immigration December 16, 2017

False Labor and the birth of Manus

Only voters can create accountability for the bipartisan disaster on Manus Island. But that will mean penalising politicians who are popular. For once, on Monday, Peter Dutton was telling the truth. He had started off lying, in fact lying about...

diary December 16, 2017

Gadfly: Tall Man pulls up short

What can the Lord Jesus have been thinking? Allowing Alabama voters to send a Democrat to the senate instead of a gun-toting, God-fearing alleged child molester endorsed by the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief himself. It was Roy Moore’s attempt to ride a horse to the polling station that finally did him in, as it was evident the horse detested him.

editorial December 16, 2017

Church fate

When the royal commission sat for the final time, the church was not there. Senior figures were not present. It fell to a layperson to attend, to Francis Sullivan, whose self-critical stewardship of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council has been the only redemption of an institution built on the preaching of forgiveness. The absence is terrible and unsurprising. The recurrent theme in five years of testimony at this commission has been abandonment. It is an abandonment of children and of responsibility.

politics December 16, 2017

Political missteps over China

Malcolm Turnbull’s carpet-bombing of Labor’s Sam Dastyari was always desperate politics and it has not served Australia’s national interest well. Saturday’s byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong will define the forced resignation of Dastyari...

letters December 16, 2017

Honouring Behrouz Boochani

Thank you for printing the “poet’s manifesto” of Behrouz Boochani (“A letter from Manus”, December 9-15). It is eloquent and moving. The dog that was killed is mourned by the men of Manus. We also mourn it. The body of the poor animal should be laid...

diary December 9, 2017

Gadfly: Enright is wrong

Poring over court reports, as Gadfly does during a wet week, we discover proceedings starring journalist David Marr. It seems Marr enjoyed a victory in the New South Wales Supreme Court, which a week ago confirmed his role in the estate of his old friend the late playwright Nick Enright, who appointed the esteemed writer, raconteur and flâneur as his “literary executor”.

politics December 9, 2017

Is Bill Shorten running out of luck?

In the truncated last session of the house of representatives for the year, Malcolm Turnbull adopted the mien of a political headkicker. He bellowed an attack on Bill Shorten so loudly at his Tuesday courtyard news conference he startled journalists...

rural December 9, 2017

Fighting the Santos pipeline

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event. Within minutes,...

letters December 9, 2017

No longer out in the cold

The right to die when a person no longer can live a meaningful life is a human right (Rodney Syme, “The right to die”, November 25-December 1). It is not god-given but part of our evolution as thinking animals. Humans have evolved complex thought...

editorial December 9, 2017

Charity disgrace

Gary Johns is now the head of the federal charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission. This is the same Gary Johns who told Andrew Bolt, “a lot of poor women in this country, a large portion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows, right, they are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now that has to stop.” It is the same Gary Johns who wants the poor to be forcibly denied children. “Some families, some communities, some cultures breed strife,” he writes.

diary December 2, 2017

Gadfly: Onan the vulgarian

What was the tipping point for the Queensland election? In Gadfly’s opinion it was One Nation’s dildo, strap-on and “maarsterbate” moment. The now defunct banana-bending One Nation leader Steve Dickson said at a pre-election BBQ that “little kids in grade 4 at school, young girls being taught by teachers how to masturbate, how to strap on dildos – that is the real problem in this country”.