August 29 – September 4, 2015

Tony Abbott before reading during a liturgy at St Charbel’s Maronite church.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Christian right

“If the government seems to be out of step with social expectations it is because Abbott is governing for the far-right numbers that installed him as party leader.”

As Australia becomes less religious, churches have insinuated themselves into politics and gained particular control over Tony Abbott.



China’s share plunge shatters Joe Hockey’s tax reform plan

“People may have set their expectations on good times rolling on, on there being plenty of money for things such as healthcare...”

While Treasurer Joe Hockey rails against bracket creep, the eyes of the world are focusing on the faltering Chinese economy.

A satellite image of Nauru.


Nauru’s systemic dysfunction

With a new tender imminent for Nauru's detention centre operations, and a senate inquiry report still due, stories continue to emerge of mismanagement, dysfunction and extra-judicial governance.


Syrian asylum seekers marching in Europe’s shadows

“There were simply no good choices. I don’t know what a life is anymore.”

With the millions fleeing Syria’s war zones overstretching neighbouring refugee camps, some are risking a perilous journey on foot into Western Europe.

Ebony, the child of a same-sex couple, appearing in the documentary 'Gayby Baby'.


Gayby Baby and same-sex families

“Less focus has been directed towards what positive outcomes marriage equality could deliver to such children.”

The debate over same-sex marriage has led to a focus on children, with opponents citing the damaging effects of of what they call “imperfect families”.

Myanmar’s speaker Shwe Mann, left, arrives at a parliamentary session.


PM Tony Abbott answers his own call to fight in Syria

Reshuffling before Myanmar election; Canada’s hardline prime minister.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Sean Kelly
Abbott baulking the talk

“Abbott must now decide, firmly and without second-guessing himself, what it is he wants to achieve in politics. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Embattled PM ignores carbon, backs Hockey’s tax cut pledge

“Already, the Liberals appear not to see Abbott as a plus. He doesn’t feature in their campaign material for the seat of canning. Julie Bishop is the big attraction there.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Tweet that dare not speak its name

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Piers reviewed


Refugees’ brutal treatment shames us all

Martin McKenzie-Murray’s latest report in The Saturday Paper (“Nauru rapes: ‘There is a war on women’ ”, August 22-28), coming on top of previous …

Heydon’s defence could save a lot of bacons

It is interesting to read Richard Ackland’s article “Judging Heydon” (August 22-29). As Ackland has pointed out, Heydon’s own reflection on “perceived …

Read More


Image for article: Baked beans


Baked beans

Throw away the can opener. These baked beans are the real deal.


Image for article: Beauty Is a Wound

Eka Kurniawan
Beauty Is a Wound

Image for article: Atmosphere of Hope

Tim Flannery
Atmosphere of Hope

Image for article: Undermajordomo Minor

Patrick deWitt
Undermajordomo Minor


Image for article:  A run through the jungle with Kuala Lumpur’s ‘hashers’


A run through the jungle with Kuala Lumpur’s ‘hashers’

Why the arcane “hashers” of Kuala Lumpur’s Royal Selangor Club profess to being “a drinking club with a running problem”.

Image for article: Tor and the deep web going mainstream


Tor and the deep web going mainstream

Amid new anti-privacy measures, “deep web” networks such as Tor – The Onion Router – are becoming more popular, and not just among law-breakers.

Image for article: Wing man: Tommy Oar, 23, soccer player


Wing man: Tommy Oar, 23, soccer player

Socceroos midfielder Tommy Oar is set to take on Bangladesh and Tajikistan in World Cup qualifiers.

The Quiz

1. Mary Westmacott was a pen name of which 20th-century British crime writer?
2. The martial art kendo originated in which country?
3. True or false: tamarin is a type of subtropical fruit?
4. Who captains New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team?
5. Where on a horse is the fetlock?
6. What is the horticultural practice of training a tree or shrub to grow flat against a lattice wall?
7. Which condition affecting bone development in children is caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, calcium or phosphate?
8. What was the first name of Italian Fascist prime minister Mussolini?
9. Laser is a acronym of “light amplification by stimulated …” (Bonus point for naming which decade of the 20th century the laser was first patented.)
10. Ganesh is a Hindu deity with the head of which animal?

Click through for answers.



“In what felt like a Groundhog Day moment yet again in the early hours of Tuesday I spoke with Mark Scott about another unedifying incident at Q&A.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe communications minister complains of his interactions with the ABC. Another tactic might be to not get unnecessarily involved in petty programming errors.


“To the naked eye the reef looks fully as good as it did 50 years ago.”

Rupert MurdochThe blinding 84-year-old remains chipper about the prospects for the Great Barrier Reef. The naked eye was less good for noticing phone hacking at his British tabloids.


“It’s important that people don’t hyperventilate.”

Tony Abbott The prime minister advises that the best way of dealing with sharemarket losses is by breathing into a paper bag. He also has a handy list of tips for curing hiccups.


“I am keenly aware my position was idiosyncratic.”

Julia GillardThe former prime minister explains why she waited until she was no longer in a position to do something about same-sex marriage legislation to decide that she would like to see something done about same-sex marriage legislation.


“Documentary director Maya Newell, an old girl of Burwood Girls High, is a ‘gayby’ in as much as she says she has lesbian ‘mums’.”

Piers AkermanThe “columnist” deploys a series of sceptical quotation marks while attacking the children of same-sex parents. He makes an interesting “point” about the risk of teaching tolerance in schools.


“Fuck, cunt, poo, bum.”

Mark Latham The former Labor leader shares a list of the words he knows with the audience of the Melbourne Writers Festival. He forgot “wee”, though, which is why he never led the country.