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Diary June 16, 2018
Gadfly: Mining for information
Lord Gnome at Private Eye reports that Succession has started on HBO in the United States. It’s a drama series about Logan Roy and his four children, the family that controls the biggest, fattest media and entertainment conglomerate on the planet. What future lies ahead for this cherished bunch as their ageing father continues to grow older? Not that this necessarily reminds you of anyone in particular. The blurb says that Logan’s “eldest son from his second marriage is currently a division president at the firm and the heir apparent”. There is a brother that used to work for the business and they have a high-profile sister into the bargain.
Diary June 02, 2018
Gadfly: Scrutiny of the bounty
The chase for The Thorn Birds loot is taking on the hue of Jarndyce v Jarndyce and the presiding judge, Nigel Rein, has already urged the parties to step on it, with lawyers’ costs rapidly gobbling up what’s at stake. In the meantime, citizens have been spellbound by news of a fake will designed to soothe McCullough’s widower, Ric Robinson, a tearful lawyer in the witness box, bedroom shouting scenes, evidence that the couple were getting low on cash, claims of fabrication and instructions that Ric should “take” a mistress.
Diary June 09, 2018
Gadfly: The cash of civilisations
Little Winston Howard and Ten Flags Tony, guiding lights of the Ramsay Centre, must be livid that the Australian National University has pulled the pin on their sponsored degree in Western civilisation. While Winston talks glibly of the grand forces that shaped our Western heritage, such as the Judeo-Christian ethic, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law and the Enlightenment, as prime minister he busily set about making Australia as narrow and mean a place as the horizons of his imagination.
Diary May 26, 2018
Gadfly: Striking a chord
While in Otto’s extreme and manic world, it’s worth noting his complaints against Justine Keay, the former Labor MP ruled ineligible to hold the federal seat of Braddon because she had not renounced her Britishness. Abetz has been busy compiling the salary and entitlements Keay received between the time she feared she was constitutionally ineligible to stand for parliament and the moment the High Court in the Gallagher case found she was indeed ineligible.
Diary May 19, 2018
Gadfly: Hot off the press council
This week Gadfly thinks it’s high time to unload some festering snipes and snarls. Take the Australian Press Council as a starting point. The press “regulator” is in the process of rissoling the Indigenous woman Carla McGrath as a public member of the council, on the feeble excuse that her position as deputy chair of GetUp! creates a conflict of interest. What on earth are they on about? The Press Council itself is a conflict of interest, riddled with tired hacks representing their paymasters in the media.
Diary May 12, 2018
Gadfly: Bringing Downer the house
The people running the Twitter account at Australia House in London produced a marvellous photograph of the new high commissioner addressing his minions in a marbled reception hall. The staff looked as though they were having a perfectly miserable time as His Excellency Bookshelves Brandis droned on. They’d only just got rid of Fishnets Downer; now they were rolling their eyes, wondering what this new turkey from the Nasty Party would be like.
Diary May 05, 2018
Gadfly: Downer out
Fishnets Downer issued a last moving message from his well-padded HQ at Australia House. The outgoing high commissioner to the United Kingdom was looking incredibly pleased with himself as he faced the camera. “Being a diplomat means not just going to parties,” he said. “It means having purpose. So, um, your purpose is to promote the interests of your country.”
News April 28, 2018
The arch royal commissioner, Kenneth Hayne
The government may have thought Kenneth Hayne would run an easygoing royal commission. But his exposure of corruption and exploitation among the big banks sees him join a tradition of commissioners delivering more than their masters bargained for.
Diary April 28, 2018
Gadfly: Kerr’s cursive
The nation has been gripped again by the history wars, with Emeritus Professor Jenny Hocking of The Dismissal Dossier fame in one corner and in the other two scribblers from The Catholic Boys Daily, Father Paul Kelly and Troy-Boy Bramston. Prof. Anne Twomey is in there as well, telling Financial Review readers that she sniffs no sign of a conspiracy that the Brits and HM The Queen were in on Jolly John Kerr’s move to stab the Whitlam government in the back. Hocking has been turned down by the Federal Court in her application to get access to National Archives correspondence between Kerr, Brenda and Brenda’s palace courtiers, including that of her official private secretary, Sir Martin Charteris.
Diary April 21, 2018
Gadfly: Turnbulls face a star chamber
Hankies were dabbing at moistened eyes as soprano Nicole Car and the Australian Chamber Orchestra were at their most passionate on Saturday night. Mozart, Beethoven and Verdi were on the bill as the Melbourne soprano held everyone in her spell. Hairs on the back of eminent backs were standing on end all over Sydney’s City Recital Hall, and no doubt the ACO’s inaugural outing of the 1726 “Belgiorno” Stradivarius was partly responsible. There were so many celebs in the crowd that Gadfly lost count.
Diary April 14, 2018
Gadfly: Brandis cools his heel
Bookshelves Brandis’s Achilles heel is really holding things up. The famous back end of the well-rounded foot got injured while the high commissioner designate was delivering a fiendish backhand at tennis. The “Big Beast” was meant to take over from Fishnets Downer in early April but as things would have it Fishnets is still on the public teat, and will be there for next week’s CHOGM chinwag in London.
Diary April 07, 2018
Gadfly: An affair to dismember
The dwindling citizens who read Lord Moloch’s tissues will have noticed that exciting fatwas are under way against Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs and barrister Julian Burnside. Griggs is vice-chief of the Australian Defence Force and in line to take over the job as top Defence wallah. However, he has committed the crime of divorcing his wife and marrying fellow navy officer Commander Chloe Wootten, now Griggs. Maybe he was inspired by Lord Moloch himself, who tied the knot on two occasions with young women from the factory floor.
Diary March 31, 2018
Gadfly: Throwing the book at Dutton
The Russians know a thing or two about how to hold a press conference. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin holds an annual end-of-year session running for about four hours. In Canberra, his ambassador, Grigory Logvinov, was responding to the expulsion of two diplomats as part of a Western response to chemical weapon attacks on the Skripals in London.