editorial

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.

editorial June 30, 2018

Leave of compassion

Peter Dutton says compassion would destroy the system of offshore detention he has built. That’s his word: compassion. He says this as a man commits suicide on Nauru and his mother begs for the right to bury him. He says this as families are starved in the community and on Manus Island the fog of indecision creates what has been called the most hostile mental environment in the world.

editorial June 16, 2018

The fact of murder

We must reckon with a society that is not safe. It is a society of violence and entitlement. Our institutions have not the language or the tools to begin dismantling this. Eurydice Dixon was murdered because someone felt entitled to kill her. The horrifying randomness of the crime makes it news, but it does not change that basic fact. Society has to change the basic fact.

editorial June 23, 2018

Counting the dead

Eurydice Dixon (22), Qi Yu (28), Unnamed Woman (69), Caroline Willis (69), Unnamed Woman (46), Unnamed Woman (37), Karen Ashcroft (52)...

editorial June 9, 2018

Trickle treaty

Malcolm Turnbull has shown he lacks the spirit or imagination to offer a referendum on the consensus reached in the Uluru statement. It is perhaps the greatest single failing of his prime ministership, a tenure marked by failings and failure. His hands must be sore from sitting on them.

editorial June 2, 2018

Death of the vile

To see One Nation break apart again is to be reminded of the brokenness of racism. Pauline Hanson’s is a dried-out vision of Australia, mean and unimaginative. It is a pleasure to see it fail. It is like watching a dirt clod give in to rain. Hers is a country of racist privilege, of conspiracy theories and clapped-out ideology. It is a godsend to see it founder.

editorial May 26, 2018

Dutton’s moral twilight

Salim Kyawning was a Rohingya refugee, the 14th person to die in offshore detention. It fell to a charity to tell his family of his death. The Home Affairs office had not bothered. It put out a single line statement: “This is a matter for the PNG government.” This was the suicide of a man transformed by cruelty into a non-person. He was killed by the instruments of Australia’s border protection policy.

editorial May 19, 2018

A sheep at the wheel

Even the farmers admit it is an increment – the decision by Malcolm Turnbull’s government not to ban live exports over summer, despite evidence of the risk to animals, despite footage of mass deaths and calls from vets to end the trade.The truth is, this is an industry of undue political clout. There are economic arguments against live exports, good ones. There are obvious welfare arguments, too.

editorial May 12, 2018

The cutting wedge

What this government hates is scrutiny. That’s what these cuts are about. This is the government whose communications minister is a card-carrying member of the Institute of Public Affairs, a body that lobbies for the ABC to be privatised. It is a government that hates, deeply hates, the public broadcaster.

editorial May 5, 2018

The trials of Pell

Pell is the most senior Catholic in the world to face court over allegations of child sexual abuse. The sombre process through which he now passes will decide the outcome of those allegations. The authority of the church rests uneasily on it. The statement from the Vatican was terse, perfunctory: “Last year, the Holy Father granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations. The leave of absence is still in place.”

editorial April 28, 2018

Nelson’s new column

This week, Brendan Nelson proposed that the war memorial be used to commemorate military involvement in Australia’s campaign against asylum seekers – a war fought against innocent people. In an Anzac Day interview, Nelson said border protection was, “arguably the most important thing our military is doing with other agencies”. The public servants are in uniform. The policy is increasingly hostile and warlike. And the war memorial, that monument to blood and carnage, is waiting anxiously to commemorate the campaign.