November 20 – 26, 2021

News

Prince Charles with Scott Morrison during COP26 in Glasgow.

News

Image for article: Australia screened US investment proposal over links to Epstein
Image for article: Australia's climate change interference
Image for article: Biden, Xi tackle tensions, but Taiwan a sticking point

Comment

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Editorial
The flat man

In his excellent portrait of Scott Morrison, titled The Game, Sean Kelly writes about a theory of literary characters suggested by E. M. Forster in a series of lectures delivered just before the Great Depression. Forster argued that there were two sorts of characters, either flat characters or round characters. Persuasively and in sharp detail, Kelly makes the case that Morrison is a flat character. Such a character could be “captured in a sentence or two”. They might have a catchphrase. Their advantage to the novelist is “that they never needed to be reintroduced, because they were so easily recognised”.

Letters

Black comedy is no longer funny

Reading Mike Seccombe’s account “The man behind Scott Morrison’s climate pact” (November 12-19), you begin to wonder if some synonym of “dishonest” wouldn’t …

Defamation law and rough justice

An excellent story by Bri Lee (“Uneven justice”, November 12-19). The imbalance between plaintiff and respondent in such matters is blatant and intentional. Such cases are basically …

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Culture

Books

Image for article: 7 ½

Christos Tsiolkas
7 ½

Image for article: Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth

Wole Soyinka
Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth

Image for article: The Best Australian Science Writing 2021

Dyani Lewis (ed)
The Best Australian Science Writing 2021

Life

Image for article: Shortbread

Food

Shortbread

Image for article: The chilling effect of film censorship in Hong Kong

Film

The chilling effect of film censorship in Hong Kong

New film censorship guidelines in Hong Kong, released this month, will have a chilling effect on a once-vibrant industry.

Image for article: Australia’s epidemic of loneliness

Life

Australia’s epidemic of loneliness

Loneliness has been one of the underlying ailments of the Covid-19 pandemic. Once again, it is the vulnerable and financially insecure who suffer the most.

Sport

Muggsy Bogues on family ties

As his own career began to decline due to injury, Muggsy Bogues adopted a new game plan – to save his older brother from drug addiction.

Image for article: Muggsy Bogues on family ties

Puzzles

Quotes

Tax

“I keep forgetting you’re alive.”

Elon MuskThe Tesla billionaire responds to a suggestion from Bernie Sanders that the very wealthy pay their “fair share” of tax. In fairness to Musk, he also loses track of whether supply chain workers are alive or not.

Protest

“It’s time for governments to step back and for Australians to take their lives back.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister says there is “no place” for violence, before suggesting the Victorian government should get out of the way of protesters carrying nooses. As Donald Trump would say, there are very fine people on both sides.

Film

“At the time, I didn’t say anything. He said it to his wife and to the studio and the producer. So, I will be directing the fifth one.”

Mel Gibson

The actor announces he will direct the fifth Lethal Weapon film, after original director Richard Donner asked him to. The same thing happened with God and The Passion of the Christ.

Law

“While there may be public curiosity as to the private arrangements ... there is no true public interest.”

Sir Andrew McFarlaneThe president of the family division of the British High Court rules that the contents of Prince Philip’s will should be kept secret for 90 years. No word on how we’re supposed to find out who gets to keep Australia.

Media

“Ben Fordham’s account ... is fantasy.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe former prime minister denies trying to influence the angle of a story about him. Fordham defended his account, saying, wonderfully, “Malcolm, you’ve been bragging about the size of your tentacles since 1991.”

Migration

“He is a family man and his children are what he has left.”

Jamie ClementsThe lawyer denies disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson is a flight risk, following charges for allegedly facilitating a $2 million visa fraud. People say politicians lack dedication, but this will be Thomson’s second fraud trial in seven years.

ISRAEL–HAMAS WAR