politics July 21, 2018

Turnbull backs in the race favourite

In April, excitement rippled through the ranks of politics-watchers. There had been a reported sighting of that unicorn of Australian politics: Malcolm Turnbull saying no to Peter Dutton. Dutton had, according to a story in The Australian , told...

editorial July 21, 2018

Gang of fear

Christopher Pyne doesn’t understand the question. That’s the point of a dog whistle: not everyone can hear it. A journalist asks if he is afraid to go out to restaurants in Melbourne, and he looks confused. “No. Why?” He looks the other way, laughs. “Should I be?” The journalist explains that the prime minister has repeated this claim, first made by Peter Dutton, that people fear going out to dinner in Victoria.

letters July 21, 2018

Imran’s moving words

“I am Imran” informs Australia of its great loss, and shame, and America’s gain (Imran Mohammad, July 14–20). The tears in my eyes did nothing to diminish the clarity and power of his devastating words. That he only began to learn English some four...

politics July 21, 2018

Socialism’s newfound popularity

They raised the roof in Queens, New York, a few Tuesdays ago, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won. Not an election, simply a primary for the candidacy. But the seat’s safe, the opponent was an establishment Democrat heavy, and Ocasio-Cortez is a...

diary July 21, 2018

Gadfly: Watch this face

Bookshelves Brandis signed off on his stellar ministerial career with the observation that he was particularly proud of his espionage, secrecy and foreign interference legislation. Never mind that his original clunky version was significantly reworked and substantially different laws recently passed through the parliament. So what’s next for a country already weighed down with more overwrought security legislation than comparable Western democracies?

politics July 14, 2018

Political attention seekers to the fore

If you snored through this week in politics, believing it a fairly inconsequential time, boy were you wrong. Once again, Australia bravely leapt to the defence of Western civilisation. It threatened collapse, but we pulled it back from the brink...

editorial July 14, 2018

Bad eggs, Latham

On Twitter he is “Real Mark Latham”, as if the rest of the time it was an act. Unmasked, he is a Rivers catalogue of cruel misogyny and transphobic venom, a man who wears wraparound sunglasses and believes brown is colourful. He mocks schoolchildren and working mothers, disbelieves psychiatry and demands that everyone speak English. Mark Latham is a gout on our politics. But the whole Falstaffian body is set with pox. It is a picture of sad urges and failing organs. Its ills trace back to men such as Mark, to the basement out of which he now broadcasts, but they do not end there.

immigration July 14, 2018

How racism diminishes humanity

I remember the last time “African gang crime” was front-page news. It was a warm summer’s day in January – just after New Year – and I decided to take my daughter to a park close to our home. There was no one around, just the two of us, and we sat...

diary July 14, 2018

Gadfly: Oarsome times for Gina

While Theresa May’s government was tottering on the brink of fracture, the toffs were at the Henley Royal Regatta quaffing champagne and Pimm’s from the boots of Range Rovers and Bentleys, rather in the manner of the shickered crowds that gather in Melbourne Cup marquees. Gadfly’s invitation must have been lost in the post, but fortunately our field agent was on hand.

letters July 14, 2018

Brutality is happening now

Helen Razer has been “broadcasting and writing her way into disagreement of various scales” over the course of 20 years, a tradition she continues in her misguided review of TV series The Handmaid’s Tale (“Hood winked”, June 30–July 6). Her central...

environment July 7, 2018

Tony Abbott’s latest demolition job

Last Tuesday night, Tony Abbott was in his element. Surrounded by climate change sceptics and deniers he set about destroying Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy. And he did so with panache, his opening line more a battle cry: “It takes...