editorial

editorial September 15, 2018

News agency

It’s not just the Herald Sun. It’s a media that is fragile and defensive, built on unquestioned values. It’s the uncomfortable realisation that we can be wrong – that the ethics we hold dear as journalists were honed in rooms of men, drawn from the same class, the same race, the same schools.

editorial September 8, 2018

Gender troubles

Scott Morrison governs in the assured first person. His curiosity ends at the limits of his own experience. He speaks as a man whose imagination reaches as far as Kurnell. Like John Howard, he believes leading the country is the same as organising a barbecue. He speaks “as a parent”. For complex questions, he forms a quorum: “Jenny and I.” He defers to his faith. He rules in his own image.

editorial August 25, 2018

Enter the void

It is not that the system fails to attract talent; it is that it seems to preclude it. If anything is to change, people from outside the machine need to run for parliament. People reading this need to run for parliament, people without patronage or preening expectation. People need to stand not out of self-interest but out of concern for the country in which they live. Our politics can no longer survive its own emptiness.

editorial September 1, 2018

Winning ugly

The one constant in politics – holding power – has been cast aside. With it go the orthodoxies of logic and reason. This is about ideology. This is about giving up on the country, on what it wants, because a stubborn few cannot give up on coal and traditional values. The Coalition would sooner forsake electoral success than reckon with the realities of climate science or engage with the leadership asked for by multiculturalism.

editorial August 18, 2018

100 women

There is a tendency in Australia to look at our history as a measured march towards some inevitable, fairer ideal. To indulge in the magical thinking that things just get better. The reality is that every step of progress in this country has been fought for, tooth and nail, and despite history’s affinity for rendering their leadership invisible, it has been disadvantaged minority communities that have started these movements for change.

editorial August 11, 2018

Australians all let us rue Joyce

That is the problem with Joyce: the politics never elevates above the schoolyard. He is a child and he is indulged by a system built for childish men. The bell he complains of is the one that asks him to vote on legislations, the one that encourages him to do his job. Urges call to him but duty is not one of them. Politics as Joyce describes it is without responsibility.

editorial August 4, 2018

Voice and ears and heart

Dimly, against the shuffling of papers, the Voice can be heard again. In a 165-page report, an interim document, the joint select committee on constitutional recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has resurrected what the prime minister has already once killed. This is a moment of national import. It is a second chance.

editorial July 28, 2018

Fairfax to middling

Journalism depends on diversity. It is too expensive a craft for a single company to do it alone. The merger of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment imperils hundreds of jobs. It also weakens our democracy. Our media is in terrible strife. The government is untroubled by this. Indeed, it has encouraged it. The reason for this is simple: The less the public knows, the better it is for politicians.

editorial July 21, 2018

Gang of fear

Christopher Pyne doesn’t understand the question. That’s the point of a dog whistle: not everyone can hear it. A journalist asks if he is afraid to go out to restaurants in Melbourne, and he looks confused. “No. Why?” He looks the other way, laughs. “Should I be?” The journalist explains that the prime minister has repeated this claim, first made by Peter Dutton, that people fear going out to dinner in Victoria.

editorial July 14, 2018

Bad eggs, Latham

On Twitter he is “Real Mark Latham”, as if the rest of the time it was an act. Unmasked, he is a Rivers catalogue of cruel misogyny and transphobic venom, a man who wears wraparound sunglasses and believes brown is colourful. He mocks schoolchildren and working mothers, disbelieves psychiatry and demands that everyone speak English. Mark Latham is a gout on our politics. But the whole Falstaffian body is set with pox. It is a picture of sad urges and failing organs. Its ills trace back to men such as Mark, to the basement out of which he now broadcasts, but they do not end there.

editorial July 7, 2018

Razing a voice

Mick Dodson says it was a door slammed. He says Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was “deplorable”. Speaking at the National Press Club this week, he said Turnbull was guilty of “a gross distortion of what was said at Uluru and it’s shameful that it’s come from the head of the country, the person elected to lead the country”. This distortion was done by press release. The greatest consensus ever reached in Indigenous politics was dismissed by email.