March 11 – 17, 2023
The AUKUS submarines will never happen
Multiple points of failure are built into this program, coupled with the deep flaws in its strategic logic. AUKUS will become an embarrassing memory, if it is remembered at all.
Living in Australia’s invisible prison
What robo-debt reveals about the public service
“Serving and former bureaucrats are glued to the hearings because the evidence has ranged beyond details of the unlawful debt recovery scheme to the wider culture of the federal public service and how it has interacted with executive government. What’s being exposed reveals how dramatically that relationship has deteriorated.”
Is the honeymoon over for Anthony Albanese?
“There was a discernible shift in the national political calculus this week, with mounting challenges confronting the almost year-old Albanese government. It confirmed, if confirmation were needed, that there is no magic wand for easy solutions. The 10th interest rate rise in a row, announced on Tuesday, came in a week where three opinion polls showed a softening in support for the government.”
Why sweeping tax reform is urgently needed
“Budget repair is the major fiscal policy challenge the Albanese government faces right now. Although it has committed to expenditure savings, such efforts are unlikely to be sufficient to do much to repair the structural deficit. That means the net burden of tax will need to be increased.”
Letters, Cartoon & Editorial
Inexcusable at best
The robo-debt logic is clear (Rick Morton, “We absolutely will not be doing that. We will double-down”, March 4-10). Each relevant social security staffer, and each incoming minister, had an inescapable …
Australia’s proposed safeguard mechanism must close the loophole that allows large emitters to offset rather than reduce emissions (Mike Seccombe, “The polluting flaw in the safeguard mechanism”, …
Author and journalist Angela Saini
Award-winning science writer Angela Saini challenges some shibboleths of contemporary feminism in her latest book, The Patriarchs.
The tension between brutality and tenderness in Pina Bausch’s groundbreaking Café Müller was a revelation for theatre-maker Liv Satchell.
“We push the bikes through fields of stinking black muck, the sun beating hot on our bare heads. My hair, shaved a week ago under bad light in a roadside toilet, is a snatch of silk on fire. Ahead of me the mechanic shows frustration, stomping dirt. When he turns to squint at me, his face is pinched with aggression. My throat scratches with thirst. I need to piss, but I’m afraid of appearing old and weak. Colette hated the humiliations that age brought, and remembering her determined efforts to appear youthful, I push with my legs, lower my face parallel to the plastic bike seat.”
Feeding on imperfection
The gardening media has no place for the compromised gardener, who finds beauty in ugliness, bounty in neglect and hope in the unruly silverbeet.
Click through for answers.
“They bark at nothing and there’s no squirrels in sight. I believe it’s because the Queen is passing by.”
The Duchess of York says she believes Sandy and Muick, two corgis who belonged to the Queen, often bark at the late monarch’s ghost. She notices this but not her former husband’s possible sex offences.
“I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation. It was based on things I was told that were untrue…”
The Twitter chief executive apologises for cutting off an employee’s workplace access and mocking his disability. It’s starting to look as if Musk might just be an awful person.
“I’ve watched it a couple of times, I’ve got to say, under sufferance.”
The prime minister describes his relationship with reality television series Married at First Sight. This is from a guy who thinks Sticky Fingers is a good band.
“I name you Gina Oldendorff, may God bless you and all people who sail on you.”
The billionaire celebrates the christening of a bulk carrier in her honour. The vessel weighs 180,000 tonnes and looks like a fallen-over office tower, so it might not be the compliment she imagines it is.
“Once you are removed, you will be banned, like you are in America and Australia, from ever re-entering our country.”
The British prime minister announces his “Stop the boats” policy. It is easily the worst thing we’ve sent Britain since Clive James’s poetry.
“I did nothing wrong. I got ridiculed for something that I didn’t do.”
The independent senator says she was told by Greens lawyers to say she was in a relationship with former outlaw motorcycle gang boss Dean Martin. The other advice was to say he went to a different school and you wouldn’t know him.
Peter Dutton’s play at weaponising Israel–Hamas war
“Peter Dutton’s weaponisation of this human disaster is a cynical caricature of the government’s response. From day one Albanese and his foreign minister, Penny Wong, have not resiled from condemning the barbarity of the Hamas slaughter of 1400 Israelis.”