Crikey long reads

Josh Taylor, journalist

Operation London Bridge: the secret plan for the days after the Queen’s death” by Sam Knight in The Guardian

“Her eyes will be closed and Charles will be king. His siblings will kiss his hands. The first official to deal with the news will be Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s private secretary, a former diplomat who was given a second knighthood in 2014, in part for planning her succession. Geidt will contact the prime minister. The last time a British monarch died, 65 years ago, the demise of George VI was conveyed in a code word, ‘Hyde Park Corner’, to Buckingham Palace, to prevent switchboard operators from finding out. For Elizabeth II, the plan for what happens next is known as ‘London Bridge.'”

Cass Knowlton, editor

A court’s decision in a Maine labor dispute hinged on the absence of an Oxford comma” by Thu-Huong Ha in Quartz

“A Maine court ruling in a case about overtime pay and dairy delivery didn’t come down to trucks, milk, or money. Instead, it hinged on one missing comma … The profoundly nerdy ruling is also a win for anyone who dogmatically defends the serial comma … The debate over the serial comma has long raged and remains unresolved. Proponents of its use (like Quartz, which breaks with the AP Stylebook on this vital matter) say that, when listing things in writing, a comma before the last item is paramount.”

Bernard Keane, politics editor

Who stopped McCarthy?” by Sam Tanehaus in The Atlantic

“McCarthy was dangerous — ‘no bolder seditionist ever moved among us,’ Richard H. Rovere wrote in his classic Senator Joe McCarthy—but much of the country was with him because he embodied, however boorishly, the forces of change. The Democrats had won every presidential election since 1932, and for much of that time had also enjoyed lopsided majorities in Congress. One party alone seemed responsible for the new postwar order, its failures as well as its successes, at a time of grand transformation for the country …”

Charlie Lewis, journalist

‘I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy’” by Chloe Coleman in The Washington Post 

“Officially, former Polish press photojournalist Henryk Ross was forced to work by the Nazi regime as a bureaucratic photographer for the Jewish Administration’s statistics department. He took photographs for Jewish identification cards, as well as images used as propaganda for the Lodz Ghetto. Ross, a Jew, was one of at least 160,000 people held in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland, second only to the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Europe.”

Sally Whyte, deputy editor

Into the fury: this year’s AFL season launch film” directed by Peter Dickson on

“Titled Into the Fury, the nearly-13-minute film is written in three acts and chronicles the Western Bulldogs’ history of heartache – including the threat of merger, loss after loss in big games and early last season, the serious knee injury to captain Bob Murphy – through to their 2016 premiership triumph over Sydney.” 

Dan Wood, subeditor

How 4Chan’s worst trolls pulled off the heist of the century” by Mack Lamoureux in Vice

“In the latest act of the universe proving to us that we are nothing but side characters living within a poorly written movie, 4Chan just pulled off one of the most impressive, and pointless, internet heists of all time … Sometimes bad people do impressive things — we can, at times, appreciate the work while despising the people  (cough, cough, Woody Allen cough, cough).”

Emily Watkins, media reporter

A town under trial” by Nick Tabor in Oxford American

“At twenty-six, the owner, Tammy Papler, was shrewd beyond her years. She had picked the location for the ready-made customer base in Fort Campbell, and for the pool of potential workers: soldiers’ wives, ex-wives, and girlfriends, as well as women who had recently been discharged, most of them far from their families and without safety nets. She wore her hair in a fluffy blond permanent and took the pseudonym Mercedes. Some of her employees feared her temper.” 

Helen Razer, contributor

“Looking where the light is” by Frederik deBoer in Current Affairs

“The left has almost no political power, but it has cultural power, so it obsesses over cultural spaces … The stock reply, always, is ‘we can do both’ – that there is world enough and time to punch Richard Spencer, crank out a few memes, and then go stuff envelopes for the local tenant’s union. I have no doubt that many of the people who spend a great deal of their attention on issues of dubious connection to the broader effort for social justice go out into the real world and do the work. But I want to trouble this contention that we can do both. I always want to ask not if we can do both but if we are doing both. “


Peter Fray

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