editorial December 19, 2020
The quality that makes Scott Morrison uniquely equipped to lead Australia in 2021 is his preternatural inability to feel shame. There were hints of this early on – in the treasurer who held aloft a lump of coal in parliament, the Immigration minister with an almost absurd commitment to the phrase “on-water matters” – but since his elevation to the prime ministership, it has become the defining feature of his government.
editorial December 12, 2020
What made Mungo MacCallum special, one of the things, was that for all the bewilderment and dismay he felt looking at politics he never lost his sense of clarity. If John Howard was the most effective politician of the past two decades, Mungo’s preferred description of him was the most enduring: “an unflushable turd”.
editorial December 5, 2020
Australia faces an inevitable crisis, led by a government that couldn’t be less capable of its handling. It wasn’t impossible to plan for this moment. As its power grew, China was always going to chafe against the presence of Australia, the United States’ most loyal ally, in Asia.
editorial November 14, 2020
It is striking that this week, NAIDOC Week, the most substantial government discussion of Indigenous rights was the New South Wales premier proposing we change the word “young” to “one” in the national anthem, as if the legacy of colonial theft could be solved in half-rhymes.
editorial October 31, 2020
“We need to be proud today,” Premier Daniel Andrews told Victorians as he announced an end to 111 days of lockdown. But there were no celebrations at the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy, where for more than two years, those camped at the site have peacefully guarded hundreds of sacred trees and protested their planned destruction. On Monday, as the premier spoke, one of these trees was felled to make way for the expansion of the Western Highway.
editorial October 24, 2020
The Australians had seven prisoners. Afghans, captured during a drug raid in the country’s war-torn Helmand province; hogtied, hands bound behind their backs. Their mission complete, the soldiers were awaiting a United States aircraft to pick them up. What happened next remains unproved, but the recollection of one US soldier is chilling.
editorial October 17, 2020
Imagine a federal minister who has a stake in a company alongside other members of his family. Imagine that company is accused of illegally poisoning more than 28 hectares of critically endangered grassland. Imagine the minister talks to senior officials in the office of the future treasurer.
editorial October 10, 2020
On climate policy, the evidence is clear: ambition isn’t dictated by size, density, population or wealth. It comes down to one factor – how willing a government is to accept that rapid action is needed to avert catastrophic climate change. For nearly a decade, Australia’s government has been allergic to this fact.