Daily News Review – Saturday 21 August

Each day this service is sourced by CCO from the excellent work done as ‘The Dawn Patrol’ for over a decade now by ‘BK’ at Poll Bludger. See; pollbludger.net


Inertia is the Morrison government’s personality disorder – and it keeps dawdling to destruction, says Peter Hartcher in a scathing evaluation.
Richard Denniss begins this evaluation of the PM with, “Scott Morrison has an answer for everything and a solution for nothing. Like the neoliberalism of which his party was once so proud, he is all promise and no delivery.”
“he’s always late to the rescue”, writes Paul Bongiorno in this look at Morrison’s Prime Ministership.’
In a long essay, Laura Tingle examines Australia’s longest war and what the Taliban’s return means for the region.
In this Afghanistan moment, compassion must trump political risk, urges Michelle Grattan.
Crispin Hull tells us about the lessons to be learnt from the Afghanistan war which he described as a military con.
The west’s nation-building fantasy is to blame for the mess in Afghanistan, opines Simon Jenkins.
With such a poor track record on human rights issues, Scott Morrison’s talk of fighting for freedom is pure hypocrisy, writes Peter Henning.
Karen Middleton describes the fear and retribution as the Taliban takes control after the allies’ exit from Afghanistan.
After the ignominious rout in Afghanistan, four former PMs agree that Australia must now become more self-reliant, writes Paul Kelly.
David Crowe writes that vaccinated Australians will be able to use their phones to gain exemptions to lockdown rules under a national cabinet plan to use digital records to verify vaccine status.
The AFR says that NSW will seek to lead Australia out of the lockdown era by pressuring tens of thousands of workers in western Sydney to have their first vaccination by August 30 if they want to work outside their local area.
Adam Morton tells us that a leaked document shows that national cabinet has shifted its focus from vaccinations to working out how well hospitals will cope with Covid-19 surges.
Phil Coorey writes, “State leaders who renege on the national plan to reopen the economy and continue with lockdowns and border closures will be breaching a deal with the people and should not expect ongoing Commonwealth financial support, the federal government has warned.”
Anthony Albanese has spent the past few weeks trying to neutralise issues the Coalition could turn into fear campaigns at the next election. It’s a predictable move, but is it enough, wonders Carol Johnson.
Peter van Onselen reckons a bruised Scott Morrison still could clinch the election.
Alexandra Smith and Tom Rabe report that young men in south-west Sydney who are refusing to heed lockdown laws have sparked the NSW government’s about-face on harsher restrictions, which Premier Gladys Berejiklian says is the state’s last stand against the Delta outbreak.
While tough new lockdown restrictions will help curb the spread of the Delta variant, Sydney must brace for another 10 weeks of lockdown to get the virus under control, epidemiologists say.
The Age reports that the Victorian government’s most senior ministers met on Friday evening to discuss additional restrictions including the closure of childcare centres, tightening of exercise limits and another regional lockdown.
Fergus Hunter tells us that more than 1400 police officers will be deployed to disrupt a planned anti-lockdown protest in central Sydney on Saturday and are monitoring various schemes being promoted by organisers to help people subvert the major law enforcement operation and travel to the event.
Most participants in Berejiklian’s crisis cabinet the influential group say the health advice usually prevails – and NSW is ratcheting up controls. Whether they work remains to be seen, writes Anee Davies.
Jordan Baker distils Berejiklian’s Delta response into “wealthy people calling for a tougher lockdown getting what they wanted, at no cost to them”. It really has a become a tale of two cities.
Shane Wright explains how it is women and low-income earners who are the lockdown casualties as its economic toll grows.
Pfizer vaccinations for 16 to 39-year-olds is welcome news. But AstraZeneca remains a good option, argues Catherine Bennett.
In the race to manufacture mRNA vaccines onshore, Victoria may be the most financially committed state, but South Australia has the most developed workforce and infrastructure, explains Jill Margo.
As Australia attempts to secure more Covid-19 vaccines, it is siding with major pharmaceutical companies in frustrating global efforts to introduce an intellectual property waiver that would allow generic manufacture, explains Lyndal Rowlands.
In the absence of an effective public health campaign, Facebook fibs were winning out over facts in the Central NSW town of Dubbo. But then the brutal truth became all too real, writes Greag Bearup in The Australian.
Anti-vaxxers and Covid conspiracists may seem wackier – but pandemic protest isn’t new, says Jason Wilson.
According to the SmAge, Australia has a stockpile of more than 6 million unused AstraZeneca vaccine doses and there are fears many will go to waste as people increasingly turn to the new supply of Pfizer jabs promised by the federal government.
When the former NSW auditor-general Tony Harris described a $40 billion rail corporation as a rort and a vehicle for deception, it was a reminder of the fiscal dishonesty and lack of transparency that has become endemic in state and federal politics, writes Adele Ferguson who says the NSW government, lauded as great economic managers and praised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the gold standard for its approach to managing the virus, is looking increasingly like it has feet of clay.
A legal challenge to the sports grants program has suffered a setback, after the federal court refused access to documents relating to former sports minister Bridget McKenzie’s input into $100m of grants, writes Paul Karp.
In her weekly media review, Amanda Meade tells us how News Corp fired back over the press council ruling criticising an ‘offensive’ Kamala Harris cartoon from Johannes Leak.
Mike Seccombe outlines how Morrison ministers were lobbied over the Beetaloo Basin gas mine.
Michaela Whitbourn reports that Peter Dutton and a refugee advocate he is suing for defamation have failed to resolve the dispute over a tweet during mediation, despite strong encouragement from a Federal Court judge to settle the fight outside court.
Global warming is too ‘wicked’ to just muddle our way through trumpets Ross Gittins.
Continuing with their previous contributions, Nick McKenzie and Joel Tozer take an unprecedented look inside Australia’s radical fringe shows their deep links to violent international groups, and what they’ll do if they are banned.
A controversial medical condition is being used by law enforcement around Australia to defend the use of force and to explain deaths in custody – but it has no agreed definition and may not even exist, write Royce Kurmelovs and Helen Karakulak in The Saturday Paper.
An extraordinary cache of messages sent between the West Australian Liberal Party’s key powerbrokers has revealed in ­intimate detail how they controlled and influenced the inner workings of the organisation, explains The Australian’s Paul Garvey in this unflattering exposé.
Joh Hewson mounts the case for strident welfare reform in his first regular contribution to The Saturday Paper.
When the Murugappan family were removed from their home at dawn, locals in conservative Biloela were gutted. Then the rural Queensland community learnt to crowdfund, hashtag and take to the world stage – all in the name of bringing their friends home to Bilo, writes Anne Hyland
Former SA premier Jay Weatherill writes that spending on childcare is needed now to ensure kids have the best of care.
Last week’s report by the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) shows that the prospects of achieving a ‘just transition’ to a green economy have all but disappeared, writes David Paetz.
Peter FitzSimons joins the growing throng wanting to sack Justin Langer.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says it’s independent, free of influence and stands by the integrity of its research, so who is scrubbing negative comments from the Wikipedia page of the China hawk think tank? Is it the Chinese spies, is it Winnie the Pooh? Marcus Reubenstein reports.
Derided by his flock as a “failed property tycoon” and stripped of his powers by the pope, Bishop Daniel, the head of the NSW Coptic Orthodox Church, is now the subject of a police investigation following allegations of serious fraud within the church. Obviously a candidate for “Arsehole of the Week”.

Cartoon Corner

Alan Moir

David Pope

David Rowe

Andrew Dyson

Jim Pavlidis

John Kudelka

Matt Davidson

Johannes Leak


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