Will anything stay the same?
JULY 18, 2020

Will nothing be left unchanged by COVID-19? It is starting to look like the answer is pretty well no, not much.

As the nation tries to cope with clusters and outbreaks, Crikey has been looking at some of the deeper effects of the pandemic, collected here for your weekend reading. We have Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer on the surge in household cash hoarding, Kishor Napier-Raman on what the plight of the University of New South Wales means for the education sector, and Gina Rushton on the “shadow pandemic” of birth complications arising from global lockdowns.

Outside of COVID-19, the week has been a fascinating study in historical perspective. Just what do the Palace Letters reveal about the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975? Guy Rundle has taken a lengthy stab at answering. Also taking a look back (to look forward), social commentator Eva Cox has revisited her 1995 Boyer Lecture series about creating a more civil society. In the time of COVID-19, her writing still rings true.

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Have a great weekend,

Peter Fray
Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

Consumers go to the mattresses: household cash hoarding surges

GLENN DYER and BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Consumers are resorting to an old-fashioned form of economic protection — hoarding cash in the event the worst happens.

Maternal death, teenage pregnancy and unsafe abortion: the ‘shadow pandemic’ following the outbreak

GINA RUSHTON 3 minute read

Reproductive health and abortion providers say they are preparing for a 'shadow pandemic' following a wave of unintended pregnancies during the world's lockdowns.

The way we work is changing forever. Bring on the three-day weekend

JASON MURPHY 4 minute read

Hours worked in Australia have been trending downwards some time. And that was before the coronavirus hit. Is a four-day working week becoming more and more likely?

The Palace Letters

Yes, the Queen did have a hand in the Dismissal

GUY RUNDLE 8 minute read

If you can't see the palace played politics you're fooling yourself — or trying to fool others .

The PM, the spy and the governor-general: what John Kerr didn’t tell the palace

GUY RUNDLE 9 minute read

The Palace Letters fill out perfectly the ongoing mystery of John Kerr's true mission: the preservation of the US intelligence apparatus in Australia

What UNSW’s job cuts mean for the higher education sector


The University of NSW says it has to cut nearly 500 jobs to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus response. Will other universities follow?

We could be in for a long recession as jobs market succumbs to a virus

BERNARD KEANE and GLENN DYER 3 minute read

The economy was struggling even before Melbourne had to shut down again and the pain has extended across most sectors.

The curious case of the bonking security guard


All these 'rumours and reports' are giving us more villains than we really need.

Can economics create trustworthiness? The importance of good social capital in times of crisis

EVA COX 5 minute read

Western governments are repeating the mistakes of the past. As economic crises worsen, we need investment in social capital to increase trust and well-being.

It’s time to talk about the worst-case scenario
That should remind us that there is no 'obvious' way to deal with this virus. Anything that looks 'obvious' is simply the assumptions of a given culture, clearing their throat and making themselves heard. We are looking for certainties out of the need for certainties, and then attaching them to a situation which offers none. — Guy Rundle

No one wants to be Chicken Little. But, with no ‘obvious’ way out of the pandemic, we need to consider even the uncomfortable information.

‘Our trust was betrayed’: John Menadue, Whitlam’s top bureaucrat, calls out the palace

JOHN MENADUE 2 minute read

The ruling class abused its power, deliberately deceiving an elected prime minister.

For some, the pandemic has made it harder to get out of Australia than in

AMBER SCHULTZ 4 minute read

The coronavirus lockdown makes getting into the country almost impossible. But getting out is no easy feat either.

Cancel the dance of the disgruntled before someone really does break a leg

MICHAEL BRADLEY 4 minute read

Cancel culture is leading to patently bizarre outcomes for the arts and media, regardless of who is 'right'.

The politics of the pandemic are yet to begin

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

History suggests it is only once the pandemic is over and the government has to deal with the recession that voters will pass judgement on its handling.

Woolworths under the pump again for dodgy pokies practices

STEPHEN MAYNE 3 minute read

Woolworth's management has consistently said there is nothing wrong with this side of its business. It's time it changed its mind.

Print plants close as News tabloids go the full bastard


As News Corp closes down more printing presses, it threatens to lock out new players.