politics May 26, 2018

Pauline Hanson’s need for attention

Pauline Hanson sees herself as an Australian Joan of Arc. The saviour of a nation under siege from crippling debt, excessive spending and immigrants, neglectful of self-funded retirees, and abused by multinational energy companies. Worse, a nation...

ir May 26, 2018

Labour failures in the arts industry

It’s gauche to complain about money as an arts worker. After all, we’re so lucky to be here in the first place. We may work too much, but we do it because we want the work to be the best it can be. We may be unpaid, or underpaid, but we love this...

editorial May 26, 2018

Dutton’s moral twilight

Salim Kyawning was a Rohingya refugee, the 14th person to die in offshore detention. It fell to a charity to tell his family of his death. The Home Affairs office had not bothered. It put out a single line statement: “This is a matter for the PNG government.” This was the suicide of a man transformed by cruelty into a non-person. He was killed by the instruments of Australia’s border protection policy.

diary May 26, 2018

Gadfly: Striking a chord

While in Otto’s extreme and manic world, it’s worth noting his complaints against Justine Keay, the former Labor MP ruled ineligible to hold the federal seat of Braddon because she had not renounced her Britishness. Abetz has been busy compiling the salary and entitlements Keay received between the time she feared she was constitutionally ineligible to stand for parliament and the moment the High Court in the Gallagher case found she was indeed ineligible.

letters May 26, 2018

Dogma has no place in our schools

Pastoral care is undoubtedly a worthwhile and necessary aspect of education in all Australian schools. Juliette Armstrong is to be commended for her challenge to the legality of discrimination against non-religious job applicants for pastoral care...

letters May 21, 2018

Greed winning over fairness

Jane Caro and Lyndsay Connors (“Fairness now Gonski”, May 12–18) ask, “What kind of democracy have we become?” The answer is clear: we have become a selfish, hard-hearted and at best partial one, closer to a plutocracy than a genuine democracy. This...

education May 19, 2018

The bonfire of the humanities

The words are stretched across the side of the red-brick northern extension of RMIT University in Melbourne, a huge banner that could not be more succinctly self-parodic if it tried: “Don’t study problems, solve them.” The advertisement is for the...

diary May 19, 2018

Gadfly: Hot off the press council

This week Gadfly thinks it’s high time to unload some festering snipes and snarls. Take the Australian Press Council as a starting point. The press “regulator” is in the process of rissoling the Indigenous woman Carla McGrath as a public member of the council, on the feeble excuse that her position as deputy chair of GetUp! creates a conflict of interest. What on earth are they on about? The Press Council itself is a conflict of interest, riddled with tired hacks representing their paymasters in the media.

politics May 19, 2018

Byelections beware

Truth, they say, is the first casualty of war. And make no mistake, the government is in the battle of its life. Malcolm Turnbull is doing whatever it takes to regain a political ascendancy he has not had over the Opposition since last year’s...

editorial May 19, 2018

A sheep at the wheel

Even the farmers admit it is an increment – the decision by Malcolm Turnbull’s government not to ban live exports over summer, despite evidence of the risk to animals, despite footage of mass deaths and calls from vets to end the trade.The truth is, this is an industry of undue political clout. There are economic arguments against live exports, good ones. There are obvious welfare arguments, too.

diary May 12, 2018

Gadfly: Bringing Downer the house

The people running the Twitter account at Australia House in London produced a marvellous photograph of the new high commissioner addressing his minions in a marbled reception hall. The staff looked as though they were having a perfectly miserable time as His Excellency Bookshelves Brandis droned on. They’d only just got rid of Fishnets Downer; now they were rolling their eyes, wondering what this new turkey from the Nasty Party would be like.