Gadfly: Very pressing matters

Richard Ackland
Gadfly found himself on a V/Line train speeding from Melbourne to Bendigo for an appointment organised by the regional community legal centres to appear at a huge press freedom jamboree at the town hall. And what a turnout – with 300 of the region’s finest packing the gilded room to get insights...

Examining the second draft of religion bill

Kieran Pender
Five years after George Brandis declared ‘people have the right to be bigots’, the government wants that proposition enshrined in law.

Gadfly: Donation building

Richard Ackland
Schmo Morrison was in full marketing-man mode as he batted away accusations against forgetful Comrade Gladys Liu. Membership of a strange Chinese state propaganda machine; squillions of dollars raised at great fundraising feasts; agitation to amend the foreign investment regime so Chinese business...

Gadfly: Reinventing their spiel

Richard Ackland
“Cry Freedom” echoes through the wide, brown land as reptiles and hacks try to throw off the shackles of oppression. Some of them have been, or still are, Moloch employees whose newspapers cheered on the slate of overwrought post-September 11 national security laws that bit by bit tightened the...

Gadfly: Laying it on sick

Richard Ackland
There’s so much that can make people physically sick. Army wallah and boonies Nasty Party senator Linda Reynolds told ABC viewers she was “almost physically ill” when the medivac legislation was passed by parliament. After all, it was Muslims who were on the attack in Bali, if you follow her drift...

Gadfly: The ABC of equality

Richard Ackland
What is journalism? It’s a question hacks throughout the dry and cracked land ask themselves not infrequently – hoping an answer will arrive. Fortunately, Gaven Morris, the director of Aunty ABC’s news, analysis and investigations department, gave us a clue in his Tuesday memo to the troops.

Gadfly: Otto asphyxiation

Richard Ackland

The theme for this week is “Fear”. Let’s start on Monday night when Tasmanian senator Otto Abetz appeared in the lounge rooms of the nation on the ABC’s Q&A show. Otto invariably looks and sounds as if he’s eaten a live animal and there he was crunching on a mouthful of bones as he...

Gadfly: Counting the cursed

Richard Ackland
It’s wonderful to see British high commissioner Bookshelves Brandis back in business, making policy announcements in London on behalf of the government in Canberra. It looks like he was first out of the blocks with the proclamation that refugee children on the gulag of Nauru will be moved out of...

Gadfly: Watch this face

Richard Ackland
Bookshelves Brandis signed off on his stellar ministerial career with the observation that he was particularly proud of his espionage, secrecy and foreign interference legislation. Never mind that his original clunky version was significantly reworked and substantially different laws recently...

Gadfly: Diary of a made man

Richard Ackland

The latest instalment of The Spectator Australia has some absolutely crackerjack items. You’ll probably never buy the magazine, as very few do, so Gadfly is here to do the heavy lifting for you. Bookshelves Brandis has a diary item about his meeting with Brenda, aka HM The Queen. He...

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