diary September 26, 2020

Gadfly: Hock of Gibraltar

Isn’t it terrific that Fishnets Downer consistently lends his talents to the betterment of nations? According to reports, he’s signed on for a three-year gig to assist Gibraltar in free trade negotiations with Australia. In his new job, “The Knee”, as Paul Keating memorably christened the great global statesman, has to unravel the complexities of the Rock’s movements of goods and services, in and out.

letters September 26, 2020

Aged care should not be for profit

Rick Morton has done an excellent job unravelling the aged-care debacle (“The collapse of aged care”, September 12-18 and 19-25). It must be obvious by now that allowing the elderly to be cared for by people whose main aim is profit is neither...

media September 26, 2020

The media’s Covid-19 contrarians

I bought John Kehoe a coffee in 2016, when we were both in Washington, DC. Too late now for a refund, and there was, as far as I can remember, no hint of any latent Oedipal drive behind his small talk, nothing to indicate that on April 9 of this...

editorial September 26, 2020

A price is right

It’s strange to watch Ross Garnaut talk about a carbon price so many years after Tony Abbott succeeded in tearing it apart.

economy September 26, 2020

Ripping up Tony Abbott’s legacy

Tony Abbott has a lot to answer for. The former prime minister’s judgement on the national broadband network, climate and energy have led to costly and embarrassing failures. Now Scott Morrison is left to pick up the pieces – trying to reposition...

diary September 19, 2020

Gadfly: What a pity

An emotional nation has been moved by Schmo Morrison’s humanity as he fights for the freedom of citizens to cross state borders to attend funerals. Funerals and their role in salving grief over the loss of a loved one is something dear to the Coalition. Government Finance Minister and Turnbull quisling Mathias Cormann announced gutturally that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is “so cold-hearted and so harsh and so nasty”.

letters September 19, 2020

Getting back to quality care

Rick Morton’s article “The collapse of aged care (part one)” (September 12-18) identifies the late 1990s as when the system started to go pear-shaped. One major failing is when the ratio of registered nurses (RNs) to residents was abandoned in 1998...

editorial September 19, 2020

This man must be freed

We cannot print his name. We know he has been in immigration detention for seven years. We know his weight has dropped to 45 kilograms. He could die within weeks. The government’s medical contractors say his condition is critical. Their assessment is plain: “at risk of death from sudden cardiac death, organ failure, overwhelming infection or other effects of prolonged starvation”.

indigenous affairs September 19, 2020

The destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves

Here is a fact about life in Australia in 2020: the material and geographical manifestations of Aboriginal cultures developed over more than 65,000 years are being rapidly destroyed by mining companies, urban settlement, road and infrastructure...

economy September 19, 2020

The case against winding back JobKeeper

Two weeks ago, during the last sitting of the federal parliament before the budget early next month, Anthony Albanese decided it was time to take up the fight against the government on the economy. The Labor leader sensed the prime minister and his...

diary September 12, 2020

Gadfly: A law unto himself

Gadfly had the temerity to turn his back for a fortnight and on reporting back for duty discovers everything has turned to mush. It’s starkly apparent that language and ideas no longer have the same meaning and value they once did. Take the “rule of law”, for instance – a well-worn notion, beloved of lawyers, meaning judges and courts as the third arm of government are independent of the other two arms. The idea is that judges, right or wrong, have authority to make binding decisions according to law.