July 8 – 14, 2017

Former prime minister Tony Abbott in Canberra.


Planning for Tony Abbott’s exit

“If the aim is to oust Turnbull by forcing party members and colleagues to choose between prime ministers, Tony Abbott may get what he wants – but not how he wants it.”

As Tony Abbott campaigns to reform Liberal preselection in NSW, it has emerged his own branch hired a headhunter to find his replacement.


Image for article: The fight after marriage equality


The fight after marriage equality

“Rugg believes that a greater focus on transgender rights will organically become the next step after marriage equality is passed. ”

As a resolution to the debate on marriage equality draws closer, activists worry about how to maintain momentum after a win.



The people defending Cardinal George Pell

“The royal commission has yielded so much data that we might confidently answer the question of whether Catholic institutions were disproportionately abusive. The simple answer is: yes, they were.”

The criminal charges brought against George Pell have seen his defenders come to the fore.

Michael Ignatieff, president  of Central European University, speaks at a press conference about amendments in Hungarian higher education law in March.


George Soros’s university under fire in Hungary

Michael Ignatieff, head of the Central European University in Budapest, is fighting an attempt to have the George Soros-funded private institution thrown out of Hungary by its authoritarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán.



PaTH and intergenerational theft

“What I find is that even though they remained in the same class socioeconomically, the grandparent was almost always better off than the grandchild.”

While a new government program claims to boost youth employment prospects, the reality is that a different kind of intergenerational theft is at play.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un observes the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile this week.


North Korea’s missile tests expand horizons

North Korea’s missile tests; Iraq and Syria after Daesh; Obama in Indonesia; Malaysian fraud case.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Richard Ackland
The Coalition’s legal appointments

“The process of selection is utterly foggy. No public advertisements, no need to be interviewed and no due-diligence panels. One recently appointed member just wrote to Brandis asking whether any jobs were available because he was out of work at the moment. Bingo, he secured an appointment worth up to $275,000 a year.”


Paul Bongiorno
Tony Abbott keeps up the fight

“Again we are seeing Abbott the pugilist, rejecting bipartisanship as a false mantra. Labor’s Mark Butler, in a thoughtful book released this week, unsurprisingly called Climate Wars, spells out the enormous price the country is paying for Abbott’s no-holds-barred approach. Foremost is the collapse in power investment thanks to the lack of a political consensus.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Get thee behind I

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Force of Abbott

Tony Abbott never understood he was living in a contemporary society; he governed for a world that no longer existed, for a fantasy of the past. His leadership was always illusory. His default has always been treachery. That one man could do so much damage is testament to his corrosive gift for harm.


The toll of clergy abuse

The Saturday Paper editorial “Pell’s day in court” (July 1-7) confirms that George Pell has been charged with historical offences, and is also about the recent impact of child sex offences …

Learning to speak up

The headline under Gadfly’s logo, “We shall fight on free speeches” (July 1-7), taken at its simplest probably means the war has just begun when it comes to speeches that involve little or …

Read More


Image for article: Spiced roasted pumpkin with pine nut cream


Spiced roasted pumpkin with pine nut cream

“One of the most practical things to do with a pumpkin, I believe, is to simply roast it. This is the best way to bring out its flavour. Roast pumpkin is simple but can be easily spoilt, and some varieties work better than others. ”


Image for article: The Secrets She Keeps

Michael Robotham
The Secrets She Keeps

Image for article: The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock

Anna Krien
The Long Goodbye: Coal, Coral and Australia’s Climate Deadlock

Image for article: Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker

Marie Darrieussecq
Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker


Image for article: The best wines of winter


The best wines of winter

A guide to the season's top wines, from the buyers at Cutler & Co, Supernormal, Cumulus Inc, the Builders Arms Hotel and Meatsmith.

Image for article: Life Education and Healthy Harold


Life Education and Healthy Harold

For more than three decades Healthy Harold has been taking messages of health and safety to children through the Life Education campaign. After a federal funding scare in May, he’s back and bright as ever.

Image for article: World of pain: Robert Whittaker, 26, mixed martial artist


World of pain: Robert Whittaker, 26, mixed martial artist

Mixed martial artist Robert Whittaker on why working out how to beat an opponent is a thrilling adrenalin rush.

The Quiz

1. Which American musician is father to North and Saint? (Bonus point for naming the children’s mother.)
2. Satis House was the estate of which Dickens character?
3. What synthetic fibre was first produced in 1935 by DuPont chemist Wallace Carothers?
4. Which Italian car brand’s name also means an authoritative decree, sanction or order?
5. Michael Cheika is the head coach of which Australian national team?
6. What word starting with ‘a’ refers to a temporary pause in breathing?
7. Which famous charter was signed at Runnymede, England, on June 15, 1215?
8. Which actress was born Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers in Sacramento, California in 1989?
9. Who is the Norse god of war?
10. True or false: a flute is a woodwind instrument?

Click through for answers.



“The last thing I want to do is be difficult.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister defends his long-running campaign to undermine Malcolm Turnbull. He must mean difficult in the sense of requiring skill.


“I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.”

Bernard TomicThe Australian tennis player describes losing inspiration while playing at Wimbledon. There is a good chance 10 years seems like a generous window to his sponsors.


“He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on.”

Brian MurrayThe spokesman for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie explains why his boss lied about being photographed on one of the beaches he closed for political reasons. He’s not a crook, either; he’s just very petty.


“The head-fuck for me has been trying to work out why people dislike me so much.”

Ed SheeranThe singer explains that a plethora of mean comments has caused him to quit Twitter. There’s no one answer as to why people dislike him, but the song “Shape of You” is as good a place as any to start.


“There is no indication this is widespread.”

Alan TudgeThe minister for human services plays down news that Medicare cards can be bought illegally online. There’s no indication welfare fraud by the poor is widespread, either, but that doesn’t stop ministers pretending that it is.


“It’s very simple really. We like building stuff.”

David WalshThe MONA founder unveils plans for an enormous luxury hotel and what he calls an “anti-casino”. It’s just like a casino, except it refuses service to locals even before they start drinking.