opinion

opinion

letters May 18, 2019

Election grants

“Promise land” (Karen Middleton, May 11-17) left me even more despondent (is that even possible?) about probity and pork barrels, and prompts me to think: “My Kingdom, my Kingdom, a car park/Scout hall for my Kingdom”. – David Eckstein, Lilyfield,...

diary May 18, 2019

Gadfly: Cast from the past

You’ve got to admire the way the Nasty Party steadfastly wheels out Little Winston to wave, grin and hug people during election campaigns. He’s a reminder of things past and in a climate change election it’s good to be reminded that Winston for such a long time was a climate denier (aka sceptic). He resisted the Kyoto Protocol and stood against the implementation of legally binding carbon reduction targets.

editorial May 18, 2019

Time to choose

Both leaders have attempted to cloak themselves in the charisma of their predecessors in this campaign. Scott Morrison with Menzies, then Howard. Bill Shorten first with Keating, now Whitlam. Neither has managed to breathe life into the public imagination in the way these leaders did. The way Bob Hawke, who passed away on Thursday, was able to do so effortlessly – with his extroversion and his boundless energy.

indigenous affairs May 18, 2019

The Uluru Statement is a source of hope

The man who loomed up beside me was like the north Queenslander from central casting. He had big canecutter’s hands, and a neck burnt red from the sun, which may also have reflected his politics. “You can have all the government-paid steak dinners...

opinion May 18, 2019

A brooding reluctance in voter-land

Bill Shorten began the week on an upbeat note, saying he had detected a mood for change. Constant opinion polling has reinforced his discerned wisdom but there is a brooding reluctance in voter-land. One of Shorten’s key strategists was quietly...

diary May 11, 2019

Gadfly: Egging to differ

The history of citizens egging their politicians is long and distinguished. When Billy Hughes was egged at Warwick, Queensland, in 1917 he ordered the local copper to arrest the offender, Patrick Brosnan. Senior Sergeant Kenny refused, saying that the PM had no jurisdiction over him – hence we got the Commonwealth Police, which morphed into the Australian Federal Police.

letters May 11, 2019

Missing the points

It is clear that consideration of morality is lacking in this federal election. There are two outstanding matters, neither being properly addressed by the media or the two major parties. The first is the imprisonment and torture of asylum seekers...

media May 11, 2019

Murdoch papers give Shorten his moment

Labor has been the frontrunner in the published opinion polls for the past three years. This week was no different, with the tightening since the election was called reaching a plateau. But Bill Shorten has supplied a powerful campaign moment in an...

economy May 11, 2019

Major parties diverge on economy

In any other election, Australia’s headline economic figures would have the incumbent popping champagne corks. Twenty-eight years of uninterrupted economic growth, unemployment at 5 per cent, record-low interest rates and a budget in balance are...

editorial May 11, 2019

Equal measures

In rebuking The Daily Telegraph’s editorial about his mother, Ann, Bill Shorten conjured a rare moment in Australian politics. He said: “My mum would want me to say to older women in Australia that just because you’ve got grey hair, just because you didn’t go to a special private school, just because you don’t go to the right clubs, just because you’re not part of some backslapping boys’ club doesn’t mean you should give up.” It is not rare, of course, for male politicians to relate the discriminations faced by women to their own families, to flatten to the personal: I wouldn’t want this to happen to my daughter/my wife/my mother. The test for Shorten, if elected, is how broadly his empathy can be cast.

diary May 4, 2019

Gadfly: Candidates with destiny

The election campaign is in full stride and citizens at long last are getting their money’s worth. Scenes of Pauline in tears over Steve Dickson’s derailment of her plans to turn Australia into a bogan paradise were particularly endearing. This was a terrific performance of a grievance peddler playing the victim. Unfortunately, it’s the distressing but inevitable fallout of her party’s preselection processes, which are carefully designed to get drongos running for parliament.