August 21 – 27, 2021


An Afghan boy in front of Taliban fighters in Kabul this week.


Image for article: Morrison ministers lobbied over Beetaloo Basin
Image for article: Leaked doc: National cabinet counts ICU beds, underestimates cases by 50 per cent
Image for article: Australia stalls vaccine supply
Image for article: ‘Excited delirium’ used by police
Image for article: China and Russia foster ties with the Taliban


Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Cruel to the end

To understand the inhumanity of Australia’s position on refugees from Afghanistan, it helps to understand the self-deception at the heart of our immigration policy. Decades spent arguing that any form of compassion would undermine the system have deadened our politics. They have created a kind of moral numbness that puts decisions outside the reach of logic or decency. To question one part of this would collapse all of it, and so no questions are asked.


Counting the cost

The New South Wales government is apparently keen for us to live with the virus because according to the treasurer, lockdowns are bad for the economy (Mike Seccombe, “Inside the NSW plan: Now live with the virus”, …

Independent actions

It was independent Rex Patrick who made the application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after the prime minister’s department rejected two FOI requests that resulted in Justice White’s historic …

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Image for article: The Rome Zoo

Pascal Janovjak (translated by Stephanie Smee)
The Rome Zoo

Image for article: The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

Sarah Walker
The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

Image for article: True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and culture

Terri Janke
True Tracks: Respecting Indigenous knowledge and culture


Image for article: Preserved sardines and squid (conservas)


Preserved sardines and squid (conservas)

Image for article: Kids and long Covid


Kids and long Covid

Covid-19 has affected older people more severely than children, but scientists are increasingly concerned about long Covid in young people.

Image for article: Maticevski's Pre-Fall 21 collection


Maticevski’s Pre-Fall 21 collection

Toni Maticevski’s Pre-Fall 21 collection acknowledges Australia’s sense of imbalance and anxiety in lockdown – meeting it with strong sculpted forms and the occasional surprise.


The beginnings of Paralympian Liesl Tesch

Liesl Tesch grew up with an unconventional childhood – before becoming one of Australia’s most celebrated paralympians.

Image for article: The beginnings of Paralympian Liesl Tesch




“We have accountants, we have architects, we have a sex worker, we have members of the Orthodox Jewish community, and we have a pizza guy who works in a pizza shop.”

Jeroen WeimarThe Victorian Covid-19 response commander details a string of unconnected cases in Melbourne. No word yet as to whether SBS will option the series.


“If there is no evidence of Covid spreading outside, why do we lock people in their homes?”

Matt CanavanThe Nationals senator shares his grasp of science and airborne sickness. Honestly, it makes his take on climate change look quite sophisticated.


“Even Anzac Day is presented as a contested idea.”

Alan TudgeThe Education minister tells the country’s schooling authority its draft national curriculum will need to be substantially rewritten due to its “negative” view of Australian history. The day, of course, does nothing more than mark the invention of the popular biscuit of the same name.


“Christian Porter is … seeking a safeguard over this defence not because he owns it but because he doesn’t like what is in it.”

Larina AlickThe solicitor for Nine argues against the attempt by the former attorney-general to block media companies from ever reporting the defence in his defamation action against the ABC. Possibly he should have thought about this before he tried to sue the national broadcaster.


“So on that criteria, the mission, whatever may be said of it, has not been a failure.”

John HowardThe former prime minister defends Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan, saying there had been no terrorist attacks organised from the country since it was invaded. You could run an illegal war pretty much anywhere in the world on that logic.


“We can’t pretend that we will have zero cases around Australia with Delta.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe NSW premier says any state that opens up from lockdown will have to accept cases of the Delta variant will “creep in”. Eventually you learn to live with it, like petty corruption in Macquarie Street.