The lead-up to Wentworth, fascism headed for Australia, the royal visit and the words of Honey Badger
OCTOBER 20, 2018

Welcome to the best of Crikey for the week,

It’s hard to imagine how the week leading up to today’s crucial byelection in Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth could have gone much worse for the government. The week opened with the government voting to endorse a phrase popularised by white supremacists — a vote that the government then immediately and incompetently walked back. It ended with yet more infighting and yet another possible leadership challenge.

Of course, dark days for the government are dark days for all of us. Guy Rundle argues the fascist violence we’ve seen across the globe is on its way here — and in that context, it’s little wonder, Helen Razer says, we fall for the foolish sentimentality of the royal visit. Elsewhere, Kate O’Halloran takes us through the hype of the AFL draft week, and Meg Watson reviews Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins’ latest ocker offering.

Have a great weekend,


Australian politics has a 1933 moment

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The Coalition's support for a racist motion from Pauline Hanson trashes its legacy of fighting fascism and signals a dark moment in Australian politics.

Enough lies. Enough of the bullshit Ordinary People act.

HELEN RAZER 4 minute read

On Monday, 28 ruling class arseholes did their Ordinary People act. I'm used to it. I am not quite so used to seeing them in their ordinary people drag while screeching racist rot.

Inexperienced, value-less Morrison is among the dark Satanic mills

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The Morrison government is coming to be characterised by misjudgement — reflecting not just a lack of experience but a lack of core values.

Large-scale fascist violence will make it to Australia soon enough
As Larissa Behrendt’s film After the Apology showed, the violence in Australia is structural and bureaucratic, the racist and genocidal practices of mass child removal continuing since the intervention. That is something far more serious than a two-line motion. Fascist violence on a mass scale will be starting across the world soon enough. It will be here some time after that. — Guy Rundle

Only Pauline Hanson’s incompetence has delayed the development of a fascist movement in Australia. But it will come.

All roads lead to Wentworth

The curtain rises on Wentworth and it should be one hell of a show

WILLIAM BOWE 3 minute read

Here's where things currently stand for key candidates Kerryn Phelps, Tim Murray and Dave Sharma.

On the hustings with Kerryn Phelps

MARGOT SAVILLE 3 minute read

If the volunteer count is anything to go by, Kerryn Phelps has it in the bag.

Phelps a warning sign that safe seats are increasingly in play

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Even if the Liberals hang on in Wentworth, they will likely face more high-profile locals in safe seats, sucking resources away from the real election battles in the marginals.

Howard and Sharma face a changing climate in Wentworth


Climate change has run up the list of priorities for voters in Wentworth. Will a hail mary appearance by John Howard secure the Libs?

Hype and heat: the rise and rise of AFL trade week

KATE O'HALLORAN 4 minute read

The AFL's much-hyped trade week ended last night, but for many fans, it's a welcome reprieve after a "failed" season.

Australia can’t afford another decade of climate inaction

CHRIS WOODS 4 minute read

Last week's IPCC report was uniquely depressing, but it was also a wake-up call. There are many ways Australia can turn this all around.

Anatomy of a fuck-up: ‘it’s OK to be white’ debacle

CHARLIE LEWIS 4 minute read

Embarrassing mistake? Terrifying attempt at dog-whistling? Both? We've broken down the timeline of the government's brush with white supremacist slogans.

Are voters likely to back micro-parties at the Victorian election?

ALANA SCHETZER 4 minute read

There are many reasons voters have backed micro-party candidates at the federal level. But will these hold up at the state level?

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Silicon Valley arrogance arrives in Australia

JASON MURPHY 4 minute read

In a talk at the Melbourne Business School this week, Hal Varian, Google's chief economist, had very few answers for the most pressing issues facing Google and its ilk.

Royal visit confirms the foolish sentimentality of our time
I just found out I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. The visiting British royal couple were kind enough to point this out and they may do the same for you. To learn if you are likable, look in Their Highnesses’ direction. Then, look at your response. If it is indifferent, hostile, irritated, queasy or short of sentimental, you are probably not a cup of tea at all. Not without a lot of sugar, or stevia — a vile herb that tastes like saccharine, but healthier and worse. — Helen Razer

Sentimentality is as it has always been: a refuge sought by many when times get uncertain and tough.

Nine-Fairfax merger documents confirm Nine’s intended prize

GLENN DYER 3 minute read

The recently released Nine-Fairfax merger scheme has put the combined value of Stan and Domain at close to $2 billion. That dwarfs the value of Fairfax's newspaper services.

The return of Joyce is the final insult to an angry electorate

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

A sixth leadership change in the Coalition since it was elected to office five years ago will be the perfect signal to voters that everything they hate about politics is true.

The Honey Badger’s sales pitch to (and for) Australia

MEG WATSON 5 minute read

Nick "Honey Badger" Cummins is facing a media storm over his time as The Bachelor, but his new book and its associated image rehab tour reveals the power and appeal of the Aussie larrikin.

How the government weaponises the ABC’s complaints process


For most media organisations, responding to complaints is a business necessity. For the ABC, it's a means by which the government can exert control.

Does Michelle Guthrie have any chance of winning her case against the ABC?

CHARLIE LEWIS 2 minute read

On Thursday afternoon, news broke that Guthrie was indeed proceeding with a claim against the ABC. Just what are her options?

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