diary March 17, 2018

Gadfly: King’s lowlanding

Kings of War is a four-and-a-half hour Shakespearean onslaught in Dutch at the Adelaide Festival, under the direction of Ivo van Hove and scenographer Jan Versweyveld. To keep us in the picture there were surtitles, but only our leading Hollander, Dr Andreas Blot, had he been there, could have wrung all the subtleties from the performance.

politics March 17, 2018

Shorten acts on tax as Batman votes

This week, Bill Shorten made sure the chattering classes would be talking about more than Saturday’s byelection in the Melbourne seat of Batman, which Labor is expected to lose. The opposition leader seized the political agenda in a dramatic way on...

editorial March 17, 2018

Waving the white tag

The only real conclusion is that Peter Dutton is a racist. This comes as no surprise, but the starkness of it bears recording. To listen to Peter Dutton talk about white South Africans is to hear a man whose empathy is graded by colour. It took white suffering for him to realise there is injustice in the world.

law & crime March 17, 2018

Old networks defending college abuse culture

This story begins in 2009, when a student of mine discovered a “pro-rape” Facebook group created by men associated with St Paul’s College, at the University of Sydney. The group was titled “Define statutory: Pro-rape, anti-consent”. One of the...

letters March 17, 2018

A wake-up call on the environment

Natalie Cromb’s excellent article (“The economics of reparations”, March 10–16) highlights the fact that our First Nations sovereignty was the first externality of the venture capitalists and developers arriving in Australia since 1788. They then...

politics March 10, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull’s poll count looms

Senior Labor figures are convinced they won’t be facing Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister at the next election. Their calculation is based on the survival instinct that is a primal motivating force for all members of parliament. It was the one that...

diary March 10, 2018

Gadfly: Planet of the gripes

If you’ve never been to one of those newspaper chat things where celebrity journalists talk about the same stuff they bang on about in print, Gadfly is here to fill you in on what you’re missing. With $25 in his pocket, our field agent wended his weary way to the Maritime Museum in Sydney, where in close proximity to the sharks, stingrays and groupers, Janet Albrechtsen and Caroline Overington were on stage.

editorial March 10, 2018

Neighbour hoods

Here is a headline from Tuesday: “Australia to train Myanmar military despite ethnic cleansing accusations”. And here is one from Wednesday: “Australian spy who revealed bugging of Timor-Leste cabinet under ‘effective house arrest’ ”. Here is a headline from 2014: “Axe falls on foreign aid spending, nearly $8 billion in cuts over next five years”. Here is Australia, irresponsible neighbour and opportunist.

letters March 10, 2018

Representatives are not listening

I enjoy reading your editorials as they write of things as they are. None more so than “Four sore years” (March 3–9). How succinctly worded. Both our major parties seem incapable of governing and the major issues facing the country are left in limbo...

indigenous affairs March 10, 2018

The economics of reparations

Land is intrinsic to Indigenous culture and identity. We are raised to understand that we belong to the land, not that it belongs to us, and with that belonging comes a responsibility to protect the land. This is why Indigenous people seek to assert...

diary March 3, 2018

Gadfly: Daily dose of revisionism

The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga has experienced some major rethinking since Michael McCormack, the current deputy prime minister, was the editor of the mighty organ. McCormack’s editorial line in the 1990s – that humanity was in danger of being wiped out by disease-spreading gays – has been starkly revised. This week, we find the paper carrying a story about the town of Hay hosting a mardi gras parade, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the big event in Sydney.