diary August 12, 2017

Gadfly: Shelf analysis

In the latest instalment of his blog, Freedom Boy Wilson, MP, has posted an article called “My Bookshelf”. It turns out not to be a paean to his philosopher-mentor Bookshelves Brandis, but an encounter with the books that have put his thoughts “onto clear tracks”.

letters August 12, 2017

On rights and obligations

Voluntary assisted dying is strongly opposed by Right To Life Australia through its tried and tested tactics of political intimidation and by framing compassion as “killing” (John Power, “Unwritten endings”, August 5-11). Its website cites the...

law & crime August 12, 2017

Why Tony Abbott can’t be ignored

Australian politics surely could not get more bizarre than the spectacle of the Turnbull government tearing itself apart this week over what it dismisses as a second-order issue. And it all comes down to the dynamics generated by one embittered man...

editorial August 12, 2017

The killing of Hamed Shamshiripour

The very last picture to be taken of Hamed Shamshiripour is too distressing to publish. It looks like the scene of a lynching. In many respects, it is. Hamed’s face is held in great anguish. Blackness fills the sockets of his eyes. His shoulders hang as if responding to a question for which there is no answer. In death there is the silence that follows great trauma. This last image, this tableau of jungle and resignation, is frozen in violent stillness.

health August 12, 2017

Responding to Martin Place’s tent city

If it weren’t so serious, you might call it irony. As it stands, it’s a grim symbol of how we treat our most vulnerable. This week is national Homelessness Week – a time to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues they face...

letters August 5, 2017

Manus is Australia’s problem to fix

The account of conditions on Manus Island by Behrouz Boochani (“Breaking camp”, July 29-August 4) shows the cruelty and vicious treatment of the refugees by the Australian government. They are being driven to despair by various deprivations and by...

editorial August 5, 2017

Lost in the past

The right in this country is living inside a poisonous cartoon. So desperate are they to hold a contrary view, they can look at a report into widespread abuse on university campuses and instead of wronged survivors see only ideological enemies.

religion August 5, 2017

Misunderstanding Islamophobia

In the two-and-a-half decades between the publication of his groundbreaking book Orientalism and his death, Edward Said spent considerable energy rejecting claims that his work is a defence of the “real” Islam. Such an assumption, he wrote, “would...

diary August 5, 2017

Gadfly: A hardman’s tale

The television spinoff of Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale is an allegory of life under a type of Abbott-Abetz-Andrews-Bernardi-Shelton totalitarian Christian theonomic regime, run by cold-hearted biblical nutters who have women enslaved and minorities cast into vats of bubbling oil.

politics August 5, 2017

Turnbull’s conviction problems

In the far south-west of the Australian continent Malcolm Turnbull shared his deepest convictions about himself as the nation’s prime minister. It was in response to a question from a student at Albany Senior High School. With disarming anticipation...

diary July 29, 2017

Gadfly: Devine inspiration rewarded

Journalist and naval historian Mike Carlton has come up with the Kenny Awards – prizes for right-wing commentary that might otherwise go unnoticed and ungarlanded. The awards are named after former bag-carrier for Fishnets Downer and Iraq war champion Chris Kenny, who scribbles for The Catholic Boys Daily.