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religion July 13, 2019


What Scott Morrison’s faith means

On Tuesday night, Australia’s prime minister was praying for some “very important things”. He began to pray “for all of those veterans in our country who are doing it tough”, asking for protection and “peace over them”. His prayer continued: “We...

diary July 13, 2019


Gadfly: Gus’s power play defused

Fantastic Angus has been so busy with explanations about the poisoning of endangered grasslands on a family spread that he’s taken his eye off the ball. Both carbon emissions and power prices have gone in the opposite direction to that promised by...

politics July 6, 2019


Money, votes and the ‘pendulum’

What if money didn’t matter much in Australian politics? Clive Palmer just spent $53 million on ads for his United Australia Party and had zero candidates elected. The Greens spent about $320,000 and elected six senators and Adam Bandt in the lower...

diary July 6, 2019


Gadfly: A slice of Evan

How good is Australia? Gadfly returns home after three weeks on a global escapade and finds nothing whatsoever has changed. Schmo Morrison , Fantastic Angus and Benito Dutton are still strutting their half-baked stuff, and on we stagger. The only...

immigration June 29, 2019


Social liberalism fits Labor

John Howard once called himself the Liberal Party’s most conservative leader. His successors, however, have outdone him. Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott are easily more conservative than Howard, who has now slipped to bronze on the ranking of most...

indigenous affairs May 18, 2019


The Uluru Statement is a source of hope

The man who loomed up beside me was like the north Queenslander from central casting. He had big canecutter’s hands, and a neck burnt red from the sun, which may also have reflected his politics. “You can have all the government-paid steak dinners...

diary May 18, 2019


Gadfly: Cast from the past

You’ve got to admire the way the Nasty Party steadfastly wheels out Little Winston to wave, grin and hug people during election campaigns. He’s a reminder of things past and in a climate change election it’s good to be reminded that Winston for such a long time was a climate denier (aka sceptic). He resisted the Kyoto Protocol and stood against the implementation of legally binding carbon reduction targets.

diary May 11, 2019


Gadfly: Egging to differ

The history of citizens egging their politicians is long and distinguished. When Billy Hughes was egged at Warwick, Queensland, in 1917 he ordered the local copper to arrest the offender, Patrick Brosnan. Senior Sergeant Kenny refused, saying that the PM had no jurisdiction over him – hence we got the Commonwealth Police, which morphed into the Australian Federal Police.

economy May 11, 2019


Major parties diverge on economy

In any other election, Australia’s headline economic figures would have the incumbent popping champagne corks. Twenty-eight years of uninterrupted economic growth, unemployment at 5 per cent, record-low interest rates and a budget in balance are...

diary May 4, 2019


Gadfly: Candidates with destiny

The election campaign is in full stride and citizens at long last are getting their money’s worth. Scenes of Pauline in tears over Steve Dickson’s derailment of her plans to turn Australia into a bogan paradise were particularly endearing. This was a terrific performance of a grievance peddler playing the victim. Unfortunately, it’s the distressing but inevitable fallout of her party’s preselection processes, which are carefully designed to get drongos running for parliament.

environment May 4, 2019


Australians want leadership on climate

Earlier this year, I stood on the banks of the Darling River on a 39-degree day and heard the story of the Menindee fish kill from Dick, a local retiree who had witnessed the stinking carnage of a million dead and dying animals. “That night, after...