Inside Turnbull’s media strategy

“If they want to strike up a sensible conversation about politics, then we will help them by reporting that. If they want to parrot slogans like budgies, then we’ll report that and the audience can see that for what it is. – Mark Riley, Seven News”

In an attempt to slow the media cycle, Turnbull has borrowed from US presidents: speak only from a podium, and only on big issues.



The man paid to protect Nauru’s image

“Offshore processing is a very emotive issue, and our company has been subjected to what I consider to be unreasonable abuse as a result of recent publicity. – Lyall Mercer”

The Australian publicist selling the Nauru government’s message on mistreated refugees defends his tactics.


Focus on air quality after Volkswagen data trickery

“The ‘dieselgate’ issue is a good trigger to get people’s minds back on the agenda to work to keep the air clean.”

The Volkswagen diesel scandal is shining a spotlight on the importance of monitoring and managing potentially deadly exhaust emissions in Australia.


Inmates powerless against theft within prison system

At time of arrest a person’s valuables are bagged to be securely held until the prisoner is released. But reports suggest that within the prison system theft – by guards, police and fellow inmates – is widespread.


Immigration essential to replace populations in critical decline

“By 2035, the number of Africans joining the working age population will exceed that from the rest of the world combined. This is a trend with significant ramifications for both the region and the global economy.”

Precipitously declining Western populations will not support growth without greatly increasing immigration, bringing with it huge social change. Ultimately, the growth model itself will have to be reconsidered.


No farewell to arms as Syria mobilises

PNG economy slides further; black days in India as anti-Muslim sentiment rages; Mahathir hypocrisy; China tempers North Korea slurs.



Tony Windsor
Waiting for delivery from PM Malcolm Turnbull

“The question on many lips is, ‘Was Turnbull controlled by Murdoch or controlled by Abbott who was controlled by Murdoch?’”


Paul Bongiorno
Abbott’s prospects flat as a board

“Abbott has said he’s not interested in being an ambassador. 'Diplomacy wasn’t his greatest skill,' a highly connected liberal businessman says, 'so it’s just as well.'”


Blood, toil, sweat and legal fees

Bob Ellis fills in as diarist-at-large.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Meta commentary


Australia stands by Timor treaties

I refer to recent articles about the Timor Sea arrangements published in The Saturday Paper (“Hamish McDonald, “Australia called to Hague on Timor Gap”, June 13-19; Steve …

Ellis’s operatic epistle

Let me set the record straight regarding Gadfly’s Italian ambassadorial informant’s report of the opening scene of the John Adams opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw …

Read More




Rhubarb fool with almond praline

The welcome return of an old-fashioned English dessert.


Freeman’s, Issue 1

Kate Bolick

Fitzroy: The Biography



Vibes app aims to make social media personal again

A mood app hopes to avoid social media's corporatised environments of self-promotion.


The Birdsville Races and Fred Brophy’s famous boxing tent

The annual Birdsville Races draw thousands to the remote outback town, for a gathering of self-described ‘real Australians’.


From the sidelines: Tony Popovic, 42, soccer coach

As head coach of AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers, Tony Popovic knows what it’s like to taste success.

The Quiz

1. Who is leader of the British Labour Party?
2. In order, the seven main taxonomic divisions are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and …?
3. Who wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? (Bonus point for naming Charlie’s surname.)
4. What is Greece’s largest island?
5. American showman William Frederick Cody was better  known as …?
6. Which singer links the songs “Someone Like You”, “Make You Feel My Love” and “Rumour Has It”?
7. Name the winner of last year’s Caulfield Cup?
8. Which Australian artist painted the Ned Kelly series?
9. Composer (Franz) Joseph Haydn was born in which country?
10. In what year did the television series Home and Away first air?

Click through for answers.



“The racket that’s been going here is that people at the margins come to Australia from Nauru.”

Peter DuttonThe immigration minister complains about the pregnant and sickly on Nauru, hoping to come to Australia for medical care. Racket seems a bit hyperbolic: it’s more a cartel of human suffering.


“The greatest prime minister, with the possible exception of Robert Menzies.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister introduces John Howard with only mild qualification. Unfortunately, he did not attempt to list his top 10.


“I was run out, simply because I couldn’t move. I could only hop.”

Andrew FlintoffThe former captain of the English cricket team on taking three Viagra during a Test.


“I say to you as his successor, all of us owe him an enormous debt.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister accepts he is being laughed at by the New South Wales state council and so ventures some of his more surreal Tony Abbott material.


“Obviously everyone has different tastes but I would say a naked backside is a bit far – the average punter on the street would question this.”

Craig KellyThe Liberal MP complains about Wendy Sharpe’s painting The Witches, on display in Parliament House. This adds wind farms and bottoms to the list of things Craig doesn’t like to look at.


“It’s just absurd, and it’s all based on bogus, bohunk computer modelling. There’s not one shred of scientific data.”

Rush LimbaughThe conservative radio host continues his criticism of global warming. And computers. And bohunk in all its forms.