’Tis the season of “killer toys” that allow obscure ministers for consumer affairs to show their magnificent plumage. The New South Wales minister for fair trading is someone named Matt Kean and he had all his feathers fully fluffed with an announcement that “the annual yuletide safety blitz continues to sweep through retail stores”.

news December 09, 2017

Gadfly: Enright is wrong

Poring over court reports, as Gadfly does during a wet week, we discover proceedings starring journalist David Marr. It seems Marr enjoyed a victory in the New South Wales Supreme Court, which a week ago confirmed his role in the estate of his old friend the late playwright Nick Enright, who appointed the esteemed writer, raconteur and flâneur as his “literary executor”.

news December 16, 2017

Gadfly: Tall Man pulls up short

What can the Lord Jesus have been thinking? Allowing Alabama voters to send a Democrat to the senate instead of a gun-toting, God-fearing alleged child molester endorsed by the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief himself. It was Roy Moore’s attempt to ride a horse to the polling station that finally did him in, as it was evident the horse detested him.

news December 02, 2017

Gadfly: Onan the vulgarian

What was the tipping point for the Queensland election? In Gadfly’s opinion it was One Nation’s dildo, strap-on and “maarsterbate” moment. The now defunct banana-bending One Nation leader Steve Dickson said at a pre-election BBQ that “little kids in grade 4 at school, young girls being taught by teachers how to masturbate, how to strap on dildos – that is the real problem in this country”.

news November 25, 2017

Gadfly: Court of little public opinion

Who can forget those political luminaries Hunt, Tudge and Sukkar? The bold and brave “Yarra Three” avoided prosecution for contempt after their blundering statements about the Victorian Court of Appeal while it was in the process of making decisions about sentences for two terrorist offenders. The three hung their heads, shuffled their feet and made a last-minute grovel to the judges. But all has not been entirely disremembered.

news November 18, 2017

Gadfly: Sprog’s bill beyond belief

Senator Sprog Paterson’s religious freedom bill was a pathetic effort and little wonder he is unhappy with it. Fancy forgetting to include a clause that bans LGBTQI people from male or female public toilets. This omission confirms Sprog as one of the most inadequate people ever to land, unelected, in the senate.

news November 11, 2017

Gadfly: Kirby, fully loaded

Gadfly repaired to Sydney’s Macquarie Street for a mystery event hosted by Macquarie University. The invitation said the occasion is to “pay tribute to the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG”. It was to have been held at the Federal Law Courts until the sprinkler system caused havoc to the halls of justice, so it was transferred across the road to the Mint, which was fitting, given we were about to get information on “gifting opportunities”.

news November 04, 2017

Mark Dreyfus on a human rights act

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus talks about the benefits of a human rights act and why conservative concern for cake bakers is about removing protections not defending freedoms.

news November 04, 2017

Gadfly: Parry, dodge, spin, ha, thrust

Let’s pause a moment to reflect on the torrid time for Otto Abetz and his island kingdom of Tasmania. Not only do the polls show a majority of postal responses in favour of same-sex marriage, which Otto thinks could lead to people marrying the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but the wheels are falling off his badly oiled state branch of the Nasty Party machine.

news October 28, 2017

Gadfly: Dice keeps rolling on

Dicey Heydon has been relatively quiet since the triumphs of his “Get Shorten” royal commission. So it’s heartening to know the former High Court judge is still at full strength, delivering a lecture last week to a sect within the Australian Catholic University in Adelaide. His theme was the frightful “elites”.

news October 21, 2017

Gadfly: Just wild about Harry

Invariably Gadfly turns to Grouper Greg Sheridan in The Catholic Boys Daily for thought leadership. Grouper’s endorsement of Admiral Harry Harris, the United States commander in the Pacific, as Barking Dog Trump’s ambassador to Australia, could not have been more reassuring.

news October 14, 2017

Gadfly: Weapons of misdirection

It’s comforting to see Julie “Asbestos” Bishop in her tin hat, firing from the trenches. Australia will be in range of Kimbo’s nuclear warheads if he achieves his objectives, Asbestos warned in an op-ed piece for the Fairfax papers. She even threw in the key phrase “weapons of mass destruction” – not given a proper run around the block since the triumphant invasion of Iraq.

news October 07, 2017

Gadfly: Okay Papists, now let’s get Reformation

Our old comrade in arms, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher, OP, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, has invited us to a special event to “commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation”. Some may have thought that Roman Catholics are not entirely keen on the Reformation after large chunks of the old church fell off into the arms of Martin Luther.

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