editorial

editorial November 9, 2019

Everything is not okay

Labor’s campaign was flawed but its policies were right. Its failure came in acknowledging that the country needs to change. More than anything, Australians want a prime minister who covers for their shortcomings – who says not to worry, and that most of you will be okay.

editorial November 2, 2019

The lie of resistance

In the ad, James McGrath says the Voice to Parliament is an attempt to “divide Australia … on the basis of race”. The Queensland senator maintains the lie that the Uluru Statement from the Heart proposes “a special chamber or a special voice”. He says: “We’re all equal, we’re all the same. This is just nuts.” The lie is not much different from the one Malcolm Turnbull told when he first rejected the proposal, or from the line Scott Morrison has run since.

editorial October 26, 2019

Moot caught

Perhaps a better question is why is the Energy minister writing to a lord mayor about her air travel? Is this the state of climate policy in Australia – a schoolboy snipe about planes, using grotesquely distorted figures? You might ask where he gets the time, except it is obvious: he isn’t doing anything else. His portfolio is a joke to him, and his days are empty of responsibility. The climate changes without Angus Taylor.

editorial October 19, 2019

Voyage to disaster

No one saw it coming, though the signs were there. They stacked up quietly, covered only on the business pages and the financial cable news shows with their meagre viewerships. Mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy; house prices beginning to slip. Then, everything went quickly. And when Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008 – bloated with debt – the firm dragged the sharemarket down with it.

editorial October 12, 2019

The untold joke

At best, larrikinism is a cover for the worst aspects of the Australian character. It excuses poor behaviour and indulges second-rate talent. It is a particular kind of unseriousness that avoids difficult questions and laughs at those who try to ask them.

editorial October 5, 2019

Failure to govern

It is a dangerous thing, a government that refuses to govern. So much of the apparatus of governing is dedicated to the appearance of action: doorstops, press conferences, site visits, overseas trips and speeches; committees and estimates hearings; inquiries and royal commissions. It is easy to see all of this general busyness and mistake it for the doing of something. With some political sleight of hand, though, it can easily come to naught.

editorial September 28, 2019

Bully mammoths

In America, they’re already apologising. A spokesperson for Fox News said comments broadcast by the network were “disgraceful”. Earlier, a guest had called Greta Thunberg a “mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left”. In Australia, it doesn’t matter. The Murdoch press ridicules Thunberg’s age and mental health. They express anger at her for telling the truth.

editorial September 21, 2019

Hanson law review

No one could accuse Pauline Hanson of being a fair-weather critic of the Family Court. For the past 20 years, she has agitated for an inquiry into family law. This week, finally, she got her wish. In her parliamentary career, Hanson has never attempted to hide her views about this system: she considers it stacked against men.

editorial September 14, 2019

Warming to prayer

This is what happens when your chief climate policy is prayer. Rainforests burn in the spring. Bushfires rage in two states before it is even summer. Rivers are silted with dead fish. Drought wrecks the inland.

editorial September 7, 2019

Press under fire

Scott Morrison says his government’s commitment to press freedom is absolute. On Thursday, after the federal police raided the Canberra home of Australian Signals Directorate employee Cameron Gill, the prime minister was defiant. “We are absolutely committed to press freedom,” he said, “and we are also absolutely committed to every Australian being subject to the rule of law.” But a government committed to freedom of the press doesn’t raid the homes of journalists.

editorial August 31, 2019

Inhuman shield

Announcing the Religious Discrimination Act at Sydney’s Great Synagogue on Thursday, Attorney-General Christian Porter was at pains to stress the bill “does not create a positive right to freedom of religion” … There is no doubt this bill exists almost solely as a counter to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia – a balancing of the scales, of sorts, an offering to those who fear the advancement of LGBTQIA rights will threaten their freedom.