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politics April 4, 2020


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...

diary April 4, 2020


Gadfly: 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 (some...

diary March 28, 2020


Gadfly: 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. Dirty weekends at the Trump Golden Swamp Country Club...

health March 28, 2020


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 in 2009...

health March 21, 2020


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. The Coalition...

diary March 21, 2020


Gadfly: 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.

law & crime March 14, 2020


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, welcome...

diary March 14, 2020


Gadfly: Bench warning

Those north Queensland beaks sure know how to dish out justice to anti-coal protesters chaining themselves to cattle grids or concrete drums to hamper workers turning up for fossil fuel duties.

diary March 7, 2020


Gadfly: A Gus of hot air

Field agents from Wingello in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales bring reports that Schmo turned up in town on a post-bushfire inspection. Only the Rural Fire Service seemed to be aware of his arrival; hence there were no brass bands and drum majorettes to welcome him in the main street. To cheer everyone up the PM brought Grassgate Gussy Taylor with him, yet residents were kept in the dark about their local member’s movements.

politics March 7, 2020


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...

economy February 29, 2020


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 “...