Category: Quadrant

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Run the Numbers, Survey the Folly

As of May 22, Australia had suffered 7,088 cases of COVID-19 and 102 people who died with the virus, the majority were males between 70 and 89. A sizeable proportion of those admitted to hospitals’ intensive care unitss were suffering from comorbidity issues such as cardiac disease and diabetes. Australia’s

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‘Brideshead Revisited’ Revisited

On May 28, 1945, Evelyn Waugh wrote in his diary, “Day of publication of Brideshead. A charming letter from Desmond MacCarthy this morning promising to review it in the Sunday Times.” Seventy-five years ago today. This promising note from MacCarthy, the doyen of reviewers, the brilliant, elegant eminent man of

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George Pell and the Business of Lying

The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse has a list of achievements. It has terrified individuals and institutions, prompted policy and legal reforms and removed the responsibility for investigating allegations of child abuse from institutions, whose instincts have too often favoured protecting their reputations. It has made child-sex crimes vivid

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Our Season of Docile Compliance

Does anyone feel like me? More aggrieved and irritated at the behaviour and demeanour of politicians loosening restrictions than when they were imposing them. ‘We in our magnificence deign that you can now congregate in larger groups than two, five, or ten, provided you remain distant from each other, constantly

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The English Curriculum’s Comorbidity

Australian schools are coming out of shut-down, where for many weeks they have been sheltering from the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period the internet has proven of great value by allowing teachers to continue interacting with their students remotely, talking, listening and exchanging documents via computer. One effect has been

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The Disgrace of Brave Men Denied

Why is the government refusing to listen to the recommendation of its own inquiry for a Victoria Cross for Teddy Sheean? If you want “evidence of manifest injustice” – what Defence says was not evident — then what do we call a WWII system that processed applications for RAN bravery

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A Societal Cytokine Storm

The longer shutdowns continue, the greater the risk that the post COVID-19 world will be dangerous and unstable. We are not simply talking about the external challenge by China to a weakened West. We could be facing an unprecedented destabilization of civil society. Democratically elected governments have assumed the kind

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A Closer Look at Those Pell Redactions

  It was easy, at least intellectually, to defend Cardinal George Pell in the face of the ludicrous criminal child-abuse charges he faced and which have now been so decisively dismissed by the High Court. However, when the un-redacted final three reports, formerly suppressed, of the Royal Commission into the Response

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Prepare for an Orgy of Back-Patting

Has there ever been a more ill-informed, recklessly destructive example of public policy in the history of mankind than the Great Lockdown? Well, of course there has. Mao’s Great Leap Forward cost tens of millions of lives. Stalin’s Great Purge cost a million lives or thereabouts. So, there it is,

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Kommissar of All the Kiwis

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has joined Australia’s National Cabinet to contribute to the COVIS-19 response, Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying he was delighted to invite his New Zealand counterpart to attend the meeting with all Australian states, territory premiers and chief ministers.[1] Curiously, Mr Morrison suggested to Ms

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