editorial June 24, 2017

Time to look within

Saturday marks the close of Australia’s Refugee Week. A week that began just days after our government expensively settled a class action on detention of refugees and that ends today with debate about the government’s proposed changes to citizenship law.

editorial June 17, 2017

Cowardly motives

Dutton characterises his decisions as brave. But there is nothing brave about the government’s decision to settle. It is the cowardice of tyranny. The cost was immaterial: $70 million to keep a shroud pulled over camps that cost the government $3 billion a year to maintain.

editorial June 3, 2017

The strength of the Fosters

Last year, the Fosters travelled to Rome to confront Pell as the cardinal gave evidence to the royal commission. Anthony Foster held Pell’s hand and told him he was a broken man. He held a picture of his daughters as children and said to the world’s media: “These are my girls. A Catholic priest was raping them when this photo was taken. This was my perfect family. We created that. The Catholic Church destroyed it.”

editorial June 10, 2017

Gautam boys

The support of both governments for the Adani coalmine project is pathological. It speaks of the sickness at the heart of our politics. This is not about the meagre jobs the mine might create. It is about punishing the environment as if it were an enemy.

editorial May 27, 2017

Tinfoil witch trials

This is a defence of the ABC. It is a defence against a government with no apparent respect for the independence of one of this country’s most important institutions. It is a defence against the thuggishness of a minister such as Peter Dutton and the madness of a senator such as John Williams, against the blackmail and conspiracies that define politicians’ relationships with the national broadcaster.

editorial May 20, 2017

Deliberate injustice

These documents make concrete what has long seemed likely: that the human rights abuses suffered by refugees on Manus Island are deliberate. The horror of these camps is no accident. This is calculated, cynical, cruel. A report by the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, was released this week and makes much the same point.

editorial May 13, 2017

Running race

You cannot make an ad with the slogan “Australians First” and not be dog-whistling at racist anxiety. Irrespective of who was cast in it and who saw it before it was screened, this was its intention. This racist anxiety was the only reason it was made.

editorial May 6, 2017

Press ganged

A strike such as the one at Fairfax is an expression of horror at a company taking itself apart. Similar, less publicised, redundancy rounds are happening at News Corp. Journalism is in serious danger. The newsrooms of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have shrunk beyond recognition. Good work is done in those newsrooms, but that work is imperilled by these cuts. Something radical must be done.

editorial April 29, 2017

The farce post

Sometimes it comes as numb disgust. There is not much more one can feel when this industry betrays itself, when journalism so forgets its purpose and treats a life as a game. Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a person of thoughtful integrity. She approaches life from a place of deeply felt humanity. She has given herself to making the world a better place.

editorial April 22, 2017

Citizen cane

As ever, it was Peter Dutton whose language made clear the government’s purpose. Immediately, as changes were announced to citizenship, he was talking about migrants “contributing and not leading a life on welfare”. Migrants had to prove “they haven’t been perpetrators of domestic violence or whatever the case might be”.

editorial April 15, 2017

Life and debt

It’s almost as if Centrelink set out to design the worst system possible. It’s as if the department worked at finding the most vindictive and imprecise arrangements through which to pursue the people it is supposed to serve, then put out a tender to see if they could be made more cruel.