News

The power and hypocrisy of George Pell’s supporters

“Australia’s conservative organs have almost all embraced a mythology, by turns unhinged and incoherent, that seeks to turn Pell from an offender into a martyr.”

As the Victorian Court of Appeal affirms the cardinal’s guilt, he retains dogged support from many in the conservative establishment.

News

News

‘Strategic communication’ and Muslim communities

After last year’s revelations that the Home Affairs Department was behind a clandestine scheme to influence Muslim communities, the British Home Office appears to be using similar tactics.

News

Government inaction on plastic pollution

“The harm plastic does – to wildlife, to ecosystems and ultimately, through its toxins, to humans – is well documented … Visit almost any Australian beach before the Beach Patrol volunteers do their daily clean-ups and you’ll observe something of the scale of the unfolding marine catastrophe.”

Despite the so-called ban on plastic bags, plastic pollution remains prevalent – and Victoria’s waste crisis has only exposed the inefficacy of our recycling schemes.

News

How the prime minister got middle Australia wrong

“We see trust declining in every other institution – politics, parliament, banks, churches and companies – but rising in the one area Morrison has identified as failing. It bucks a trend.”

In a major speech this week, the prime minister warned the public service that it is losing the trust of middle Australia. But data suggests the ‘quiet Australians’ are losing faith with their politicians.

News

Scott Morrison navigates first year as PM

One year into his prime ministership – and on the back of deploying Australian maritime forces to the Middle East – Scott Morrison is trying to create an impression of a fresh, new government.

World

Bombing kills 63 at Afghan wedding

Australia commits troops to Strait of Hormuz. Pacific leaders angered by Morrison’s climate inaction. Hong Kong protests questioned by city’s billionaires. Bombings in Afghanistan as US plans withdrawal.

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Opinion

Opinion

Emele Ugavule
The real threat of climate change

“Oceanic peoples, my peoples, are threaded through the backbone of the British colony’s economic success in Australia, and Scott Morrison’s recent actions at the Pacific Islands Forum in Funafuti, Tuvalu, only reinforce how they continually attempt to sever our tongues. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s comments after the forum, which reduced Pacific peoples to nothing more than labour for Australia’s economy, were similarly hurtful and unsurprising.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Testing Scott Morrison’s diplomacy

“In a frank admission – rare for prime ministers, who like to impress they are confidently in charge – Scott Morrison has revealed what keeps him awake at night. That is the feud between our biggest customer and our closest friend. The problem for him is he doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what to do about it, and as such it is a nightmare for the nation.”

Diary

Gadfly
Wrangling a Parrot

The week belonged to the Parrot, the hero of Struggle Street. He was up to his old attention-grabbing schtick: vile remarks, followed by public fury, doubling down, a tight-lipped “apology”, then threats from management that this was his “last chance”. There was a special twist on this occasion – Jones complained the ABC’s Media Watch didn’t broadcast all of his comments about Jacinda Ardern. If there’s anything the Parrot likes, it’s the full context of his unvarnished misogynistic diatribes.

Letters, Poem & Editorial

Poem

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Limerick

There once was a shock-jock, annoying:

foul-mouthed, sexist, racist, not-toying.

He got his last warning,

the public were scorning.

And the sponsors, they walked – that was buoying!


Read More

Editorial
Vale Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer died this week, aged 73. The former Nationals leader was sick with an acute form of leukaemia. Many remembered him as idiosyncratic. It was a way of acknowledging that his graciousness and civility is uncommon in politics. Perhaps, even, it was out of place. Fischer stood out because he was so tall but also because he was so scrupulous. He understood service and made a life from it.

Letters

A road through Country

Following Lidia Thorpe’s piece (“Destroying sacred trees contradicts treaty hopes”, August 17-23), VicRoads has started evicting the embassy. The machines are humming in the background, waiting …

Learn and forgive

The Australian Dream. As Gilbert McAdam says, “What would they know… what would they bloody know?” That’s our shame. What do we know? It’s time we were taught (Stan Grant, “Dream …

Read More

Culture

Profile

Film director Jennifer Kent

Five years after her much-lauded The Babadook, director Jennifer Kent has returned with The Nightingale, which tackles Australia’s brutal colonial history. She reveals what drew her to tell this story – and what she thinks of audience reactions to the film’s violence. “The whole point of The Nightingale is what happens when that rage winds down. What are you left with? That to me is the most interesting part of the story: what lies underneath it is a broken heart.”

Theatre

Golden Shield

One of three plays by Anchuli Felicia King to feature on Australian stages this year, Golden Shield engages intelligently with the digital world and shows great heart. It’s a triumph.

Books

Yoko Ogawa
The Memory Police

Ben Hobson
Snake Island

Samia Khatun
Australianama

Life

Food

Eugénies

Health

Natural therapies under attack

As natural therapies grow in popularity, efforts to regulate the industry and curtail public use have increased. But are these efforts about control rather than science, and are they restricting our access to well-researched, low-risk therapies that may improve public health?

Sport

AFL stalwarts call time on stellar careers

As a star-studded cast of AFL greats get set to hang up their boots, how does the burden of retirement sit with both the players and their fans?

Puzzles

Quotes

WOMEN'S ISSUES

“Barnaby Joyce here. I’m calling on behalf of the Foundation for Human Development about the abortion bill in the NSW parliament. This allows sex-selective abortions. It legalises abortions for any reason right up until the day of birth.”

Barnaby JoyceThe Nationals MP, who asked for his personal life to remain private until offered $150,000 to share details, robocalls the women of New South Wales, encouraging them to oppose abortion law reform.

ENERGY

“Coal remains an important industry for Australia.”

Penny WongThe Labor senator disappoints everyone who was hoping an alternative government would take action on the climate crisis.

SPORT

“He’s a champion and has handled the events of the past year with a real humility.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister commends Australian cricketer Steve Smith for keeping a low profile during his ban from cricket after “Sandpapergate”.

AMERICA

“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling.”

Donald TrumpThe United States president postpones a meeting with the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, because she told him Denmark isn’t interested in selling Greenland to America.

CENSORSHIP

“I don’t see how my tweet was somehow offensive and potentially harmful, if those tweets wishing I’d fall off Uluru are not.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader expresses disbelief that she violated the site’s rules on “hateful content” for suggesting cattle prods should be used to disperse protesters in Brisbane.

SPACE

“Nuke Mars ... It’s a step in the right direction.”

Elon MuskThe founder of Tesla and Space X proposes shooting nuclear weapons at Mars in order to “warm it up” and make it suitable for human habitation. Many citizens of Earth look forward to the day he is fired into space.