opinion

opinion

diary December 22, 2018

Gadfly: St Brutes yearbook

It’s the annual speech day at St Brutes, the very private non-selective school and training ground for future Nasty Party boiler room operatives and their underlings in Cockies Corner at the other end of the dorm. The headmaster, Mr Morrison, was hoping for a speech day built around the theme of “fair dinkum” – to reflect the authenticity of Australia and its values. A cat was set among the pigeons, though, when it came to light that “fair dinkum” was actually an authentic Chinese expression from the goldfields of the 1890s.

letters December 22, 2018

Independent advice required

Anne Summers makes an important observation in stating “it is easy to forget just how recently policy and politics became unhitched – if not unhinged” (The dead policy scrolls”, December 15–21). Summers provides a long list of policy-free areas of...

editorial December 22, 2018

The edge of chaos

Always, there was some spectre, some looming threat – a capricious American president, the North Korean nuclear arsenal, Russia’s cyber sabotage, the possibility of Brexit’s economic devastation, the inevitability of climate disaster. We lived, in 2018, at the edge of chaos. Faced with chaos, it is human to attempt to find order. The impulse is one that tends from sense towards containment, control. It is no coincidence this year of ataxia spurred authoritarianism.

politics December 22, 2018

Morrison Broad-sided

Scott Morrison disappeared from view for most of the week. He was in the Middle East, visiting our remnant military still trying to mop up after the miscalculation 15 years ago of joining the invasion of Iraq. But in many ways the TV news pictures...

indigenous affairs December 22, 2018

Australia Day: Past, present and future

Noel Pearson says there are three narratives that make Australia – the story of the longest continuous living culture on Earth; the tale of the British colonial project and the institutions that have helped shaped our society; and the narrative of...

diary December 15, 2018

Gadfly: Stricken in the Fox house

What a pleasure it is that HBO’s Succession is being streamed by Fox Drama, even if you do have to creep past the After Dark Monsters from the Sky News lagoon to get there. This is a blistering satire of a media mogul family, so closely reminiscent of the Molochs as to be entirely recognisable. The ancient, desiccated media tsar, Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, is surrounded by offspring squabbling over the trust and who will take the reins of his junk-laden empire.

letters December 15, 2018

Christian values ignored by politicians

Watching the rage and fierceness of the speech Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave last week, declaring he would use anything to stop the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill from being successful, I kept wondering how can this possibly align with Christian...

editorial December 15, 2018

Mighty men of values

We know, now, a little more of what the election will look like. We know that it will be desperate. We know the Morrison government will do anything to win, except develop policies that address the concerns of the electorate. The stories are already being placed. In The Daily Telegraph is spurious legal advice that says Labor’s “softened border policy” would invite criminals into Australia.

politics December 15, 2018

The dead policy scrolls

It is perhaps easy, given the pitiful state of our federal politics, to forget just how much worse is the state of our policies. They are connected, of course, those principles and pathways. We need them to frame and guide the way we are governed...

diary December 8, 2018

Gadfly: Saltbush silly limits

The long arm of the mining industry is everywhere, sticking its shadowy fingers into as many pork pies as it can find. The Saltbush Club is the latest conspiracy-theory entrant into the climate wars. Among its directors are legacy mining men Hugh Morgan of Western Mining and Jerry Ellis, previously on mahogany row at BHP and a former grand fromage at the Minerals Council of Australia. Old favourite Ian Plimer is also a member of the club, which recently received a rousing endorsement in the Pied Piper outlets of similarly aged media gnome Lord Moloch.

letters December 8, 2018

A sick joke as regulator

Michael West has once again done an excellent job in revealing just how lax Australia’s corporate regulatory regime is (“Bank penalties disguised as charitable donations”, December 1–7) . His forensic analysis shows how banks have not only been able...