gadfly

diary June 19, 2021

Gadfly: First they
came for Friendlyjordies…

A test of one’s commitment to free speech isn’t fighting for the speech you like but the speech you don’t like. It is inevitable that censorship encroaches from the latter to the former. Never has that maxim been tested more, though, than in the case of Friendlyjordies v the State of New South Wales.

diary June 12, 2021

Gadfly: Paterson Twitters on

Electing a political representative is neither a power lightly given nor one that should be casually accepted. Yet too often the personal indulgences of politicians are overlooked. A combination of apathy and lethargy seemingly dictates our lack of response to such leadership failures. As such, it is understandable so few politicians even bother pretending to care for the needs of their electorate. Every now and then though, a politician remembers their duty. Driven by a sense of purpose, or perhaps a deep-seated respect for public office, they stand up and make the moral choice: they trawl through the tweets of ABC journalists to see what they’ve liked or retweeted.

diary June 5, 2021

Gadfly: Most cursed city

Remember that sound you heard on Wednesday, the one the seismologists registered, which startled flocks of birds into flight and shattered spectacles and wine glasses? That was Melbourne. That was five million people cursing aloud when they were told that lockdown would be extended for another week.

diary May 29, 2021

Gadfly: Outbreak breakouts

During the height of Melbourne’s lockdown last year, many conservative commentators argued we were sacrificing our economy to protect the elderly, who would inevitably just die anyway. The federal government, it seems, has taken up the call for geronticide, even as the economy rebounds. It remains firmly committed to a vaccination strategy that’s been more of a vibe than a rollout, with confusing messaging around who qualifies, when they qualify and why they should avoid AstraZeneca even if they do qualify.

diary May 22, 2021

Gadfly: The eye of the storm

It’s been a fairly quiet week for the Morrison government. In the limbo between the budget and next week’s session of parliament, everything’s gone a bit (more) dull in Canberra. We can expect several scandals to break simultaneously on Monday as everyone plays catch-up.

diary May 15, 2021

Gadfly: I’m the treasurer … Get me out of here!

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg must have been thrilled to finally provide the government with news coverage that didn’t involve anyone masturbating on a desk in Parliament House, an MP using attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to explain why he hides in bushes or Craig Kelly being Craig Kelly.

diary May 8, 2021

Gadfly: Currying favour

If there’s one thing our prime minister loves at the same level that he loves Pentecostal evangelism, it’s Indian food. In fact, I might even wager Scott Morrison loves a curry more than he loves Jesus, given how much more he talks about curries. Over the years, he’s found more uses for curry than MacGyver would have, from an image softener on LinkedIn to a metaphor for multiculturalism in a speech to the armed forces. The man’s never met a pinch of garam masala that he didn’t love.

diary May 1, 2021

Gadfly: Are you there, God? It’s me, Morrison

It has long been believed that when God speaks, it is only to prophets, poets and madmen. Now we can add Australian prime ministers to that list. While attending the Australian Christian Churches conference on the Gold Coast last week, Scott Morrison revealed that he and Jenny have been called upon to do God’s work.

diary April 24, 2021

Gadfly: ‘A pretty f***ing good milkshake’

Not since John Travolta asked to try the $5 milkshake Uma Thurman ordered at Jack Rabbit Slim’s has anyone cared so much about the cost of a milkshake. But it turns out that prices have gone up a bit since 1994. Now, if you want a milkshake to bring all the boys to your yard, you’d better be willing to spend upwards of $3.7 million. At least that’s what the Australian government paid for a series of educational videos around consent, which somehow involves milkshakes, and tacos.

diary April 17, 2021

Gadfly: Not a monster but perhaps a movie villain

Defence Minister Peter Dutton occupies a hallowed place in the culture wars. This is the man who once valiantly decried “cancel culture” and criticised Netflix for removing shows that had racially offensive content by saying “I just don’t think makes any sense”. But it seems the Defence minister has changed his tune on free speech, allegedly issuing defamation threats to some Twitter users.

diary April 10, 2021

Gadfly: The Turnbull of the screw

Sometimes, finding a job requires overcoming biases you didn’t even know stood in the way of your gainful employment. Having a non-Anglo name has been shown in repeated studies to hurt one’s chances. Sometimes it can be as simple as being the wrong skin colour. But nothing is more damning, it seems, than being a former prime minister.