Opinion February 15, 2020

Megan Davis
The High Court and the “aliens” power

The decision by the High Court of Australia this week on the “aliens” power cast my mind back to my work in 2011 on the prime minister’s expert panel on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian …

Opinion February 8, 2020

Osman Faruqi
Christmas Island and the rise of mandatory detention

While most political observers were focused on the leadership machinations playing out in the ranks of the Nationals and Greens on Monday, Australia’s director of human biosecurity issued the dryly named Biosecurity (Human Health Response Zone) …

Opinion February 1, 2020

Eva Cox
Bettina Arndt and the Australia Day honours

On Australia Day, I was standing at a bus stop in Sydney’s inner west with an old friend I’d just met up with, on my way back from Yabun, the day of mourning event, when he asked what I thought of Bettina Arndt receiving a Member of the Order …

Opinion January 25, 2020

Sean Kelly
Scott Morrison’s efforts at hazard reduction

On Tuesday, Australia’s chief medical officer announced that new screening measures would be implemented for high-risk flights from China. Passengers would be asked to identify whether they were suffering particular symptoms. The aim was to stop …

Opinion December 21, 2019

Julian Burnside
The secret trial of Witness J

Too few Australians know about the case of Witness J – not to be confused with the case against Witness K and Bernard Collaery, itself a disgraceful overreach of the law. But a veil of secrecy shrouds the case of Witness J that should be of concern …

Opinion January 25, 2020

Nick Feik
Climate and the Coalition’s new denialism

In recent months the federal government’s position on climate change has shifted. Not in policy terms: the change has been restricted to its rhetoric. It has a new strategy to avoid responsibility. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has become adept …

Opinion December 14, 2019

Peter Khalil
Australia should lead way on refugees

Next week, the first United Nations Global Refugee Forum will take place, where member states will try to co-ordinate a response to the largest global refugee crisis since World War II. It is the first step towards a necessary international processing …

paul bongiorno

Opinion February 15, 2020

Coal-blooded attacks on Coalition unity

When a prime minister has to appeal for unity in his ranks, not one but two weeks running, you know there isn’t any. And the awful reality for Scott Morrison is that he’s got one hand tied behind his back as he tries to restore the promised …

Opinion February 8, 2020

Climate wars return amid Coalition chaos

The old tautology “deja vu all over again” has become a jarring reality for the Coalition. And shattering the promised peace and stability are all the same factors that destroyed the prime ministership of Malcolm Turnbull: climate change, …

Opinion February 1, 2020

Scott Morrison’s rebranding mission

Scott Morrison hates the pejorative nickname that has taken hold on social media. “Scotty from Marketing” was conferred on him by the satirical magazine The Betoota Advocate. The moniker has gained currency because it captures the …


Opinion February 15, 2020

Respect and a little bit of fear

There is something in the Australian psyche that craves punishment. Perhaps it is in the fact that White Australia began as a penal colony. Perhaps there is a deeper thread of inferiority and submission in the British settlement. Whatever it is, the society we have is an orderly one – deeply so. We created the myth of the larrikin so we might feel less bad about our deference to power. He is a sort of court jester who makes the draconian more comfortable.

Opinion February 8, 2020

Change of leader

Even Adam Bandt’s staunch critics, and there is no shortage of them, would be hard-pressed to describe the newly elected Greens leader as one to shy from a fight. He’s been called the party’s “attack dog”. Drawn ire for going after Senator Jim Molan’s war record. He’s battled alone in the lower house for years, since his 2010 election to the seat of Melbourne, increasing his margin in the inner-city seat with each passing election.

Opinion February 1, 2020

Tricks and spin

Scott Morrison has been criticised for his failures of leadership. For being devoid of the nous required to steer the country through crisis. But there are one’s personal shortcomings, and the choices one makes. Morrison made a choice not to plan for the bushfires, nor for his three years in power.


Opinion February 15, 2020

Services? Oh myGov!

Pensioners were excited to get letters last month from Centrelink asking for details of their “account-based income stream/s”. After spending hours of research working out what is meant by “account-based income stream/s”, it turns out, basically, to be payments from superannuation funds. The information had to be given to Centrelink by February 6, otherwise “your payment may be stopped”.

Opinion February 8, 2020

Chef’s def mission

Tony Bilson, the great chef, restaurateur, raconteur, flâneur, dreamer, trendsetter and bohemian was laid to rest this week with a big Sydney sendoff. Gadfly remembers Bilson for his generosity when as an editor and publisher of a small but mighty organ your correspondent was sued for defamation. Tony leapt to the defence, saying he would provide a fundraising dinner at Kinselas to help defray eye-watering legal bills.

Opinion February 1, 2020

Masking for trouble

By now it is clear the face mask is the object that most defines this new decade. From an unfashionable item confined to special conditions in specific geographies, it is fast becoming ubiquitous. It is the facial accessory du jour, filtering the effects of fires, plagues, pestilence, climate and uncertainty. The closer civilisation hurtles towards dystopia, the more citizens will put their faith in this ungainly facial furniture.


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Opinion February 15, 2020

The legacy of the Wakils

On so many levels, it’s a cautionary tale for the ages (Rick Morton, “The biggest party donor you’ve never heard of”, February 8-14). Childless migrants make good and seek ways to show gratitude to their adopted country. Through …

Opinion February 8, 2020

Tied up in red tape

The recent changes to the application process for Commonwealth-funded grants are ridiculous in the extreme (Karen Middleton, “Sports grants expose broken system”, January 25-31). The 2019-20 Commonwealth Volunteer Grant scheme administered …

Opinion February 1, 2020

Appreciating the quality

It was a refreshing moment to once again receive the quality journalism embedded in the pages of The Saturday Paper. Clarity, honesty and truth was there in all its 32-page wonderment. Sean Kelly’s particularly direct contempt for Scott …