The vexed power of Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed

“I don’t think the mufti did any harm, just as I don’t think he can contribute greatly [to social cohesion]. He has not the power to damage or contribute. ”

A controversial figure, Australia’s Grand Mufti is of more importance to The Daily Telegraph than he is to many Muslims.



Peter Dutton’s contempt of court battle

“The most compelling argument is the common law entitlement to an access to courts, and the minister is interfering in this.”

Victoria’s Supreme Court will decide if Peter Dutton is wrongly depriving a man on a bridging visa of the right to a fair trial.


South Australia pins jobs hope on driverless car industry

Is developing a driverless car industry the answer to South Australia’s unemployment crisis, or a harbinger of far greater job losses across the nation?


Malcolm Turnbull battles parliament division and twin cliques

“We have almost the reverse of the situation that occurred under Abbott, which was very little communication. And now we’re probably on the verge of having more than we need. ”

Turnbull may be cruising ahead in the polls but it’s not all smooth sailing as the PM navigates a messy senate and internal tensions.


Maritime arrangements and Timor-Leste’s oil ploy

As Timor-Leste continues its dispute with Australia over oil and gas resources, the tiny nation risks blowing its budget on a giant white elephant.


Paris prepares for new climate order and escape clauses

Russia under increasing fire; Thailand’s human rights wrongs.



Stephen Taberner
Paris in the fall

Perhaps the aim was to be something like un petit nuage – the phrase the French use with regards to milk in tea. A little cloud of something good.


Paul Bongiorno
Heat on for Malcolm Turnbull ahead of Paris conference

“While some in the party frame the contrary positions on national security as healthy policy debate, the view of that argument is pretty blunt. It was put to me as follows: ‘Bullshit.’”


Dear John letters

Diarist-at-large Richard Ackland flys about the nation.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



‘Left like a dog, to die’


Echoes of another postwar mistake

John Martinkus’s insightful article on the negative power-gap created by the US-led alliance following Saddam Hussein’s defeat (“What my captors wanted to know”, …

Marching for a cause

In 2003 I joined the thousands who marched against following the US into Iraq. Not because we were supporters of Saddam Hussein, which is what was claimed, but because I, and many others, feared that there …

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Grilled quail

The fresh flavours of grilled quail with green mango salad.


Tom D. C. Roberts
Before Rupert

Laura Tingle
Political Amnesia: How We Forgot How to Govern

Sándor Jászberényi
The Devil Is a Black Dog



Crocheted swimwear makes a return

Small craft-based businesses lead the revival of a sun-bleached early ’70s classic – crocheted swimwear.


Fighting obesity through sugary drinks pricing

Can Australia counter its soaring obesity rates by removing hidden subsidies on soft drinks?


The hungry gamer: Matthew Simmons, 26, online racing driver

How an Australia Post courier got signed by the Nissan GT Academy.

The Quiz

1. Snap, Crackle and Pop promote which type of breakfast cereal in Australia? (Bonus point for naming the parent brand.)
2. Where in the human body are the metatarsal bones?
3. Phobos is the largest moon of which planet?
4. In which country did the Battle of Culloden take place?
5. Who is the strapper of the Melbourne Cup-winning horse Prince Of Penzance?
6. What is the name of the lead female character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice?
7. Aylesbury, Rouen and Muscovy are breeds of what animal?
8. Trinidadian-born American singer-songwriter Onika Tanya Maraj is better known by what stage name?
9. Which of these South Pacific nations is nearest to Australia: (a) Vanuatu; (b) New Caledonia; or (c) Fiji?
10. Who was the first British Labour leader to win three consecutive general elections?

Click through for answers.



“To the childless people of Australia I want to say, on behalf of this parliament, ‘Thank you for being childless.’ ”

David LeyonhjelmThe senator makes his plea to Bill Heffernan’s forgotten people: the deliberately barren, the men and women with empty fruit bowls and clean shirts and uninterrupted sleep patterns.

“It is bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave of these little blighters into the world.”

David LatenthomeThe senator continues on this tack, making his case for welfare restrictions on those who do not immunise their children. Birth, in his mind, is a tidal phenomenon.


“The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum so they don’t make the rest of us sick.”

Davjid LennyhjellmThe senator confuses children with spittoons, which can get a libertarian tobacco chewer into all sorts of trouble. Also: forcing vaccinations is not very libertarian.


“Children generate great joy, warmth and meaning for their parents. They are a precious gift. What more do you want?”

Divide LegendhamThe senator explains that paid parental leave should be abolished and replaced with a currency of smiles.


“It is like making people in wheelchairs pay for other people’s running shoes.”

David LaymandomeThe senator threatens to wear babies on his feet. Or some such. By this stage, it is difficult to follow his views. He seems not to understand taxation as a means of redistributing wealth.


“It would be weird to suggest that you need to pay for the upbringing and training of a baker just because one day you will want to buy bread.”

David LegumehelmetThe senator lands his final blow against parental subsidies. Except, that is kind of exactly what we do: it’s badly funded, and it’s called TAFE.