August 10 – 16, 2019

A member of the True Blue Crew marches through the streets of Melbourne.


Murdoch media fuels far-right recruitment

“Media outlets do the initial lifting on an idea – white genocide, gender fluidity taking over schools – and it then becomes easier for others with an even more extremist bent to take those concepts and run with them.”

A world-first study by Victorian academics shows inflammatory media reports – on race and Safe Schools – acted as a dog whistle to extremists seeking ‘permission’.



Political parties cash in on gambling largesse

“The major parties have many strong reasons to favour only a limited inquiry into the Crown allegations. For a start, there’s the $2,708,754 donated directly to the parties by Crown during the period from 1998 to 2018. But that is just the tip of a very large iceberg.”

The crushing rejection of a parliamentary push for an investigation into Crown Casino highlights how much the major parties are in the thrall of the gambling lobby.

Image for article: The bullying of school leadership by parents


The bullying of school leadership by parents

Where once school principals were treated with deference and respect, today they are often met with aggression and conflict.


The pipe dream of nuclear power

“It’s highly unlikely that we’ll get nuclear power … [the announcement] is essentially culture-war stuff. This is trolling the greenies. I don’t regard it as a serious exercise.”

Although a parliamentary inquiry is revisiting the possibility of nuclear power in Australia, recent history suggests any support is unlikely to gain critical mass.

Image for article: Queer lives at risk


Queer lives at risk

Despite significant progress for the rights of LGBTQIA people in recent decades, suicide rates in the community remain alarmingly high – and advocates warn that the religious freedom debate is only fuelling the crisis.

Image for article: Beijing and Washington play a lose-lose game


Beijing and Washington play a lose-lose game

Lose-lose tariff game for US and China. Java blackout affects millions. India revokes Kashmir’s status. Two mass shootings in US.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Andy Marks
The legacy of Graham Freudenberg

“War is readily characterised as a failure of reason. But that’s not quite true. It is, in fact, a failure to hear reason. The recent loss of Graham Freudenberg – Australia’s greatest speechwriter – compels us once again to listen. We owe him that. With rising geopolitical instability, the value of reason – of the ilk Freudenberg championed – couldn’t be higher.”


Paul Bongiorno
Australia’s trade balancing act

“The Trump presidency has been a wild ride for its ally Australia, and is becoming dangerously more bizarre by the day. Canberra is being railroaded into a confrontation with Beijing, which is clearly not in its economic or strategic interests. The Morrison government knows as much and is struggling to deal with America’s ambition in a way that assures Australia’s prosperity and security. The degree of difficulty became apparent at last weekend’s Australia–United States Ministerial Consultations in Sydney.”


Furphy Brown

Sadly, Gadfly’s invitation to hear Minister for Minerals Matteo Canavani at Chuckles Henderson’s Institute got lost in the mail. It promised to be a spellbinding evening, with the topic “The Link Between Pope Pius XI and Bob Brown”. The theological possibilities are intriguing, especially when you consider Pius XI – formerly Achille Ratti – and the regime of Benito Mussolini had a lot in common.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
Wolf pack

                    we have determined

                    he, and he alone,

                                                            is responsible


                    as best we can gather,

                                         this one’s a lone wolf

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Women’s fights

“Abortion re-establishes the patriarchy.” “Abortion has been a don’t ask; don’t tell issue for as long as I can remember. Why would any government want to legislate pregnancy termination?” If the arguments offered up by those opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales weren’t entirely circular, they were so twisted around themselves it was impossible to see the logic.


Independent thinkers

I note that Richard Ackland believes that “full disclosure” requires that journalists and commentators should declare any association with the spouse or partner of a politician they discuss on a program …

What Manus teaches us

The pages of The Saturday Paper introduced me to Behrouz Boochani some years ago but that did not prepare me for the Byron Writers Festival video link with him this year. On top of everything else the Manus …

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Art of Fighting.


Melbourne indie band Art of Fighting

After releasing three successful albums and winning an ARIA award, indie rock band Art of Fighting all but disappeared. Having returned with their first record in 12 years, Luna Low, they discuss their thoughtful brand of songwriting, their collaborative process and their long hiatus. “Maybe we felt like we’d run our creative course to a point,” says Ollie Browne, “and there was a fear of eroding the artistry even more.”

Image for article: Oriel Gray’s The Torrents


Oriel Gray’s The Torrents

A long-overdue revival of Oriel Gray’s The Torrents is brilliantly cast and beautifully produced, highlighting the work of a talented Australian playwright who was never given the recognition she deserved.


Image for article: Mother of Pearl

Angela Savage
Mother of Pearl

Image for article: Fake

Stephanie Wood

Image for article: Bright

Duanwad Pimwana


Image for article: Fava and pickled sardines


Fava and pickled sardines

Image for article: The Kaldor Centre’s Jane McAdam


The Kaldor Centre’s Jane McAdam

With the climate emergency displacing more and more people around the globe, Professor Jane McAdam’s research at the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law grows increasingly urgent.

Image for article: Rising from the Ashes


Rising from the Ashes

A stunning win in the first Ashes Test has sparked new-found faith in Australian cricket. But is it the beginning of a renaissance after a period of decline and disgrace, or is it just due to the freakish talents of one Steve Smith?




“Andrew Hastie’s rhetoric … lays bare his Cold-War mentality and ideological bias.”

The Chinese governmentBeijing’s Australian embassy denounces the Liberal MP for comparing Chinese influence in Australia to the Nazi invasion of France. Hastie refused to say if he believed the situation was evolving.


“G’day, it’s Kevin Rudd here – the global handball king.”

Kevin RuddAfter failing to make the shortlist for secretary-general of the United Nations, the former prime minister announces a new career. To be clear, he was talking about the sport and not the political tactic.


“It’s not just a loss for me, it’s a loss for all of us, and I’m very, very, very sorry.”

Michaela Banerji The former public servant apologises after losing a High Court appeal against her sacking for tweeting criticisms of the government under a pseudonym while employed by the Immigration Department. The only people the department thinks should be anonymous are children in detention.


“Now your daughter can be in a toilet with a man (waxed balls and all) identifying as a woman.”

Lyle Shelton The former head of the Australian Christian Lobby continues the toilet-sniffing obsessions of the anti-trans movement. He calls this Pandora’s box, because he is completely fixated on genitals.


“Thank you, Crown Casino, damn, and they didn’t let me in, or him or this guy. Wow, we got a long way to go.”

Ben Simmons The basketballer criticises Crown for allowing only the white member of his entourage to enter its Melbourne casino, an accusation the company denies. Crown is not taking bets on whether the episode was racially motivated.


“Just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.”

Toni MorrisonThe novelist, teacher and Nobel laureate surrenders to the wind and rides it. She was 88.