letters August 24, 2019

A road through Country

Following Lidia Thorpe’s piece (“Destroying sacred trees contradicts treaty hopes”, August 17-23), VicRoads has started evicting the embassy. The machines are humming in the background, waiting for people to fade away from camp. This cannot happen...

diary August 24, 2019

Gadfly: Wrangling a Parrot

The week belonged to the Parrot, the hero of Struggle Street. He was up to his old attention-grabbing schtick: vile remarks, followed by public fury, doubling down, a tight-lipped “apology”, then threats from management that this was his “last chance”. There was a special twist on this occasion – Jones complained the ABC’s Media Watch didn’t broadcast all of his comments about Jacinda Ardern. If there’s anything the Parrot likes, it’s the full context of his unvarnished misogynistic diatribes.

environment August 24, 2019

The real threat of climate change

I’ve never met anyone with a memory as sharp as my mother, Lesina Ateli-Ugavule. She is a true orator, passionate about honouring the stories of our peoples. Each story she spins breathes life into my ancestors, weaving together family trees that...

environment August 24, 2019

Testing Scott Morrison’s diplomacy

In a frank admission – rare for prime ministers, who like to impress they are confidently in charge – Scott Morrison has revealed what keeps him awake at night. That is the feud between our biggest customer and our closest friend. The problem for...

editorial August 24, 2019

Vale Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer died this week, aged 73. The former Nationals leader was sick with an acute form of leukaemia. Many remembered him as idiosyncratic. It was a way of acknowledging that his graciousness and civility is uncommon in politics. Perhaps, even, it was out of place. Fischer stood out because he was so tall but also because he was so scrupulous. He understood service and made a life from it.

diary August 10, 2019

Gadfly: Furphy Brown

Sadly, Gadfly’s invitation to hear Minister for Minerals Matteo Canavani at Chuckles Henderson’s Institute got lost in the mail. It promised to be a spellbinding evening, with the topic “The Link Between Pope Pius XI and Bob Brown”. The theological possibilities are intriguing, especially when you consider Pius XI – formerly Achille Ratti – and the regime of Benito Mussolini had a lot in common.

letters August 10, 2019

Independent thinkers

I note that Richard Ackland believes that “full disclosure” requires that journalists and commentators should declare any association with the spouse or partner of a politician they discuss on a program such as Insiders (Gadfly, “Grassy-eyed Gus”,...

economy August 10, 2019

Australia’s trade balancing act

The Trump presidency has been a wild ride for its ally Australia, and is becoming dangerously more bizarre by the day. Canberra is being railroaded into a confrontation with Beijing, which is clearly not in its economic or strategic interests. The...

editorial August 10, 2019

Women’s fights

“Abortion re-establishes the patriarchy.” “Abortion has been a don’t ask; don’t tell issue for as long as I can remember. Why would any government want to legislate pregnancy termination?” If the arguments offered up by those opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales weren’t entirely circular, they were so twisted around themselves it was impossible to see the logic.

politics August 10, 2019

The legacy of Graham Freudenberg

War is readily characterised as a failure of reason. But that’s not quite true. It is, in fact, a failure to hear reason. The recent loss of Graham Freudenberg – Australia’s greatest speechwriter – compels us once again to listen. We owe him that...

diary August 3, 2019

Gadfly: Grassy-eyed Gus

Things have got to a pretty rancid state if Pauline Hanson has to ride to your rescue. And rancid they are with #Grassgate. Fantastic Gussy Taylor, the squillionaire MP whose family is under investigation for allegedly squirting pesticide on endangered grasses, is significantly off the hook, thanks to Hanson.