Turnbull and the boomer racket

“It suits the political right to foster the notion of younger people bludging on the taxpayer, but the statistical reality is that only one age cohort takes significantly more from the system than it puts in: people older than 65.”

Malcolm Turnbull is promising his next budget will be a pitch to the boomer generation, serving only to deepen intergenerational inequality.



Australia props up Nauru’s ‘out of control’ president

“Australia holds itself out as a country that insists upon the importance of an independent judiciary, but they have been complicit in this instance of denying these men proper justice.”

As Nauru continues its crackdown on opposition and abolishes higher courts, Australia turns a blind eye in exchange for offshore processing.


The Skripals, Novichok and the Cold War

The attempted murder in England of former spy Sergei Skripal with a nerve agent developed in Russia has stirred Cold War tensions, but evidence of Moscow’s involvement is yet to be found.


Monash Forum’s puzzling energy agenda

“Critics of the forum also note that when he was leader Abbott was vehemently opposed to government subsidising industry. He refused to countenance a much smaller subsidy to rescue Australian fruit canner Ardmona but now wants the government to fund a power station.”


The plight of Rohingya women

As the minority Rohingya people flee persecution in Myanmar, none face greater hardship and suffering than Rohingya women.


Casualties as protests rage in Gaza and Israel

Australia advised to allow more Pacific Islander workers. Japanese navy equipping small aircraft carriers. Dutton and Downer freelancing foreign policy.



Clem Bastow
The edge of consent

“Through all this, the notion that consent may be withdrawn retroactively looms large as the debate’s most dangerous idea. Beyond the fringes of radical feminism and the nightmares of “men’s rights” activism, however, the concept is less about women deciding, wilfully, to repaint past experiences as rape, and more about empowering people to appreciate the moments in their lives where consent may not have been freely given. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Pro-coal right comes after Turnbull

“This trashing of the Liberal Party’s defining philosophy has some on the back bench shaking their heads. It is one thing for the Nationals, often dubbed agrarian socialists, to call for a renationalisation of energy supply. It’s quite another for the champions of market forces and free enterprise who are supposed to inhabit the Liberal Party room to do so.”


An affair to dismember

The dwindling citizens who read Lord Moloch’s tissues will have noticed that exciting fatwas are under way against Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs and barrister Julian Burnside. Griggs is vice-chief of the Australian Defence Force and in line to take over the job as top Defence wallah. However, he has committed the crime of divorcing his wife and marrying fellow navy officer Commander Chloe Wootten, now Griggs. Maybe he was inspired by Lord Moloch himself, who tied the knot on two occasions with young women from the factory floor.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Brutal force

This is the violence of a force detached from reality – the detachment that imagines a city scared to go to dinner, as Dutton says Melbourne is, or overrun by gangs, as the Murdoch tabloids claim. In both sets of footage, it is the smiles of the officers that are most terrifying. They are the smiles of people who know they will not be challenged, who know that the politics of this country encourages their excesses.


Nature is missing out

Mike Carlton’s article was a fair round-up of the current state of our nation (“The land of the fair gone”, March 31–April 6). He omitted only the appalling attitude of the state and …

Tasmania fits the bill

It was strangely comforting to read Mike Carlton’s view that Australian liberal democracy was in general freefall. Down here, many Tasmanians felt we were well in the vanguard of that trend. We have …

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Director Garth Davis finds religion

His first feature film, Lion, took movie-goers on an emotional journey across the world. Now director Garth Davis lends his visual poetry to the tale of one of history’s most famous women. “If you look into it, Mary Magdalene was a very significant apostle, and was present in all of the key elements, and sometimes mentioned more than other apostles. So she must have been a very significant person, and not the one that we’re learning about in Catholic school growing up. I thought it was amazing that it hadn’t been told.”


Mutlu Çerkez: 1988–2065

A posthumous retrospective of Mutlu Çerkez’s work, structured by an idiosyncratic dating system of the artist’s devising, challenges concepts of when an artwork begins and ends.


Rapper L-Fresh the Lion

“Sukhdeep was a teenager, growing up in Western Sydney, when hip-hop came a-calling. He was losing his Punjabi. Increasingly speaking only English. Probably accidentally on purpose, he concedes, looking back. Australian schoolyards can do that to brown boys: taunt them to renounce the very things that make them whole. It was Tupac Shakur who came searching for Sukhdeep. Rapped himself across the radio waves, and offered up another tongue. “He was the one, you know. Without him, I wouldn’t be doing this thing.” ”




Ham crepes

“I grew up eating fantastic crepes. My mother was a dab hand at them, and I would wait at her elbow as she twisted and turned and rolled the batter around in her special crepe pans. Every so often she would flip a warm crepe onto my plate, on which I would squeeze lemon and sprinkle sugar, then roll it up and happily eat. Often she would be making a version of this recipe, something that obviously still lingers in my memory.”


Philip Hensher
The Friendly Ones

Gideon Haigh
A Scandal in Bohemia

Mario Vargas Llosa
The Neighbourhood



Boys and body image

Where much attention on adolescent body image problems has focused on girls, new research shows vulnerability among boys, including conditions such as muscle dysmorphia.


Cambodia’s Koh Kong jungle

Where once poachers hunted animals in the jungles of Koh Kong, Cambodia, ecotourism has offered the legal, if gruelling, option of working as trek guides.


Bridge building: Mark Bridge, 32, soccer player

A-League striker Mark Bridge on success with the Western Sydney Wanderers, lost opportunities with the Socceroos and his favourite goal.

The Quiz

1. Philogyny is the love of what?
2. Kandy is a major city in which country?
3. How many Australian women have won an Olympic gold medal for the 100 metres freestyle? (Bonus points for naming them.)
4. In which Shakespeare play is Birnam Wood featured?
5. What seafood is used in the dish vongole?
6. In the television series The Simpsons, who shot Mr Burns?
7. In Greek mythology, the sisters Stheno, Euryale and Medusa were also known as what starting with ‘G’?
8. The Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons’ 1975 hit “December, 1963” is also known by what title?
9. What is the full name of the independent authority the ACCC?
10. Australia recently expelled two diplomats from which country?

Click through for answers.



“This is what the people paid to see, not this other apologetic, ingratiating, knee-bending rubbish.”

Alan JonesThe broadcaster complains about the emphasis on Indigenous culture at the opening of the Commonwealth Games. Which seems a bit rich for an event whose membership criteria is based entirely on land theft.


“In the ‘wild’ Russia, such statements would trigger criminal prosecution as the deliberate incitement of discord between different ethnic groups.”

Grigory LogvinovThe Russian ambassador complains of being described as “Bond villain meets Lowes catalogue” after a press conference in which he denied Russia had been poisoning anyone. He did not say how many journalists have been killed in Putin’s Russia, or which is his preferred retail chain for affordable menswear.


“It was a seriously criminal thing to do, to ignore the effect of her advice.”

Peter BermanThe judge sentences a naturopath to 14 months’ jail for her role in the starvation death of a child with eczema. The 62-year-old pleaded guilty to an accessory charge of causing death to a child, and to being a naturopath.


“Google searches have soared ever since it was released, and people would know by those searches that Bendigo is nothing like what’s in the parody.”

Margaret O’RourkeThe mayor of Bendigo responds to a spinoff episode of the cartoon show Rick and Morty, which portrays her city as a desolate wasteland. The town has a lovely park and Google is very clear on the matter.


“Had a good chat to both of them. They loved it, they were very impressed.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister describes meeting Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. After this it’s the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and then his torment should be over.


“I am truly sorry for my actions and will now do everything I can to be a better person, teammate and role model.”

David WarnerThe Australian batsman apologises for his role in the ball-tampering scandal and agrees to his 12-month ban. He will spend the time sanding his sense of entitlement.