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

By this author


Diary July 08, 2017

Gadfly: Get thee behind I

Others have had the stomach to carefully ingest the statements of Immigration Minister Peter “Benito” Dutton, so I’m grateful to them for pointing out that the man who will set the university-level English exams for aspiring citizens has a special way with the language of Shakespeare, Shelley and Enid Blyton.

Diary July 01, 2017

Gadfly: We shall fight on free speeches

It was uplifting to read Little Winston Howard’s gushing endorsement of Reverend Peter Kurti’s tome The Tyranny of Tolerance. The book is a long whinge about mainstream beliefs being criticised by anyone outside the mainstream. At least that’s what it appears to be about, plus the Rev is alert to the dangerous attempt by “social engineers” to let girls wear trousers instead of skirts to school. Another vital value mercilessly under attack.

 

Diary June 24, 2017

Gadfly: Malcolm’s hokey poke

Honestly, Jane Goodall did her best, but up against the combined crashing boredom of Senator “Sprog” Paterson and right-wing religious fellow the Reverend Peter Kurti, from the Centre for “Independent” Studies, Q&A on Monday was doomed.

Diary June 17, 2017

Gadfly: Sunday law school

We start with news from God, via the Human Rights Law Alliance, an organisational friend of the Australian Christian Lobby, which deftly fuses law and God. The alliance is run by a young groover named Martyn Iles, a former chief of staff at the ACL and a giver of sermons at the Pentecostal Southside Bible Church in the far-flung ACT suburb of Kambah.

Diary June 10, 2017

Gadfly: Uncommon figure of speech

It was bopping at Sydney’s Cockle Bay Wharf Friday week ago. A couple of hundred true believers jammed in for a dinner that paid tribute to Norman Graham Freudenberg, AM, speech-weaver extraordinaire to Gough Whitlam, Neville Wran, Bob Carr and, I’d almost forgotten, Barrie Unsworth and Arthur “Cocky” Calwell.

Diary June 03, 2017

Gadfly: Nonsense of entitlements

While Fairfax boss Greg Plywood lectured the pollies in Canberra about the new world of media and the evils of the ABC having the temerity to promote its online content, his organisation set about its journalists’ redundancy program in a manner that brought confusion and despair. First up the hacks were told: “To enable a fast turnaround in providing you with … information, you will see that we have excluded all leave entitlements.”

Diary May 27, 2017

Gadfly: Last-ditch posting

Phillip Coorey, AFR’s political correspondent, the other day confirmed that PM Trumble’s pre-election frontbench reshuffle “would see the departure of Attorney-General George Brandis” – something that has been eagerly awaited for some time. He goes on to say that while London has frequently been mentioned as a likely destination for Bookshelves, “Wellington is now on the cards”.

Diary May 20, 2017

Gadfly: Cranston pickle

It’s incredibly heartwarming to see Flag-Pin Morrison muscling up in the wake of the alleged tax fraud arrests. “Those who think they can defraud Australian taxpayers – today’s events show that they have another thing coming,” the treasurer said, without being too fussed about pre-trial prejudice.

Diary May 13, 2017

Gadfly: A Mark of respect

There’s too much death about, particularly the death of good people. The arseholes seem to live forever. After a long illness and a brave fight, Mark Colvin has gone. He was a fixture on our landscape presenting ABC Radio’s PM for 20 years with a voice that reassured us the program was dependable.