May 6 – 12, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney this week.


Turnbull’s war on universities

“Allocating more school resources to kids who already have the advantages of well-educated, supportive, well-off parents is like providing food aid to the well fed. ”

If the government’s new schools funding plan represents an ideological change, its cuts to universities reflect a calculated antipathy.


Filmmaker Cassie Jaye in ‘The Red Pill’.


The misguided bans on men’s rights film ‘The Red Pill’

Calls to ban a controversial film about men’s rights activists serve only to lend a substandard work gravitas.



Coalition pins its hopes on budget approval

A less brutal budget may be the government’s last hope to wrest back public support and quieten questions over Turnbull’s leadership.

Protesters gather outside the Russian embassy in Madrid last month to show solidarity with the gay community in Chechnya.


Chechnya’s gay purge

As homosexuals are rounded up, imprisoned and brutally beaten in Chechnya, and families engage in ‘honour killings’, the country’s leader says the gay population will be eliminated by Ramadan.



Australia’s new citizenship test

“Citizenship is supposed to be much more about equality between the state and individuals. Personal values are in the individual’s personal domain.”

The new citizenship test questions purported to gauge adherence to Australian values are flawed and ethically ambiguous.

Image for article: Trump plays low-key for Turnbull visit


Trump plays low-key for Turnbull visit

Macron favourite in French poll; Hamas gets new charter; Visa changes upset India, NZ.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Kim Dalton
The ABC’s unchartered waters

“Editorial independence is fundamental to public broadcasting. However, the principle of the ABC’s independence has become a mechanism for the ABC to avoid scrutiny and accountability and to avoid engagement with important areas of public policy. Neither major political party has been prepared to tackle the issue of the ABC’s governance and distinguish between its editorial independence and the independence from public policy that over time it has claimed for itself.”


Paul Bongiorno
Scott Morrison unveils ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt

“On Tuesday night at 7.30 Treasurer Scott Morrison will preside over the burial rites for the economic belief system that has guided the Liberal Party for 25 years. Gone is the dogma that the market knows best and the national interest is optimally served by small government and budget surpluses.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Unrepentant. Always.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Press ganged

A strike such as the one at Fairfax is an expression of horror at a company taking itself apart. Similar, less publicised, redundancy rounds are happening at News Corp. Journalism is in serious danger. The newsrooms of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have shrunk beyond recognition. Good work is done in those newsrooms, but that work is imperilled by these cuts. Something radical must be done.


Alt-right thin-skinned on Anzac Day

Great editorial on the attack on Yassmin Abdel-Magied (“The farce post”, April 29-May 5). You left out, though, that she is intelligent, articulate and dark-skinned – three other …

Yassmin’s courage should be lauded

I wish it had occurred to me to make the same comment Yassmin Abdel-Magied made on and about Anzac Day. I cannot see how it was in any way disrespectful to the Anzacs or those Australians …

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Li Cunxin and Ben Stevenson.


Li Cunxin brings Ben Stevenson’s ‘Swan Lake’ to Queensland

Li Cunxin has waited for the right time to stage Swan Lake at the Queensland Ballet, to be prepared for a visit from his mentor and veteran choreographer Ben Stevenson.

Image for article: Versus Rodin

Visual Art

Versus Rodin

The Art Gallery of SA’s crowded rooms of images and sculptures overwhelm the opportunity of its Versus Rodin exhibition to pit contemporary artists against the figurative master.


Science philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith

“We meet at his apartment block in Manly, from where he can hear the sea. It’s early evening, and the light is softened by a dense, salty haze. Restaurants and cafes on the street front are beginning to fill, the surf slowly emptying of people. Norfolk Island pines tower over the winding pathway, framing the beach and ocean beyond.”


Image for article: Raw Brussels sprouts salad


Raw Brussels sprouts salad

“Traditionally, Brussels sprouts were boiled or steamed for an inexplicably long time. This gave them a grey tinge and a bad name. But then we started treating them with a bit of dignity and bacon, and life was good again.”


Image for article: I’d Die for You

F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’d Die for You

Image for article: The Lost Pages

Marija Peričić
The Lost Pages

Image for article: Disappearing Off the Face of the Earth

David Cohen
Disappearing Off the Face of the Earth


Image for article: An island off Manus


An island off Manus

On a tiny island off the coast of Manus, a local family offers asylum seekers kindness and some respite from their ordeal.

Image for article: Health and climate change


Health and climate change

The World Health Organisation’s director-general describes climate change as ‘the fifth horseman’ of the apocalypse, as doctors are encouraged to speak out more about illness and death caused by extreme weather.

Image for article: Hitting the wall: Tamika Saxby, 24, squash player


Hitting the wall: Tamika Saxby, 24, squash player

Squash champion Tamika Saxby on rebuilding her game’s profile and finding that crucial sport–life balance.

The Quiz

1. Is Times New Roman a serif or sans serif font?
2. Tasmanian author Heather Rose last month won which literary prize? (Bonus point for naming her winning book.)
3. Who is head designer of the fashion house Prada?
4. Which city was forced in March to relinquish the rights to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games?
5. In government circles, what does the acronym ASIO stand for?
6. What is pureed to make passata?
7. In which city would you find the Rijksmuseum?
8. According to an advertising slogan, you can tell what type of woman by the way she wears her hair?
9. Which band released their 11th studio album, Pollinator, this week?
10. Which multinational oil giant last month lost its appeal against a multimillion-dollar tax bill issued by the Australian Taxation Office?

Click through for answers.



“This is a very big change of policy ... and it certainly hasn’t gone to the party room.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister says Malcolm Turnbull’s schools funding announcement had not been discussed with the party. It’s almost like he doesn’t remember the “captain’s calls” he passed off as policy when he was trying to unilaterally invade Iraq.


“Boris Johnson is a caggie-handed, cheese-headed fopdoodle with a talent for slummocking about.”

Tom WatsonBritain’s Labour deputy leader hits back at the foreign minister for calling Jeremy Corbyn a “mugwump”. Which makes that time he likened James Murdoch to a mafia boss seem a little flat.


“Spoiler alert: it involved Jonah being interviewed and shaving.”

Graham PerrettThe Labor MP reveals he laughed so hard while watching an episode of Veep that he choked and fell, sustaining a black eye. Which in terms of embarrassments is still a distant second to Malcolm Turnbull lifting his campaign slogan from the show.


“I love trams.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister responds to a question about his affection for Melbourne. As Steve Carell says in Anchorman: “I love carpet. I love desk. I love lamp. I love lamp… I love lamp.”


“The company may consider taking disciplinary action against those employees who participate in any unlawful industrial action, which may include termination of employment.”

Sean AylmerThe Fairfax executive threatens to sack staff he is already in the process of making redundant. The email puts him three items on his list away from vowing to hunt them for their skins.


“I’ve got an IQ of three figures and I’m not going to fall for this bullshit.”

Mark LathamThe former Labor leader addresses a conference of men who make videos yelling at the internet. The bullshit in question was empathy, which he calls “identity politics”. The yelling is called “libertarianism”.