By this author
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 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 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 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.
Diary May 06, 2017
Gadfly: Unrepentant. Always.
To the House of Fairfax first, where the knives came out with another grand opening of the redundancy program. The culling of a further 125 editorial jobs at the once mighty publishing group is the most galling act of newspaper bastardry in recent history. The ABC’s 7.30 reported on Wednesday night that in the past six years Fairfax has lost more than 600 journalists. The latest cuts are a crippling blow and make farcical the company’s incantations about “strengthening journalism”.
Diary April 29, 2017
Gadfly: Work for the coal scheme
The relationship between the Greens and the giant roughhouse union the CFMEU is curious. The union has tipped money into the minority party in rather generous dollops. There seemed to be some quid pro quo with Senator Richard Di Natale and his parliamentary colleagues opposing the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and legislation to reduce the number of union people on the boards of super funds.
Diary April 22, 2017
Gadfly: Abercrombie and filch
What a terrible time for stalwarts of the Victorian Liberal Party Council, Andrew Abercrombie and Caroline Elliott. They have been on the receiving end of party president Michael Kroger’s rebukes over the former state director Damien Mantach’s trick of making $1.5 million disappear from the coffers.
Diary April 15, 2017
Gadfly: Downer and out in Dublin and London
A treat is in store for the cavalcade of Australian barristers sweeping through London and Dublin in July on their two-yearly overseas knees-up. It looks like a pretty flatout affair, kicking off with drinks at Scarfes Bar, at the Rosewood London, named because of Gerald Scarfe’s artwork and his inspiration for the cocktails.
Diary April 08, 2017
Gadfly: Oscar ceremony mistake
This week there was a lovely afternoon tea at the Human Rights Commission HQ to welcome onboard June Oscar, the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner. Dozens were in attendance, juggling cups, saucers and delicate little edibles.
Diary April 01, 2017
Gadfly: Radio National treasure
Gadfly took a leisurely drive along the Hume Highway to Canberra and what a treat to have Radio National for company. By the Mittagong turnoff there was James Carleton’s show “God Forbid” with an item on the advantage of being white, leading into a top-rate discussion on 18C with academics Helen Pringle and Iain Benson. Hands down it was one of the liveliest talks on this well-worn topic since Dr Andreas Bolt (BA-in-waiting) had trouble with his fair-skinned Aborigines.
Diary March 25, 2017
Gadfly: Out of harmony’s way
Harmony Day turned into a triumph for pinkish-coloured people. PM Turnbull and his pale-skinned sidekick Bookshelves “Bigot” Brandis say it’s important for our free speech that tinted people be subject to offence, insults and humiliation – but no harassment, please. The Macquarie Dictionary says that “harass” means “to trouble by repeated attacks, incursions, etc ... to disturb persistently”.