September 1 – 7, 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing his new ministry last weekend.


How Morrison played everyone

“Supporters for both Dutton and Turnbull say they believe it was actually Morrison’s backers who secretly forced matters to a head, voting for Dutton in the first ballot to boost his numbers and generate a crisis for Turnbull, while intending all along for their man to prevail.”

While Scott Morrison presented himself as a reticent candidate, in reality he used unpopular tax cuts to damage Turnbull and fooled Dutton over numbers.



How the Murdoch press ran Turnbull from his office

“The Liberal Party’s infighting was never about the base. It was about the bubble, inside which the right-wing politicians and the right-wing pundits constantly reinforce one another’s views, becoming ever more distanced from objective reality.”

In among the collapse of the Turnbull government was a final gasp of influence from the right-wing press.

Image for article: Barnaby Joyce and the Murray–Darling


Barnaby Joyce and the Murray–Darling

As Barnaby Joyce, newly minted special envoy for drought, made a grab for Murray–Darling water, the royal commission into the basin faced yet another setback.


Pope Francis accused

“It’s the church now wrestling with its own profoundly “difficult moment”, and it’s for the remaining Irish faithful to offer their forgiveness.”

Amid fresh claims of abuse and cover-ups in the Catholic Church – this time targeting the Pope himself – dwindling numbers of Irish faithful reflect a growing disquiet.

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews (centre) fronts a press conference to announce proposed mandatory sentencing reforms with (from left) Jill Hennessy, Wayne Gatt and Martin Pakula.


Family violence and mandatory sentencing

New mandatory sentencing laws for assaults against emergency workers could see frightened victims of family violence face jail time while their attackers go free.

Image for article: China reset now in Payne’s hands


China reset now in Payne’s hands

Marise Payne to take up China reset. Julie Bishop's legacy. Myanmar ‘genocide’. McCain snub.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



David Marr
Scott Morrison and the ‘strongman’ capitulations

“A curious pattern has emerged from the shambles of the leadership challenge. The strongmen of the cabal that pulled Turnbull down want the party to cave on at least three issues where the old prime minister had shown modest courage: global warming, Catholic schools and Pauline Hanson. The rhetoric of the plotters was all about strength and determination, but by now it’s becoming clear the real point of getting rid of Turnbull was to wave white flags.”


Paul Bongiorno
Aftershocks of Morrison’s victory

“Earlier in the week, Bishop announced she would go to the back bench and was coy about her plans up to or beyond the election. She has no ambition to be opposition leader. Friends say the role of governor-general wouldn’t appeal. An ambassadorship or United Nations role certainly would. Morrison may be able to reward her closer to calling an election.”


Alex McKinnon
Gadfly: Flagging a new Churchill

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Winning ugly

The one constant in politics – holding power – has been cast aside. With it go the orthodoxies of logic and reason. This is about ideology. This is about giving up on the country, on what it wants, because a stubborn few cannot give up on coal and traditional values. The Coalition would sooner forsake electoral success than reckon with the realities of climate science or engage with the leadership asked for by multiculturalism.


Musical deckchairs change nothing

The captain has changed but the iceberg is still ahead for the Liberals (Geoff Pryor cartoon, August 25–31, 2018).

– Dennis Fitzgerald, Box Hill, Vic


Libs plot their own funeral

Malcolm Turnbull’s exit from the political stage is likely to bring down the curtain on his party, signalling the end of socially progressive leadership that was the last link between the Coalition …

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Artistic director Stephen Page.


Bangarra’s Stephen Page on the language of dance

Stephen Page has known acclaim and accolades as head of Bangarra Dance Theatre. Off stage he’s had more than his fair share of personal tragedy. Here, he talks to about family, his latest show, Dark Emu, and the power of language to change Australia. “Through this symbolism of visual art and story, under that came this kinship idea of connection to land, people and story. That’s why lore and customs exist.”

Michael (left) and Brian D’Addario, of The Lemon Twigs.


The Lemon Twigs’ ‘Go to School’

The two young brothers, Michael and Brian D’Addario, who make up The Lemon Twigs, deliver an improbable rock opera masterpiece about an ape raised by humans.


Author Will Kostakis

“In 2016, when he was 26 and ‘scared shitless’, Will wrote a post on his blog titled ‘Reintroducing Myself’ and told his readers, ‘I liked kissing boys.’ At first no one reacted. Then, after he’d finished a school visit, Will noticed five missed calls from his agent. A Catholic school, where he’d previously had a speaking engagement, had cancelled his next visit. He was told the content of The Sidekicks wasn’t suitable for Year 7. ‘But it wasn’t the content of the book, it was the content of me.’ ”


Image for article: Grilled mud crab with curry butter


Grilled mud crab with curry butter

“I was lucky enough to recently find myself on an immense cattle station in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a group of friends. We camped, fished, hunted and gathered among the broad biodiversity that existed on the property. As it was the end of the wet season, there were huge and complex river and freshwater systems teeming with barramundi, mussels, crazy birdlife and mud crabs.”


Image for article: Dark Water

Elizabeth Lowry
Dark Water

Image for article: The Hunter and other stories of men

David Cohen
The Hunter and other stories of men

Image for article: Normal People

Sally Rooney
Normal People


Image for article: No one is watching you: Ronnie van Hout

Visual Art

No one is watching you: Ronnie van Hout

A 30-year retrospective of Ronnie van Hout’s work includes a dazzling variety of distorted sculptural and filmic self-portraiture, with the effect of interrogating what is real.

Image for article: Father’s Day grief


Father’s Day grief

Ten years ago, Palestinian immigrant Faris George Jahshan died of kidney failure. His son reflects on the grief he still feels every Father’s Day.

Image for article: Pole position: Miss Filly, 31, pole dancer


Pole position: Miss Filly, 31, pole dancer

Philippa Rasidi on pole dancing’s erotic origins and how it became a sport that’s now influenced by gymnastics, parkour and Latin dance.

The Quiz

1. What was the first film to feature fictional British Secret Intelligence Service agent James Bond?
2. Who was the first woman to have a No. 1 hit on the official British singles chart with a song she wrote herself?
3. Do Ethiopia and Kenya share a land border?
4. What part of the human body is the lobulus auriculae?
5. King Idris I was ruler of what nation?
6. Operation Rolling Thunder was an aerial offensive undertaken during which war?
7. Then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull last week defeated Peter Dutton in a leadership challenge, 48 votes to how many?
8. Which Shakespeare play features the line: “The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?”
9. Name the former New York mayor and personal lawyer of Donald Trump who last month declared, “Truth isn’t truth.”
10. Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo will drive for which F1 team next year? (Bonus point for naming his current team.)

Click through for answers.



“Is it seriously to be suggested that middle-aged white men who graduated from the University of Sydney constitute a vilified or demonised sub-class in Australian society?”

Michael WigneyThe judge throws out Mark Latham’s defence in a defamation case brought by journalist Osman Faruqi. Mark’s right: the terrorists have already won.


“The question should be: Do you really trust any politician? To which my answer is no.”

Barnaby JoyceThe former deputy prime minister responds to the Coalition’s instability. Certainly, you wouldn’t trust one enough to marry him.


“Last week’s events were the last straw.”

Julia BanksThe Liberal member for Chisholm announces that she will not contest the next election. It’s unlikely she will find out what it’s like to live on $40 a day but she’s doing her best.


“I was just told to ‘Shove your freedom of speech up your arse, and fuck off’.”

Simon BrehenyThe policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs recounts a recent exchange with Julian Burnside at a high school event. The QC then reportedly proceeded to give Breheny a wedgie before doing a lap of the auditorium, arms raised, chanting, “Burnside rules!”


“As I understand it, she never overstayed the visa, hasn’t committed any offences, and I thought it was an application of common sense.”

Peter DuttonThe minister for Home Affairs explains why he intervened to prevent the deportation of a French au pair. He said it was a humanitarian issue, which is conclusive proof he doesn’t understand what the word means.


“She has a lot to say, and we have nothing to fear.”

Peter GresteThe Australian journalist criticises a decision to deny a visa to whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who he was due to interview on stage. Greste left an Egyptian prison for this kind of freedom.