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

By this author

news March 17, 2018

Gadfly: King’s lowlanding

Kings of War is a four-and-a-half hour Shakespearean onslaught in Dutch at the Adelaide Festival, under the direction of Ivo van Hove and scenographer Jan Versweyveld. To keep us in the picture there were surtitles, but only our leading Hollander, Dr Andreas Blot, had he been there, could have wrung all the subtleties from the performance.

news March 03, 2018

Gadfly: Daily dose of revisionism

The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga has experienced some major rethinking since Michael McCormack, the current deputy prime minister, was the editor of the mighty organ. McCormack’s editorial line in the 1990s – that humanity was in danger of being wiped out by disease-spreading gays – has been starkly revised. This week, we find the paper carrying a story about the town of Hay hosting a mardi gras parade, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the big event in Sydney.

news March 10, 2018

Gadfly: Planet of the gripes

If you’ve never been to one of those newspaper chat things where celebrity journalists talk about the same stuff they bang on about in print, Gadfly is here to fill you in on what you’re missing. With $25 in his pocket, our field agent wended his weary way to the Maritime Museum in Sydney, where in close proximity to the sharks, stingrays and groupers, Janet Albrechtsen and Caroline Overington were on stage.

news February 24, 2018

Gadfly: Fraught the draft

Sad to see alt-right exhibitionist and bore Milo Yiannopoulos pulling out of his $US10 million breach of contract litigation against Simon & Schuster. This was a case where neither side was covered in glory. One thing it did throw up were the notes on the draft from editor Mitchell Ivers, including morsels such as: “Throughout the book, your best points seem to be lost in a sea of self-aggrandisement and scattershot thinking.”

news February 17, 2018

Gadfly: Holy owned subsidiaries

Archbishop Anthony Fisher must have been exhausted from all the fire and fury he recently poured down on the head of wretched LGBTQI sinners. But he’s picked himself up from the floor of the pulpit to tear off an epistle to Fairfax Media in response to the story about the billions of dollars of loot in the vaults of the Catholic Church in Australia.

news February 10, 2018

Gadfly: The scarlet man

Another little beetroot-bundle is a treat for a treat-starved nation. Thank God family values are on the up and up. The odds are great that a Christian politician of the calibre of the deputy prime minister, who enthuses on the sanctity of family values, will have more than one family

news February 03, 2018

Gadfly: The Pentecost of denying freedom

God save us from Christians. That must be uppermost in the minds of those 700 asylum seekers who missed out on permanent protection visas because, as immigration minister, Scott Morrison asked ASIO in 2013 to go slow on processing the security checks. This helpful “mitigation strategy” ensured the applicants missed their deadline and could be marched out of the country within three years, instead of getting permanent residency.

news January 27, 2018

Gadfly: Jumped up Collapso

One piece of news that managed to captivate a comatose nation involved the activities at the Kensington Wine Rooms, where High Commissioner Lord Downer fell into discussion with George Papadopoulos, a member of Dotard Trump’s campaign team, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

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 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 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 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.