opinion

opinion

letters June 15, 2019

Obfuscation over public interest

Thank you, Karen Middleton, for the next chapter in the history of Prime Minister Scott Morrison (“Fresh documents in Morrison’s sacking”, June 8-14). “The minutes of that meeting were provided under FOI, but mostly redacted…” This is yet another...

diary June 15, 2019

Gadfly: Security counsel

Senior members of the Commonwealth’s cop squad have been working overtime on coming up with fresh meanings for the phrase “national security”. To paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, it really means just what the government chooses it to mean, neither more nor less. Certainly it covers things such as bugging the Timor-Leste ministerial offices, or soldiers shooting the wrong people in Afghanistan, or plans by spooky public servants to spy on the entire population. All of that comes under the Humpty Dumpty definition, which really has nothing to do with national security at all, but more to do with government embarrassment.

editorial June 15, 2019

Setting the record straight

The first missive from Sally McManus was brief. So veiled in its construction, the statement obscured the deeper issue with Setka. And in pushing to expel the union boss from the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese skirted the detail entirely.

law & crime June 15, 2019

Free speech, censorship and media raids

One of the first political books I bought was a faded copy of Australia’s Censorship Crisis , edited by Geoffrey Dutton and Max Harris. I picked it up more for its cover than its contents, and this turned out to be serendipitous. Though it was then...

immigration June 15, 2019

All quiet on the Morrison front

Scott Morrison is assiduously doing nothing much of consequence. In fact, this week he appeared to have taken a leaf out of the opposition leader’s book and, like Anthony Albanese, is doing a lot of listening. He has apparently decided this is the...

diary May 25, 2019

Gadfly: Intensive prayer

One of Gadfly’s field agents who looks after dustbins close to Horizon Church in the Sutherland Shire discovered a prayer scribbled on some prime ministerial letterhead. In the interests of religious freedom, we’ve decided to share it with you: O God, how good are you? You have cleared our land of pestilence and plague and like Canaan, the son of Ham, we rose up to smite those wanting to rid you, O Lord, of your imputations that you gave us when you cleansed the money changers from the temple. It may have been your only begotten son who did that, but you knowest from where I come.

editorial May 25, 2019

Pipe dreams

The Australian Dream was once a home you owned with a car in the driveway. It was the existence promised by Robert Menzies. The basic aspiration was for comfort, a place in the community, a sense of security. Very quietly, John Howard updated that vision. The houses became McMansions. The aspirations became exceptional.

economy May 25, 2019

Reserve Bank ends Coalition celebration

Along with the rest of the nation, Scott Morrison could scarcely believe it. His mother told journalists a lot of prayers went into the shock defeat of Labor, and her jubilant son told the cheering party faithful he had “always believed in miracles...

law & crime May 25, 2019

Time to reform Queensland consent laws

On or about December 13, 2003, a man named Basil Adam Soloman consumed approximately “a carton of stubbies of full-strength beer … a dozen cans of rum and cola, and about five cones of cannabis” before initiating intercourse with a woman. Her...

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.