The Libs lose Wentworth, Gillian Triggs in memoir & the political class fails sexual harassment complainants
OCTOBER 27, 2018

Welcome to the best of Crikey for the week,

After last week’s series of Coalition disasters peaked with the Liberals losing the blue-ribbon seat of Wentworth, we in the bunker have done a lot of thinking about what this might mean for the major parties. But this week gave us, if not a respite, at least a slowing of calamity for the government — which gives us a chance to look around. Guy Rundle and Helen Razer both explore what the evolution of two very different public spaces tells us. Bernard Keane looks at how Australia’s political class has failed sexual harassment complainants. And Charlie Lewis reviews Gillian Triggs’ new memoir.

Let us know what you think of the stories we’ve covered this week by emailing

Scott Morrison is truly the Forrest Gump of Australian politics

GUY RUNDLE 4 minute read

The measure of ScoMo’s doltishness is that whole fiascos go through to the keeper without much attention.

Australian politics is failing on sexual harassment allegations

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Neither Barnaby Joyce nor Luke Foley should be in a position to seek high office while sexual harassment allegations, which they deny, go unresolved.

Journo’s death forces media into embarrassing retreat on Saudi prince

RUBY HAMAD 5 minute read

Since details of the Khashoggi's disappearance and death have emerged, media has been frantically backtracking on their effusive praise for the Saudi prince.

Competing media outlets team up for award-winning investigations

EMILY WATKINS 3 minute read

In Australia in recent years, there has been a trend toward cross-media investigations, and away from single-newsroom investigations.

Five seats to keep an eye on after Wentworth
The overhaul, by independent Kerryn Phelps, of a nominally very safe Liberal Party seat in Wentworth takes in many factors. A popular and high profile independent running after the popular and high profile local member had been axed by his own party and a truly disastrous week for the government leading up to the poll cannot be ignored.

But if the loss also reflects the hastening decay of trust in the major parties across the board, what does that mean for upcoming elections? — Charlie Lewis and William Bowe

After Kerryn Phelps overturned a 18% margin in Wentworth, what other seats might be under threat?

Australia is waiting for Andrew Bolt and Paul Kelly’s apology

CRIKEY 5 minute read

In this weeks tips and rumours: News Corp's anti-royal commission cheer squad should take a look in the mirror, Julie Bishop and Latika Bourke's tattered friendship, and the ABC has some trouble passing.

Is Kerryn Phelps eligible for Parliament?


Dr Kerryn Phelps' surprise victory in Wentworth may be overshadowed by a section 44 dispute.

How shopping centres came to reflect the generation gap
The first Australian shopping mall opened in 1957. Here, full male employment and ladies newly licensed to drive their new vehicles led to the development of The Chermside Drive-in Shopping Centre in Brisbane. By 1960, Myer had bought up some cattle-grazing land in south-east Melbourne and opened Chadstone, whose opening my late grandmother, then a resident of Clayton, attended. — Helen Razer

Hordes of young people, often overseas visitors, walk around Chadstone as though it’s the Viennese memory that father of the shopping mall Victor Gruen intended.

Resilience required: how and why Indigenous people use social media

DANIEL JAMES 3 minute read

The online world is a lived experience for Aboriginal people, and it has real world impacts.

Seven Facebook poll promotes Pauline Hanson’s ‘anti-white racism’ crusade

EMILY WATKINS 2 minute read

Crikey asks Channel Seven why they asked people on Facebook if they thought "anti-white racism" was on the rise.

Limelight-deprived Kevin Rudd won’t stop talking, but he has nothing to say

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

A new book and a weekend spread in The Age remind us that Kevin Rudd craves attention, but has nothing to say beyond attacking his former colleagues, because he never stood for anything

Why did Scott Morrison save Craig Kelly from preselection defeat?

CHARLIE LEWIS 5 minute read

Liberal MP Craig Kelly was close to losing his preselection, but it looks like the PM himself has intervened to save the Liberal Party's incredible gaffe machine.

Behind the scenes at Geoffrey Rush’s defamation trial

EMILY WATKINS 3 minute read

In his opening statement to a room packed with media, Rush's barrister made clear he would be seeking large damages.

Coalition energy policy: the death of neoliberalism meets rampant denialism

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The Morrison government's new coal-loving energy policy is an incoherent mass of dramatic interventionism that denies the basics of economics and science.

Time to crack down on the companies enabling Saudi Arabia’s outrages

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The Saudi regime's admission it killed Jamal Khashoggi embarrassed the Australian government into taking action. But it needs to do much more, and it can use companies who profit from their collaboration with the regime.

The fight for an old pub is the fight for civilised values

GUY RUNDLE 3 minute read

Next week will mark an important moment in the political life of Victoria: on October 31, the citizens of this proud state will find out whether they have a planning system or not.

Gillian Triggs’ book could do with a little less reason and a little more rancour

CHARLIE LEWIS 3 minute read

Gillian Triggs' new book Speaking Up aspires more to be reference text than a memoir, which is a shame.

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