Opinion September 22, 2018

Harper Nielsen
Why I won’t stand for the national anthem

It took me quite a while before I decided not to stand for the national anthem at school. I started talking with my family about the anthem, and the words in it. We talked about what it might mean to different people, and I started to feel as if Indigenous …

Opinion September 15, 2018

Nayuka Gorrie
Abbott’s envoy appointment derisory

As an Aboriginal person, a leadership spill is an interesting phenomenon to observe. There is a lot of earnest frustration – this isn’t who we voted for! – and there is a feeling that important decisions are being made about your life …

Opinion September 8, 2018

Peter Greste
Speaking for freedom

Online, in forums around the world, at the United Nations and beyond, the Australian government is quick to point out how important free speech is to a functioning democracy. The Liberal Party’s own website proudly proclaims, “We believe …

Opinion September 1, 2018

David Marr
Scott Morrison and the ‘strongman’ capitulations

Tony Abbott’s face as he emerged from the party room is the image I can’t get out of my head from the chaos of the past weeks. Defeat had done its work. He was pared back to the bone. His skin looked a mess and his eyes barely focused as he …

Opinion August 18, 2018

Ruby Hamad
Fraser Anning and racist politics

Oh, but doesn’t Australia have a lot of them? These watershed moments of lines crossed and politics forever changed, where the bar set for public discourse is not so much lowered but dispensed with altogether. This week it was crossbench senator …

Opinion August 25, 2018

Marcia Langton
The folly of Jacinta Price

No one with a revulsion for the influence of the alt-right or neo-Nazis in our body politic would be surprised to learn that an aspiring Aboriginal candidate for the House of Representatives could graduate from the role of children’s entertainer …

Opinion August 18, 2018

Sean Kelly
Red flags and crossing the line

“If we’d gone into battle earlier, seriously and united, we might have got somewhere. We were too slow to recognise the threat. Too late, and probably too polite, in pushing back.” Given the task of this column is to summarise the …

paul bongiorno

Opinion September 22, 2018

Morrison’s ‘momentum’ peters out

Forget the Muppets, Scott Morrison took the nation into Strawberry Fields this week. That’s where John Lennon sang, “Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever.” The prime minister called a news conference …

Opinion September 15, 2018

The Morrison muppet show

Scott Morrison thought it was a good idea at the time when he dismissed the power plays bringing down a Liberal prime minister as “a muppet show”. But as a metaphor for a dysfunctional troupe it is proving apt. The show came to town on …

Opinion September 8, 2018

Leaks undermine Scott Morrison’s image

There is compelling evidence a vicious “Scuttle Scott” campaign is under way and, unlike the “Kill Bill” strategy, this one is being mounted from inside the government itself. The new prime minister faces parliament next week …


Opinion September 22, 2018

Looking for justice

What would you do if a powerful figure sexually harassed or assaulted you? Who should you tell? Rounding on a year since The New Yorker and The New York Times first broke the Harvey Weinstein story, any consensus on the right answers to these questions seems a hollow possibility.

Opinion September 15, 2018

News agency

It’s not just the Herald Sun. It’s a media that is fragile and defensive, built on unquestioned values. It’s the uncomfortable realisation that we can be wrong – that the ethics we hold dear as journalists were honed in rooms of men, drawn from the same class, the same race, the same schools.

Opinion September 8, 2018

Gender troubles

Scott Morrison governs in the assured first person. His curiosity ends at the limits of his own experience. He speaks as a man whose imagination reaches as far as Kurnell. Like John Howard, he believes leading the country is the same as organising a barbecue. He speaks “as a parent”. For complex questions, he forms a quorum: “Jenny and I.” He defers to his faith. He rules in his own image.


Opinion September 22, 2018

Triggs a warning

Last week the Saturday magazine that comes free with The Catholic Boys Daily celebrated its 30th birthday. The occasion was marked by interviews with 30 well-known Australians, including the likes of John Olsen, Toni Collette, Tim Winton, Alan Joyce, Ian Thorpe, Frank Lowy etc etc. They were all asked the same questions, about Australia, the outlook for the next 30 years, favourite people and so on.

Opinion September 15, 2018

Let there be lights

Pentecostalists are highly regarded for their ability to speak in tongues, otherwise known as making unintelligible utterances. This may explain why Prime Minister and Shire clapper SloMo Morrison insists that electricity prices will come down because he has abolished what was supposed to be Malcolm Trumble’s national energy guarantee.

Opinion September 8, 2018

Who’s done cannot be undone

Gadfly arrives back in the wide brown land to find that one of his personal favourites is now at the helm of a retooled One Nation version of the Nasty Party. Moments after seizing the crown, SloMo was into a skin-curling discussion with sexual identity scholar Alan Jones on concerns about gender whisperers, lezzos and trade unions. To show no one had whispered to him at school, his ample frame, in muddied-oaf mode, was seen later on the telly charging around a paddock with a football.


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Opinion September 22, 2018

Bedridden and ignored

That was a very confronting image of Nima on the front page this week, but Australians need to be confronted with the reality of what our government is doing, in our name, on Manus and Nauru (Abdul Karim Hekmat, “I am not a ‘death meat’ …

Opinion September 15, 2018

It’s like a kind of torture

The prime minister’s recent reference to the party room as “a muppet show” insults the “Muppets” (Paul Bongiorno, “The enemies within”, September 8–14). Unlike the LNP, the “Muppets” are truly …

Opinion September 8, 2018

A blueprint for what not to do

The verbal gymnastics exhibited by politicians to justify leadership changes make interesting reading, but surely the main reason for their short terms, at least in the past decade, has been the lack of leadership attributes in those deposed; the exception …