The nature of power, Pauline Hanson's biography, the squabbling of former PMs, 12 Rules for Life and more
OCTOBER 6, 2018

Welcome to the best of Crikey for the week.

After two months of chaos in Canberra and at Ultimo, things calmed a little this week — the public squabbles of a depressing number of former prime ministers notwithstanding — and Crikey gleefully took advantage of the chance to take a look around. Accordingly, Helen Razer spent a (dreadful) week following Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life, and Kate O’Halloran considered whether a backlash against women’s sport is just the price of progress. Elsewhere, Bernard Keane looks at the nature of power, and Charlie Lewis reviews a savage new biography of Pauline Hanson.

As ever, let us know what you think of the stories we’ve covered this week by sending an email to boss at

Have a great weekend,


The best form of welfare for an ex-prime minister is a job


Our ex-prime ministers should take the advice many of them gave while in office — get a job.

Bracing for the backlash to women’s sport

KATE O'HALLORAN 4 minute read

Despite its successes, the AFLW is in the midst of a wave of ugly backlash and controversy. The attacks are dispiriting and unjust, but is this just the price of progress?

Helen Razer spent a week living by Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life
Monday afternoon: I Treated Myself Like Someone I Was Responsible for Helping, per rule two. Leaving aside my concerns about this wanton reversal of The Golden Rule, I didn’t find this of much use. I am really not much chop as a caregiver, a fact to which the parents of Little Brynlee can attest. While this four-year-old was in my care, I told her that “Princess is not a real job, get some realistic goals” and forgot to feed her, so she was returned from an afternoon of babysitting screaming. — Helen Razer

By Tuesday, she was wishing for death.

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Real power isn’t about powerful individuals

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

If there's anything we should take from the banking royal commission, it's that lists of the powerful shed little light on how power is really wielded, and even distract from focusing on the systems that channel corporate power.

News Corp’s ‘brutal’ job cuts at The Weekly Times come after chaotic year

EMILY WATKINS 3 minute read

The Weekly Times, one of the most widely read agricultural newspapers in the country, was already suffering internal strife when News Corp's cuts began.

The Liberals are looking to Indiana on religious freedom. They shouldn’t.
Indiana is the Bethlehem of religious freedom. In 2015, then-governor Mike Pence advocated for and signed into law legislation that allowed individuals and businesses to use their religious beliefs to deny service to, primarily, LGBTIQ people — but also religious and racial minorities. — Conrad Liveris

Crikey visits Indiana, the blue print for Philip Ruddock’s review into “religious freedom”, and concludes we should all be mighty worried about it.

Pauline Hanson book succumbs to its own depthless loathing

CHARLIE LEWIS 3 minute read

For the most part a brisk and entertaining read, Hoodwinked eventually falls apart.

Tony Abbott chased out of everywhere

CRIKEY 5 minute read

This week's tips and rumours: The calamities facing Tony Abbott, advance Australia unfair, and David Feeney finds a home.

Australians set to become guinea pigs for worldwide war on privacy

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

Australians are ripe for targeting in the war on encryption because we have no human rights or privacy protections and no effective oversight of security agencies.

Queensland man detained for over 40 years beyond sentence

GREG BARNS 4 minute read

Evidence was ignored in the case of a Queensland man seeking the lifting of an indefinite detention order.

Is The Australian gearing up for a Holy War on Kirstin Ferguson?

EMILY WATKINS 3 minute read

If the last few days are anything to go by, the ABC's acting chair, Kirstin Ferguson, may find herself the subject of one of The Australian's infamous Holy Wars.

The Bachelor’s shock finale was a horrifying satire of dating in 2018

CLEM BASTOW 3 minute read

Honey Badger-types are everywhere on the human supermarket conveyor belt of Tinder. For once, the show delivered something amazingly genuine.

Who is the new race discrimination commissioner, Chin Leong Tan?


Chin Leong Tan, a former property lawyer and multicultural sector leader, is a departure from his outspoken predecessor, and seems reluctant to take a stand on racism.

The coalition take out the trash
In the lead-up to the weekend’s AFL and NRL grand finals, and coinciding with the banking royal commission’s interim report, the Department of Environment and Energy released a quarterly emissions report demonstrating a 1.3% annual increase to March 2018. For critics, the timing is suspicious. Just last week, the Climate Council were calling out the government’s six-month delay and, pointing to other releases timed around Christmas Eve, acting CEO Dr Martin Rice painted Friday’s report as a “cynical attempt to avoid scrutiny”. — Chris Woods

The report, released while everyone was preoccupied with AFL and NRL, marks Australia’s 15th quarter of consecutive increased annual emissions.

The ABC and SBS boards cannot continue like this

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Former members of the ABC and SBS board nomination panel have shown why the whole process now has no credibility.

Can Cricket Australia’s new CEO rebuild trust in the sport?

CHARLIE LEWIS 3 minute read

New Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts wants to rebuild trust in the organisation. If the last year is anything to go by, he has his work cut out for him.

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