Inside the Brandis-Gleeson breakdown

“What seems to have made Brandis angriest of all is that during the pre-election caretaker period Gleeson took a call from shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus. The first Brandis knew of it was when Gleeson told the committee last Friday.”

George Brandis’s move to control legal advice has opened a schism with Justin Gleeson, that critics say make the solicitor-general a “dog on a lead”.




Culture war in offshore detention

“This is an issue that plays into the white noise of politics – that rings louder than human rights reports. But I’ve yet to see a politician stand up and say ‘I’m proud of these abuses’.”

The response to Four Corners’ Nauru report underscores a shift in the immigration debate from human lives to media bias.



Age discrimination in the workforce

Age discrimination in the workplace and welfare payments barely above the poverty line are seeing an increasing number of over-55s in desperate straits.



Justice Reinvestment on trial in Cowra

In country NSW, a small town is embarking on an innovative plan to keep potential law-breakers out of the justice system.



Bob Day’s resignation and Family First’s future

“The hit to Family First will be enormous, both financially, because Day and his acolytes provided almost all their funding, and reputationally. Their future federal electoral prospects seem dim.”

Bob Day’s resignation from the senate this week amid the collapse of his building companies raises questions about Family First’s funding arrangements and its future without him.



China arrests threaten Packer’s Barangaroo

What happens to Mosul after Daesh?; Hillary Clinton plays Donald Trump in final debate; Julian Assange’s internet outage.




Karen Middleton
The ubiquity of sexual harassment

“I wasn’t looking to make people angry, just aware that it happens a lot to many women in all sorts of situations, that this kind of sexual attention is not the same as flirting and it would be great if it happened a lot less. Like, never.”



Paul Bongiorno
Turnbull takes a hit in the Adler gun debate

“In parliament, Turnbull did what he failed to do on Radio National and vowed never to trade away Howard’s gun laws but to strengthen them. But he then mired himself in an apparent contradiction. ”



Broderick’s uni assignment

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

An insider’s outside view

A new podcast from Schwartz Media

Join Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute’s chief economist, as he tackles Australia’s most important political and economic issues in a new weekly podcast.

Find The Lucky Country on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Letters & Editorial



Triggs warring

The Saturday Paper accepts Gillian Triggs' retraction. It is an appalling shame that the mistake has overshadowed her work.



Talking is just the beginning

If there is one good thing to come out of Donald Trump’s grabs and gropes it is the tweets, discussion and articles such as Karen Middleton’s bringing predatory behaviour of men into the open …


Years of anger

Thank you for bringing out in the open the constantly occurring molestation of women and how this goes unreported. Until these molesters are called to account, as in your article, it will still seem to be okay to …

Read More



Melbourne dolewave band Terry

Melbourne band Terry operate outside the mainstream industry. For them, ‘dolewave’ is less a put-down and more an arch declaration of artists angry with inequality.


‘Switzerland’ at MTC

Joanna Murray-Smith’s drama about thriller writer Patricia Highsmith’s dying days sequestered in Switzerland is brilliant, sinister entertainment in the Hitchcock mode.


Martu elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan and ‘Collisions’

A virtual reality tour with Maralinga survivor Nyarri Nyarri Morgan.






George Megalogenis on growing up with Bruce Springsteen

On the release of Bruce Springsteen’s memoir Born to Run, a reflection on a childhood of musical epiphanies amid echoes of migrant experience.



Antibiotic resistance

Overuse of antibiotics, in the home and agriculturally, has created a global health crisis with bacterial resistance to current treatments predicted to claim 10 million lives yearly by 2050.



Unstoppable: Sarah Hammond, 36, endurance cyclist

Endurance cyclist Sarah Hammond on the hallucinations that take hold on the road.



James Gleick
Time Travel


Ali Smith


The Quiz

1. Which long-running cartoon series features characters named Franklin, Lucy, Sally and Pig-Pen?
2. Pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger was flying for which airline when he was forced to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River?
3. Which author created the character Philip Pirrip? (Bonus point for naming in which novel he appeared.)
4. What is the capital of Uzbekistan?
5. Children with a full set of baby teeth have how many?
6. What, beginning with ‘g’, is the name for a class of mollusc comprising snails?
7. Which Australian surfer won her maiden world title this month?
8. The musical Miss Saigon was inspired by which opera?
9. Which world leader was awarded this year’s Nobel peace prize?
10. Name the billionaire boss of Berkshire Hathaway.



“Would you just like to be pompous for the whole day, or only for this question?”

Penny WongThe senator asks George Brandis the question he’s been posing his entire life. The attorney-general had advised Wong that when she said “square away” she really meant “reconcile”.


“That was his angry face. We now have seen his angry face. What really happened after he got carried away at the clam bake in Honolulu.”

Christopher PyneThe defence minister accuses his shadow, Richard Marles, of overreach on the issue of the South China Sea while enjoying shellfish in Hawaii. For a man who can’t keep a voting majority in the chamber, he does have a knack for small details.


“Vabbè! Tutti li itali sono benvenuti alla Londra!”

Boris JohnsonThe British foreign secretary confirms that after Brexit Italians will still be welcome in Britain. He does so with eight words of Italian, a remarkable five of which were used correctly.


“They’ve turned themselves into political operatives and it’s unacceptable for the national broadcaster.”

Peter DuttonThe immigration minister complains the ABC aired footage showing he was running a despicable gulag on Nauru. Which is an unfortunate byproduct of running a despicable gulag on Nauru.


“Enormous body, small head.”

Helen MirrenThe actress assesses Republican candidate Donald Trump. Some other things happened in a presidential debate on Thursday, but this was better.



Simon BirminghamThe education minister answers a question about whether he agreed with George Christensen’s likening of the Safe Schools program to paedophilic grooming. The prime minister might learn from this simple example.