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media April 20, 2019


Murdoch plays the Trump card

Rupert Murdoch is friendly with many world leaders, but the octogenarian media baron has always wanted to be close to an American president. Now he is. According to a former Fox executive, Murdoch talks on the phone to Donald Trump so frequently...

diary April 20, 2019


Gadfly: Bill’s joint adventure

So good to see the Shortens among the shorthorns, baby goats and bottled preserves at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show. But it was on the Central Coast where the leader of the opposition made a lasting impression while participating with a whole pile of...

education April 13, 2019


The funding gap on education

If you’ve lost track of the frustrating schools funding debate lately, it’s time to start paying attention. The difference between the offerings of the two major political parties at the federal election is sharp and it boils down to one number – $...

diary April 13, 2019


Gadfly: The A-Team’s heroes for hire

There’s a sense of relief that the nation is now in caretaker mode – a nice change from the usual arrangement where the affairs of state are conducted with unremitting carelessness. Gadfly has been asked to advise the Coalition on election strategy...

diary April 6, 2019


Gadfly: Not beyond regional doubt

Already the leaflets from people chasing votes are flooding into citizens’ inboxes. Former Labor man Warren Mundine , now the Liberal Party pea for Gilmore, is up and at it. His email to electors claimed: “I’ve spent my entire life in regional...

indigenous affairs March 16, 2019


Sobering statistics

In December last year, Aunty Tanya Day’s death in custody came to public attention with the beginning of a coronial inquest into her death. A year earlier, the Yorta Yorta grandmother was kicked off a train from Echuca to Melbourne by a V/Line staff...

diary March 9, 2019


Gadfly: The ABC of equality

What is journalism? It’s a question hacks throughout the dry and cracked land ask themselves not infrequently – hoping an answer will arrive. Fortunately, Gaven Morris, the director of Aunty ABC’s news, analysis and investigations department, gave us a clue in his Tuesday memo to the troops.

law & crime March 9, 2019


Suppression orders and open justice

The rise of the digital age has virtually thrown open the doors of Australian courts far wider than the jurists who first wrote of the need for open justice could have imagined. Much has been said in recent weeks about the operation of suppression...

diary March 2, 2019


Gadfly: Taylor-made socialism

The nation’s chief electrician, Gus Taylor, has had a frightful time trying to get his hard-baked socialist policies up and running. It was late last year that the free enterprise Greens blocked his bright plan to subsidise coal-fired power plants. For the Greens, steeped in the wealth-creating force of free markets, smaller government and lower spending, handing over taxpayers’ money to underwrite power from coal was anathema to their Ayn Rand-based philosophy. Undeterred, Red Gus is now bludgeoning electricity suppliers with price controls.

religion March 2, 2019


Trials and great tribulation

Commitment to the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic Church has shaped my life. The reality of the insidious abuse taking place within, revealed to me over time, has been a phenomenon that absorbed my professional attention. In 1960, in my...

immigration March 2, 2019


The myth of the great wave

It is as certain as anything in politics can be that during the next three months, as the federal election looms, the Morrison government will claim time and again that if Australians want to prevent a new wave of asylum seekers on boats they have...