editorial

editorial November 10, 2018

Tactical assault

To glance at this week’s headlines was to see just how much Australian gender relations have shifted in the past year. No longer are we ignoring women’s stories – the approach is now one of control, minimisation and punishment.

editorial November 3, 2018

The dark room

When this story was published in 1973, it was as a thought experiment. The idea of perpetual suffering, forced on a child for the benefit of an otherwise benign society, of endless detention and terrible deprivation, was science fiction. And yet here we are. Even as the children are slowly pulled from Nauru, Peter Dutton defends the Omelas he has built. He refuses to accept there are humanitarian reasons for closing the camps.

editorial October 20, 2018

Prisoners’ dilemma

Psychiatrist Dr Beth O’Connor was Médecins Sans Frontières’ longest-serving mental health professional on Nauru until she left the island last month: “Held in indefinite detention and effectively in a perpetual state of limbo for the last five years, these people have been stripped of any hope for a meaningful future, resulting in shocking levels of severe depression and anxiety in the population – with many having lost the will to live.”

editorial October 27, 2018

Fair bunkum

The condescension in this video is not just to the Avrils and Colins who people Morrison’s Australia, whose bills and service records he uses as props. The condescension is to climate change and to energy policy. The price control is a fiddle: some bills will go down, others will go up. The cost to the environment is the cost of a country with no policy on climate change, willing to destroy the Earth for politics. “Renewables are great,” Morrison says, his expression unchanged, as if calibrating a polygraph. “But we’re also needing the reliable power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.”

editorial October 13, 2018

Faith palm

Asked if he were comfortable with a child being expelled from a school because of their sexuality, he said: “It’s existing law.” This is how faith works. It is a kind of surrender to that which has already been written down. In politics, it functions as a defence of that which cannot otherwise be defended – a perfect link back to the past and to the morals that resided there.

editorial October 6, 2018

Searching for justice

It’s been a year, this weekend, since The New York Times published Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abuse pattern of sexual harassment, assault and cover-up. A time before Weinstein’s abuses were known now feels like another life. And yet, in the slow push of social change, a year is nothing. Momentous events stretch time in strange ways.

editorial September 29, 2018

Aunty maimed

The chaos at the ABC this week is not simply one of personalities. It is the result of five years of concerted interference by government, of public criticism and censure. Perhaps the Coalition did not direct former chairman Justin Milne to “shoot” ABC political editor Andrew Probyn or “get rid of” chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici. They didn’t need to.

editorial September 22, 2018

Looking for justice

What would you do if a powerful figure sexually harassed or assaulted you? Who should you tell? Rounding on a year since The New Yorker and The New York Times first broke the Harvey Weinstein story, any consensus on the right answers to these questions seems a hollow possibility.

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 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.