December 9 – 15, 2017

Journalist Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island.


A letter from Manus Island

“Our resistance is the spirit that haunts Australia. Our resistance is a new manifesto for humanity and love.”

After four years of detention on Manus Island, the author writes a poet’s manifesto for the refugee resistance in which he has found himself to be a central figure.


Image for article: US link to Sam Dastyari leaks


US link to Sam Dastyari leaks

“ ‘It’s a credible assumption,’ one source said, ‘and everyone’s thinking it.’ ”

As the Labor Party searches for answers over the Sam Dastyari leaks, the United States is accused of possible collusion.


Land clearing and climate change

“How can one set of official figures from the federal government show a dramatic decline in the CO2 emissions from land clearing, while another set of official figures from Queensland shows a dramatic increase in the rate of land clearing?”

While the federal government boasts of decreasing carbon emissions from land clearing, state records show rapidly increasing rates of clearing, at great expense to the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Image for article: Fines for Pine Gap ‘peace pilgrims’


Fines for Pine Gap ‘peace pilgrims’

When six pacifists were arrested in 2016 at the US’s Pine Gap military intelligence facility, the Crown called for custodial sentences. This week the Northern Territory Supreme Court issued them with fines.


Malcolm Turnbull and citizenship

“The round of Coalition criticism just as Turnbull entered the traditional ‘killing season’ for leaders – parliament’s final week – seemed like a potentially dangerous clarion call. But it ended up working for him rather than against.”

With the dual citizenship spotlight turning from Coalition to Labor MPs, Malcolm Turnbull is enjoying the spoils of good timing rather than good negotiation.

Image for article: Trump’s shopping list of provocations


Trump’s shopping list of provocations

Mike Flynn pleads guilty to lying to the FBI; Yemeni leader killed; the Chinese spy scare.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Tony Windsor
Fighting the Santos pipeline

“It has often been said there will be wars over water. In its own way, the scene I was watching was a skirmish in what has the potential to become a war and rewrite the politics of water, land use and energy in this country. It was also an insight into how threatened the farm community felt and demonstrated how it would be difficult to fight these farmers’ guerilla tactics. It was a warning they were serious players.”


Paul Bongiorno
Is Bill Shorten running out of luck?

“Maybe Bill Shorten’s luck is running out. Complicating Labor’s campaign in Bennelong is Senator Sam Dastyari’s highly controversial dealings with Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo. Turnbull slammed Dastyari as an ‘agent of foreign influence and you can’t have an agent of foreign influence sitting in the senate’.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Enright is wrong

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Charity disgrace

Gary Johns is now the head of the federal charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission. This is the same Gary Johns who told Andrew Bolt, “a lot of poor women in this country, a large portion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows, right, they are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now that has to stop.” It is the same Gary Johns who wants the poor to be forcibly denied children. “Some families, some communities, some cultures breed strife,” he writes.


No longer out in the cold

The right to die when a person no longer can live a meaningful life is a human right (Rodney Syme, “The right to die”, November 25-December 1). It is not god-given but part of our evolution as …

Swatting at Gadfly

How wonderful that Richard Ackland, a former speaker at The Sydney Institute, monitors the institute’s program (Gadfly, “Back of Burke”, December 2-8). It’s true that, last week, Dr Jennifer …

Read More


Image for article: Choreographer Lucy Guerin


Choreographer Lucy Guerin

Choreographer Lucy Guerin says ballet’s physical perfectionism may see off young girls from their passion for dance, leaving headstrong boys to take the reins in later life. “Women have really defined dance through the ages, especially in America, with a lot of female choreographers, and in Europe. Yet it feels like it’s going backwards a little bit.”

Image for article: Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images

Visual Art

Gerhard Richter: The Life of Images

The techno-fascism of Nazi Germany and the West’s postwar mass consumerism have been the subject of painter Gerhard Richter’s decades-long career, whether in photorealism or abstraction.


Tim Jennings and Aboriginal art

“Since he first started travelling to Utopia, Tim Jennings has been collecting paintings by various artists. His gallery, Mbantua, now has a permanent collection: 30 years’ worth of art from Utopia. ‘I thought it could be very important to see how the artists change over time, evolve over the years. We’ve got about 1000 paintings. In this collection you can see part of the evolvement of the artists.’ ”


Image for article: Panforte



“Christmas is a time when many of us feel compelled to give people gifts and, as the year starts to collapse in on itself, the urgency builds. Where to go shopping? What to buy? Will they like it? Can I afford it? My advice? Forgo those sterile shopping centres, avoid the packed high streets, and do a little shopping at your local fruit and nut shop. Then, head home to your kitchen, crank up Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and get baking. ”


Image for article: The World Goes On

László Krasznahorkai
The World Goes On

Image for article: How to Think

Alan Jacobs
How to Think

Image for article: Worlds of You

Beau Taplin
Worlds of You


Image for article: Heatwaves, infrastructure and resilient cities


Heatwaves, infrastructure and resilient cities

Summer heatwaves can trigger a domino effect of infrastructure failures in major cities. So, how resilient are Melbourne and Sydney?

Image for article: Boys’ behaviour and teaching challenges


Boys’ behaviour and teaching challenges

Behavioural problems in young boys are contributing to increasing numbers falling behind academically, which can cascade into emotional and mental health issues later in life.

Image for article: Jammer class: Lady Trample, 26, roller derby skater


Jammer class: Lady Trample, 26, roller derby skater

Roller derby jammer Samara Pepperell, aka Lady Trample, on why there’s still so much for her team to do after winning the world cup.

The Quiz

1. Which letter in the standard Google logo is coloured green?
2. Where would you find speleothems?
3. In the TV series, what was written on the back of the Partridge Family bus?
4. Who won his fourth MotoGP title last month?
5. Cheyenne is the capital of which US state?
6. Name the sisters in the Disney film Frozen.
7. In legend, which ancient Greek town was the home of the Amazons?
8. Sylvia Plath was married to which British poet?
9. On December 9, 1990, who won Poland’s first direct presidential election? (Bonus point for naming the party he co-founded and headed.)
10. To the nearest round number, what percentage of Australians voted “Yes” in the Marriage Law Postal Survey?

Click through for answers.



“I really loved the ’60s and ’70s when life was so simple and you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment, not as sexual harassment.”

Kirk Pengilly The former member of INXS defends sexual assault. It requires a potent level of male privilege to believe this to be true or that Pengilly’s moustache is a good idea.


“I can’t comment. I’m living a private life now. All the best.”

Clive Palmer

The former parliamentarian avoids raids after complying with a court order to turn over documents relating to his failed business, Mineralogy. His life has become the sad final act in a low-budget remake of Jurassic Park.


“We are in unchartered waters.”

Lyle SheltonThe lead opponent to marriage equality marks the passing of legislation to allow for same-sex marriage. Except that at least 25 other countries have “chartered” these waters quite well.


I was sodomising Jacqui McKenzie on the set of Romper Stomper.

Russell Crowe The actor tells a joke at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. It was not good.


“My new man-crush. Bradley Cooper out, Milo in. Loved every moment of my day with him yesterday.”

Mark LathamThe former Labor leader shares his affection for Milo Yiannopoulos. Finally, a person who has lost almost as many jobs as him.


“I am, you are, we are Australian.”

Public galleryThose present in the federal parliament for the vote on marriage equality break into song as the legislation is passed. Online, three simple words were trending internationally on Twitter: “Eat shit, Lyle.”