Opinion April 4, 2020

Barry Jones
We need more democracy, not less

Nearly 40 years ago, when I wrote Sleepers, Wake!, I was arguing for a more rational, evidence-based approach to long-term problems of society, economy, environment, work, education, health, information flow, leisure and gender. I feared it would …

Opinion March 28, 2020

Peter Doherty
The pandemic we had to have

Over the past 18 years or so we’ve had periodic public health warnings about one or another bad bug that’s out to get us. In 2002-03, there was severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-1), H5N1 bird flu in 2002, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic …

Opinion March 21, 2020

Richard Denniss
How Australia can avoid economic collapse in the wake of Covid-19

For decades, Australians have been sold an imagined poverty. We have been told we need to “rein in” government spending – that if we want to spend more on health or education, we will need to spend less on the age pension or childcare. …

Opinion March 14, 2020

Shakira Hussein
Christchurch and the threat of right-wing extremism

I’ve thought of Haji Daoud Nabi at every Muslim social event I’ve attended since the Christchurch attack last year. He was the first to die, gunned down after greeting his killer at the doorway of the mosque with the words, “Hello, brother, …

Opinion February 29, 2020

Richard Denniss
The inequality of the superannuation system

A part-time cleaner earning $18,000 a year will receive zero tax concessions for their compulsory superannuation contribution; meanwhile, a chief executive of a big bank can get tens of thousands of dollars every year in taxpayer support for their “retirement …

Opinion March 7, 2020

Rick Morton
A fraction too much fiction

The truth, in Scott Morrison’s world, is like light. With the right forces, it can be fractured or bent out of shape. Sometimes it changes of its own accord, as the sun charts a course across the sky. As a reporter, I have followed Morrison’s …

Opinion February 22, 2020

Luke Macaronas
St Kevin’s College, abuse and the language of pain

An ugly wound has been opened at the heart of St Kevin’s College this week, after revelations in a Four Corners report about the school’s failures to respond to complaints of a culture of secrecy, toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. …

paul bongiorno

Opinion April 4, 2020

Coalition’s seismic economic shift

The earth moved on Monday, when the coronavirus pandemic opened up a wide chasm between Australia’s governing Coalition and its political substructure. Don’t take my word for it, take the prime minister’s: “We are living in unprecedented …

Opinion March 28, 2020

Government’s crashing failure in face of crisis

If anything crystallises the brutal impact of the coronavirus crisis in Australia, it is the thousands queued outside Centrelink offices around the country this week. The lines began forming the day after the prime minister announced that vast sectors …

Opinion March 21, 2020

Morrison’s coronavirus awakening

There in the prime ministerial courtyard of Parliament House, Scott Morrison finally admitted his world had crumbled. “Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world,” he began his news conference midweek. “Life …


Opinion April 4, 2020

Taken liberties

At this point, it is fair to say Australia’s public health response to coronavirus trailed the developed world’s and our police response exceeded it. In many instances this week, one has been mistaken for the other. The public health measures are not in question – but little evidence has been given to show that special powers of enforcement are necessary.

Opinion March 28, 2020

The sheer scale of it

Perhaps the government simply cannot visualise it. It is possible they are unable to fathom what is happening, to appreciate its size. Morrison’s response to this crisis is piecemeal and shambolic. His press conference on Tuesday night was the sort of policy improvisation that could have started with the words “Yes, and…” The prime minister is balancing the health of the public against the health of the economy, and doing neither very well.

Opinion March 21, 2020

Panic! At the Costco

Really, we should not be surprised. Panic buying isn’t an aberration – it’s the logical extension of a political system based entirely on selfishness and indifference, on the hoarding of wealth and property. It is what happens when government persuades the public that it is the problem.


Opinion April 4, 2020

Message palaver

Where’s Siiiiimon Reynolds when you need him? You’ll remember Siiiiimon as the adman who created the Grim Reaper advertisement in 1987, during the AIDS epidemic. It was a controversial yet highly effective message that drove home HIV awareness. Today the message about coronavirus could be coming into people’s mobile phones, daily, three times a day, whatever it takes.

Opinion March 28, 2020

Trump’s life or debt decision

One savvy business sage who this week was in Gadfly’s ear thinks the fast-failing enterprises in the United States might see Bone Spurs Trump become the first president in office to go bankrupt. The value of his gilded city towers and hotels is crashing with each passing moment and given they are leveraged to buggery with either Deutsche Bank or the Russian mafia, the whole rickety edifice will soon be underwater.

Opinion March 21, 2020

West slide story

The Pussy Grabber, Boris the Bonker, Schmo Morrison and dreamers of the alt-right all struggled to come to terms with the alarming rate at which coronavirus is spreading. Their denialism is instinctive and they only pulled out their fingers when it was too late.


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Opinion April 4, 2020

The search for immunity

Rick Morton’s “Fact-checking Covid-19” (March 21-27) was an excellent gathering of information. I think a little expansion, though, may be worthwhile. “Can you test retrospectively to see if you once had Covid-19 but now you don’t?” …

Opinion March 28, 2020

Echoes of Vietnam War

Your article on alleged murders by Special Air Service personnel contained a couple of depressingly familiar points (Karen Middleton, “Defence braces for SAS murder charges”, March 21-27). One, Australian soldiers were frustrated at having …

Opinion March 21, 2020

Examining the numbers

The story “Trust deficit threatens Covid-19 response” (Mike Seccombe, March 14-20) contained two related issues: a decline in trust of governments and an assertion that the economy has almost doubled since 2008. We are continually bombarded …