Beautifully written stories on politics, social movements, photography and books

Tag John Stapleton

“Biggest cyber breach in history” as techs scramble to be heard above Omicron din

By John Stapleton: Michael West Media. Australian governments and businesses have been warned they face their greatest hacking threat yet, Apache Log4j. John Stapleton reports on Australian Cyber Security Centre warnings of possible widespread systems failure. There has always been a dystopian theory that… Continue Reading →

Christmas Day: The Nightmare of Australian Family Law. The Best of 2021.

The Family Court of Australia is finally being abolished, dissolved Into the Federal Court. There Are Very Good Reasons. The misuse of expert witnesses is a problem throughout Australia’s judicial system, but no more so than in family law. Here,… Continue Reading →

The Future History of Publishing

Since the beginning of literature technologies have shaped the written word. And thereby publishing technologies have shaped history, culture, politics and war. The adage history is written by the victors has transposed in this truly astonishing era into something else…. Continue Reading →

Sleaze And Self-interest Everywhere: Australia 2021

Pearls and Irritations Who among us, eighteen months ago, could have believed the mess this country is now in? Few can doubt Australia is at a turning point in its history. The debacle is writ large. The current Cabinet reshuffle will please… Continue Reading →

It Could Not Have Been A More Wonderful Day. The Best of 2021.

Terror in Australia: Workers’ Paradise Lost. Extract. As a young man Alex had taken every opportunity to travel. He stayed several times at a beach on Penang island known as Batu Ferringhi. In the 1970s it was little more than… Continue Reading →

The Hanging of Christian Porter. The Best of 2021.

The devolved state of journalism at the $1.2 billion Australian Broadcasting Corporation is now on full display. The current witch hunt of the nation’s Attorney General over entirely unsubstantiated claims of an alleged rape 33 years ago, when he was… Continue Reading →

The Palace of Lies Abolished: The Best of 2021.

A dark stain on the nation’s legal, social and political history is finally being removed.  Known colloquially as the Palace of Lies, the Family Court of Australia was established in the mid-1970s, at the height of the “all men are… Continue Reading →

And So Much More. The Best of 2021.

Unfolding Catastrophe: Part III. Early in the “pandemic”, or “plandemic” as sceptics were already calling it, both mainstream and independent commentators queued to attack Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose mishandling of Covid-19 was likely to be derided by historians… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Journalist John Stapleton on the Government’s COVID Response. The Best of 2021.

By Paul Gregoire: Sydney Criminal Lawyers Blog Tensions are high in the Sydney region as the population looks towards its tenth week in lockdown, without any clear understanding of when it will be coming out of the home confinement it’s… Continue Reading →

The Last Surviving Small Business in New South Wales: Village Fix. The Best of 2021.

John Stapleton. Originally published 16 September. Shellharbour is a small coastal town two hours south of Sydney. Only a few short years ago a lost in time surfing village, it is now surging ahead as young families flee the nightmare… Continue Reading →

The Carlisle Hotel: Extract from Hideout in the Apocalypse: The Best Of 2020.

Photography by Dean Sewell The Carlisle Hotel in the back streets of Newtown in Sydney’s inner-west is one of the few places left in Sydney where the wowsers have not won; an old-fashioned pub in an increasingly strictured, shuttered country. Hotels… Continue Reading →

Shearers: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Award winning photographer Russell Shakespeare explains the obsession: I’ve photographed shearers a lot over the years for a number of different publications. They’re an important and easily understood symbol for one of Australia’s most important industries; and there is a… Continue Reading →

Cockatoo Island: The Story Behind the Story

John Stapleton: The Sydney Morning Herald. It was an honour to be appear in The Sydney Morning Herald again, under a piece headlined: From the Archives, 1991. Curiously, there was a story behind this story; and of all the many… Continue Reading →

Destroying the Land of the Long Weekend: Extract Part Eight. Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia.

For Old Alex, on the cold but picturesque south coast of NSW, it was an entirely inflamed time. The Land of the Long Weekend was being destroyed. The population accepted it all as one bizarre edict after another flattened them… Continue Reading →

The Myth of Black Opal: Lightning Ridge and the Fiery Guardians of Eternal Love

The picture above was taken in 1909, at the height of the what was known as the Three Mile Rush. The bicycle polisher rigged up in the centre of this picture was being used to rub down opal. The commercial… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Part Seven: A Signal Derangement.

BY THE AUSTRALIAN autumn of 2020, following straight on from a Christmas of bushfires and extreme loss, the warning signs were clear. An uneducated public makes for easy victims. Australia of 2020 faced not only plummeting educational outcomes and a… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Extract. Part Six. The First Draft of History.

Photography by Dean Sewell. There is an old saying about journalism; it is the first draft of history. Part of the problem with the deteriorated and manipulated state of legacy media was that this noble function was now lost. As… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Part Five: A Terrible Deceit.

Paula Matthewson, senior reporter with one of the nation’s few mainstream news outlets not behind a paywall, The New Daily, wrote way back in early 2020: “If there’s one clear message to emerge from Australia’s efforts to combat COVID-19 it’s… Continue Reading →

Dark Seas. Extract: Hideout in the Apocalypse.

By John Stapleton. Photography David Sandford. The spooks were easy to spot. Most Australians couldn’t afford a new iPhone, and certainly not in that part of town. Old Alex felt decidedly unsafe, packed up the apartment, both glad to be… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Part Four: Dangerous To Us.

The first person in Australia to die with COVID was James Kwan, a 78-year-old man from Perth, on 1 March, 2020. He was a passenger on board the cruise ship Ruby Princess. The ship later became infamous as the single… Continue Reading →

The Laughing Lama

On Meeting a Buddhist Master “Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease,… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Part Three. The Greatest Mistake In History.

If the geniuses of Australian government weren’t satisfied with all the cautionary voices emerging from some of the world’s most venerable tertiary institutions, they only had to go as far as the Australian National University, to Professor Ramesh Thakur, whose… Continue Reading →

The Tragedy of Australia

By Paul Collits: UK Conservative Woman THE British historian Guy de la Bédoyère claims that ‘Australia is falling apart’. Off Guardian suggests that we are ‘going full fascist’. Daily reports in France, Russia and everywhere in between and beyond, hover between pity, amusement and disbelief. How… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. The American Podcast: The Land Down Under.

By Nick Asia. MGTOW Chats. Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia aims to dismember the political, administrative and social derangement which has overtaken Australia since the early days of 2020.   Australia’s democracy has proved virus thin. There has never been a more politicised… Continue Reading →

The Burning Ghats of Varanasi: Photography by Russell Shakespeare

People crawl across India to die in Varanasi for one reason: according to the Hindu faith if you die there, on the edge of the sacred Ganges River, you will not be reincarnated. The cycle of life, and therefore of… Continue Reading →

Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia. Speech to Forum organised by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

By John Stapleton Public servants like to talk about “evidence based policy”. Well, where is the evidence that lockdowns work? Australia’s democracy has proved virus thin. There has never been a more politicised and thereby more disastrously mismanaged disease. Eighteen… Continue Reading →

The Lie at The Heart of Hysteria. Part Two of Unfolding Catastrophe: Australia.

Photography by Dean Sewell. There in that frightened time, Old Alex had believed he was putting his best foot forward, almost as a military instruction, a belief that reason could survive, that democracy, despite all its deformities, was worth saving,… Continue Reading →

By Australia’s Mehi River

The Craft and Art of Jupuul Mari Mehi means girl in the gamilaraay dialect Miyaay. Moree is Mari and Mari means man. That is just the way whitefellas take our language and put it in their phonetic context. Because our… Continue Reading →

Sound Clown: The Music of Ian Purdie

Amazing to me, now that I’m old, is that for such an impatient person I was able to devote the thousands of hours to playing guitar that it takes to become competent on the instrument. It seemed when I was… Continue Reading →

The Triumph of Death: Bruegel The Elder

Death triumphs over the mundane. An army of skeletons raze the Earth. All life is extinguished. The background is a barren landscape in which scenes of destruction are still taking place. In the foreground, Death leads his armies from his… Continue Reading →

The Kashi Vishwanath Express: The Photography of Russell Shakespeare

Apart from walking, one of the slowest ways to travel the 794 kilometres from New Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh to Varanasi on the Ganges is the Kashi Vishwanath Express. Multi-award winning Australian news photographer Russell Shakespeare first… Continue Reading →

Sydney’s Song Before Sunrise: The Photography of Tim Ritchie

Crisis turns into salvation at every step. For Tim Ritchie it is literally true. “I am a diabetic and eight years ago my doctor told me to walk 10,000 steps a day, but even then my blood sugar levels were… Continue Reading →

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