“You can’t pay someone to break the law, which is what the Victorian government is now doing. And they can’t say, ‘Well, the federal government is paying us to break the law.’”
After two High Court decisions, the fight against federal funding for religious-only school chaplains is set to end with a test case on state anti-discrimination law.
“If we are to somehow ban ‘good bloke’ testimonies, we will be ignoring their significance, namely that they describe one particular clinical profile of the paternal offender: the morbidly altruistic killer.”
Though the unusual manner in which Aaron Cockman spoke of the alleged murderer of his children and ex-wife – his former father-in-law – was puzzling to many, psychological studies of similar crimes suggest a way to make sense of its seeming contradictions.
“The massive expansion of the tertiary sector during the Dawkins era, and the elision of tech institutes and universities, set us off on the wild ride we are still on. Resistance by the humanities was greeted with exemplary punishment – the cheapest courses to teach, they were crowded with tens of thousands of new students and deprived of the funding to cater for them. The problem is worse in Australia than almost anywhere else. Had we a real respect for universities and what they do, the successive depredation of them would have given us a May ’68 redux by now. Instead, the machine hums on. ”
“The fact is Labor senator Katy Gallagher referred herself to the High Court as a test case for “reasonable steps”. Turnbull’s attack on Shorten for gaming the system is very rich given he argued that Barnaby Joyce was eligible until the court declared otherwise. Joyce remained deputy prime minister and sat in the parliament for 74 days even though he was under a cloud. There is no real substance to the demands that the members now facing the voters again should apologise for the inconvenience and expense the byelections will cost. In all their cases, their good faith is established by their genuine efforts to comply with section 44, according to serious legal advice, which was clearly not the case with the politicians who were bundled out of the parliament last year.”
This week Gadfly thinks it’s high time to unload some festering snipes and snarls. Take the Australian Press Council as a starting point. The press “regulator” is in the process of rissoling the Indigenous woman Carla McGrath as a public member of the council, on the feeble excuse that her position as deputy chair of GetUp! creates a conflict of interest. What on earth are they on about? The Press Council itself is a conflict of interest, riddled with tired hacks representing their paymasters in the media.
An insider’s outside view
Returning for a second season
The Lucky Country is an insider’s outside view of Australia’s most important political and economic debates. Hosted by The Australia Institute’s Chief Economist Richard Denniss, The Lucky Country is a weekly podcast from Schwartz Media which applies common sense to complex issues.
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Letters & Editorial
Greed winning over fairness
Jane Caro and Lyndsay Connors (“Fairness now Gonski”, May 12–18) ask, “What kind of democracy have we become?” The answer is clear: we have become a selfish, hard-hearted and …
She’s a writer whose plays have been widely lauded by critics but largely neglected by the mainstream. Now Patricia Cornelius’s work will take its place on the main stage. “It sounds so hifalutin, but my ambition was really just to be able to create great work … that I felt soared. It never entered my mind that it would happen in the mainstream.”
“After five days in jail, and being ordered to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous course, Emma Lyunch discovered a spiritual form of yoga called kundalini. ‘A lot of the AA group were doing it – in particular, Russell Brand. He kept me sober. The problem was I couldn’t seem to figure out how to do a lot of things, let alone how to get to yoga.’”
While vegans and vegetarians are sometimes regarded with scepticism, nutritional experts suggest Australians’ health could benefit greatly from an increased intake of plant-based foods.
In the contrived and uproarious relationships of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, emotional truths emerge that are poignant as well as entertaining.
Sarah Jessica Parker.
Florence. (Bonus point: Crimean War.)
Louis Arthur Charles.
The Orient Express.
“You can sack us. You can tap our phones. You can raid our offices. You can punish our leaders. You can ... set up royal commissions to vilify us. You can fine us, or jail us. But you will never defeat us.”
The head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions responds to news of blackmail charges being dropped against two of her colleagues. Not the catchiest slogan, but she’s new.
“Whether or not that can be seen to be firm proof of moving on from the prior relationship is a matter of conjecture.”
The magistrate sentences former Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer for intimidating his ex-wife. She was critical of evidence from Mehajer’s new partner that he had moved on. Seems fair.
“These people had no answers as to how this happened.”
The broadcaster defends himself in a defamation case after blaming a Queensland family for adding to the Grantham floods. He fought back tears, which, ironically, were also the family’s fault.
“I’m okay. Staying in the hospital a few more days. Not allowed to get excited.”
The father of Meghan Markle, who is marrying Prince Harry, continues to overshadow her following a staged photo shoot and a heart attack. He is the Pippa Middleton’s arse of fathers.
“It is clear there are a range of improvements required to be made to the governance and accountability arrangements.”
The Queensland attorney-general responds to findings against a former electoral commissioner. The “range of improvements” would need to cover being drunk at work, being caught in a sex act with a temporary employee at work, and taking steroids while at work.
“What I hope people know about him is that he was a sweet and generous man. Not just a great writer but a great soul.”
The author marks the death of the pioneer of New Journalism Tom Wolfe.