Opinion December 16, 2017

Richard Cooke
False Labor and the birth of Manus

Only voters can create accountability for the bipartisan disaster on Manus Island. But that will mean penalising politicians who are popular. For once, on Monday, Peter Dutton was telling the truth. He had started off lying, in fact lying about lying, …

Opinion December 9, 2017

Tony Windsor
Fighting the Santos pipeline

Last week I was working with my son Andrew on our farm 25 kilometres north of Coonamble when he received a message that there were trespassers on the neighbouring farm. A digital alert system had been put in place for such an event. Within minutes, …

Opinion December 2, 2017

Natalie Cromb
Date with enmity

The difference this year is that debate didn’t fizzle out in the weeks after January 26. The Change the Date campaign was vocal and successful for the entirety of 2017, which tends to suggest there has been a shift in community attitudes with respect …

Opinion November 25, 2017

Rodney Syme
The state and the right to die

Wednesday was a momentous day for Victoria. It was a momentous day for Australia. November 22, 2017, will be remembered as the day the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed through the Legislative Council. It will return to the Legislative Assembly to …

Opinion November 11, 2017

Bill Wilkie
The precedent against Adani

As the Stop Adani campaign grows, and the heat around Adani’s coalmine continues to haunt the Queensland premier, it might seem ironic that at this year’s Queensland Literary Awards the premier’s award for a work of state significance …

Opinion November 18, 2017

Guy Rundle
Lack of character in Canberra analysis

One hundred years ago, when I worked in commercial television, I was asked to prepare a slate of program proposals for a mini-mogul, one of the rare types who could write an okay script himself, and also raise money, and who was thus, to network execs, …

Opinion November 4, 2017

Megan Davis
Bad faith over Indigenous Voice

The First Peoples of this country are unfailingly welcoming people, with important protocols for receiving strangers on country. This custom makes revealing the coarse, ill-mannered nature of the Turnbull government’s decision to shut down open …

paul bongiorno

Opinion December 16, 2017

Political missteps over China

Malcolm Turnbull’s carpet-bombing of Labor’s Sam Dastyari was always desperate politics and it has not served Australia’s national interest well. Saturday’s byelection in the Sydney seat of Bennelong will define the forced resignation …

Opinion December 9, 2017

Is Bill Shorten running out of luck?

In the truncated last session of the house of representatives for the year, Malcolm Turnbull adopted the mien of a political headkicker. He bellowed an attack on Bill Shorten so loudly at his Tuesday courtyard news conference he startled journalists. …

Opinion December 2, 2017

Nationals turn on Turnbull

The theatre of the absurd that was the British TV comedy Monty Python’s Flying Circus has a contemporary rival in the Australian parliament, or more precisely the federal Coalition government. But next week few will be laughing as the increasingly …


Opinion December 16, 2017

Church fate

When the royal commission sat for the final time, the church was not there. Senior figures were not present. It fell to a layperson to attend, to Francis Sullivan, whose self-critical stewardship of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council has been the only redemption of an institution built on the preaching of forgiveness. The absence is terrible and unsurprising. The recurrent theme in five years of testimony at this commission has been abandonment. It is an abandonment of children and of responsibility.

Opinion December 9, 2017

Charity disgrace

Gary Johns is now the head of the federal charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission. This is the same Gary Johns who told Andrew Bolt, “a lot of poor women in this country, a large portion of whom are Aboriginal, are used as cash cows, right, they are kept pregnant and producing children for the cash. Now that has to stop.” It is the same Gary Johns who wants the poor to be forcibly denied children. “Some families, some communities, some cultures breed strife,” he writes.

Opinion December 2, 2017

Married with squibs

The survey forced same-sex couples to defend their relationships and beg for their rights. It licensed a new wave of homophobia and demonised queer teenagers and those living with gender dysphoria. It saw hate scrawled on walls and in the sky. It did all this, so far, for a dozen senators who could not bring themselves to vote for equality. It is worth recording these names, if only to show how few people it takes to create a national farce. They were as follows:


Opinion December 16, 2017

Tall Man pulls up short

What can the Lord Jesus have been thinking? Allowing Alabama voters to send a Democrat to the senate instead of a gun-toting, God-fearing alleged child molester endorsed by the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief himself. It was Roy Moore’s attempt to ride a horse to the polling station that finally did him in, as it was evident the horse detested him.

Opinion December 9, 2017

Enright is wrong

Poring over court reports, as Gadfly does during a wet week, we discover proceedings starring journalist David Marr. It seems Marr enjoyed a victory in the New South Wales Supreme Court, which a week ago confirmed his role in the estate of his old friend the late playwright Nick Enright, who appointed the esteemed writer, raconteur and flâneur as his “literary executor”.

Opinion December 2, 2017

Onan the vulgarian

What was the tipping point for the Queensland election? In Gadfly’s opinion it was One Nation’s dildo, strap-on and “maarsterbate” moment. The now defunct banana-bending One Nation leader Steve Dickson said at a pre-election BBQ that “little kids in grade 4 at school, young girls being taught by teachers how to masturbate, how to strap on dildos – that is the real problem in this country”.


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Opinion December 16, 2017

Honouring Behrouz Boochani

Thank you for printing the “poet’s manifesto” of Behrouz Boochani (“A letter from Manus”, December 9-15). It is eloquent and moving. The dog that was killed is mourned by the men of Manus. We also mourn it. The body of the …

Opinion December 9, 2017

No longer out in the cold

The right to die when a person no longer can live a meaningful life is a human right (Rodney Syme, “The right to die”, November 25-December 1). It is not god-given but part of our evolution as thinking animals. Humans have evolved complex …

Opinion December 2, 2017

Protests growing for action on Manus

The moving account of the forced transfer of refugees to a new, unfinished camp on Manus (“Malcolm Turnbull (02) 6277 7700”, November 25-December 1) by Martin McKenzie-Murray has given us a factual report of the conditions and brutality faced …