Gerard Henderson’s Weekly Column

National cabinet: an exercise in unity minus real power

2021-03-03T09:46:12+11:00February 27th, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

The real story about Australia’s national cabinet is that no such constitutional entity exists. Australia does not have a national cabinet today and it never has had a national government in the past. In view of this, the Morrison government has done remarkably well in giving the impression of greater unity in the nation than [...]

Sneering critics underestimate ‘Scotty’ at their peril

2021-02-15T11:16:10+11:00February 13th, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

John Hyde, the one-time Liberal Party member for Moore in Perth, once told a story about the decline of morale among his colleagues during Malcolm Fraser’s third term as prime minister. As the 1983 election drew near, Fraser asked his colleagues for new ideas that the Coalition could take to the electorate. As Hyde reported, [...]

ABC Four Corners’ Downfall fails to live up to the spin

2021-02-09T14:42:38+11:00February 6th, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

It’s just over three weeks since ABC television Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour proudly tweeted that “the brilliant duo” — presenter Sarah Ferguson and producer Tony Jones — had been dispatched to the US “to cover Trump’s American carnage”. The announcement came as some surprise. For starters, on my count the ABC has three [...]

Gestures only serve to divide rather than lead to progress

2021-02-09T14:40:52+11:00January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

On ABC TV’s One Plus One on Monday, presenter Stan Grant introduced his guest Kodie Bedford with the following words: “She was a journalist, she’s a writer, she’s a storyteller – just don’t call her an Aboriginal storyteller.” Bedford’s first play Cursed! has just completed a season at the Belvoir Theatre in Sydney. Born in [...]

Left selective in showing contempt, outrage

2021-02-09T14:39:46+11:00January 16th, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

It was the incorrect answer to a politically correct question. On Wednesday, ABC Radio National Breakfast presenter Sally Sara interviewed New York-based Anti-Defamation League vice-president Greg Ehrie. The ADL is a leading anti-hate organisation, profoundly opposed to white supremacist groups and other extreme domestic ideologies. Discussion turned on the decision of Twitter and Facebook to [...]

Uncertainty the only thing certain in 2021

2021-01-04T12:28:27+11:00January 2nd, 2021|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

It’s always foolish to make new year predictions — and much the same can be said of new year resolutions. The former invariably turn into false prophecy, the latter frequently fail in the implementation stage. What can be said of 2021 fairly safely is that Australia faces its most uncertain future for seven decades. In [...]

Smelling a rat instead of optimism in 2020, year of identity crisis

2021-01-04T12:25:45+11:00December 26th, 2020|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

Whatever happened to 2020, the Year of the Rat? Which, in this time of identity consciousness, is perhaps better termed the Year of the Rat, the Mouse and other Small Rodents. Alas, what was destined to be a time of plenty fuelled by optimism became an occasion of drought, fire, flood and pandemic-initiated (toilet roll) [...]

Basic tenet of law spurned in ongoing pile-on of George Pell

2021-01-04T12:27:18+11:00December 19th, 2020|Categories: Gerard Henderson's Weekly Column|

On Wednesday night ABC Online ran this heading: “Judge in George Pell appeal case to preside over inquiry into Afghanistan war crime allegations”. The reference was to the decision by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to appoint judge Mark Weinberg QC as special inspector of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan inquiry. Now, Weinberg is one [...]