editorial

editorial July 20, 2019

Serving justice

No dessert has entered the Australian public consciousness more aggressively than the towering croquembouche. George Calombaris called it one of the hardest challenges ever put to MasterChef contestants. Built on little more than air and sleight of hand, it foiled many an aspiring chef and seems to have inspired the Melbourne business operations of the celebrity chef’s sprawling restaurant empire.

editorial July 13, 2019

A matter of respect

The photo is red earth and a line of bodies, snaking the length of the frame. Climbers locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a desperate push to summit. They fill the surrounding campgrounds, and every motel for a hundred kilometres. Their rubbish on the roadside, their black waste dumped in the backyards of unsuspecting properties. For so long, the Anangu people have asked visitors not to climb Uluru. They never banned the practice, asking only for respect, “that, as a guest on Anangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing”. Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima.

editorial June 29, 2019

Maybe God didn’t make your penis

The defining feature of homophobia is that the people who hate you are picturing you having sex. Michael Kirby once made this point, although not as bluntly. The hatred is a kind of jealousy. The challenge of queer sex is a challenge to the notion that intimacy shared between a man and a woman is somehow special. It isn’t.

editorial July 6, 2019

Destroying Australia

And so it passes, the greatest assault on the safety net from which Australian life is built. Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are through and the revenue base that provides for health and education and social welfare is shredded. The legacy of the 46th parliament is there in its very first week: the destruction of the social compact that made this country stable.

editorial June 22, 2019

United we stand

Many at the time saw Australia’s response to the shooting down of MH17 as evidence of Tony Abbott’s potential statesmanship. History has shown it to be a triumph of Julie Bishop’s diplomacy. And it remains a vital reminder of the role organisations such as the United Nations can, and should, still play in our grand bargain.

editorial June 15, 2019

Setting the record straight

The first missive from Sally McManus was brief. So veiled in its construction, the statement obscured the deeper issue with Setka. And in pushing to expel the union boss from the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese skirted the detail entirely.

editorial June 8, 2019

Getting to the truth

It is important to remember that these stories did not risk national security. They invited criticism, not danger. The raids on the ABC and the home of a News Corp reporter were about government embarrassment.

editorial June 1, 2019

Women at risk

The ritual has a familiar shape by now. Four women killed in Melbourne, four public deaths in less than a year. Eurydice Dixon, Aya Maasarwe, Natalina Angok and Courtney Herron. With each there was a shading in of the question of vulnerability – of the violence faced by women of colour, and international students, and the twin complications of addiction and homelessness. But all four of these women were killed by men.

editorial May 25, 2019

Pipe dreams

The Australian Dream was once a home you owned with a car in the driveway. It was the existence promised by Robert Menzies. The basic aspiration was for comfort, a place in the community, a sense of security. Very quietly, John Howard updated that vision. The houses became McMansions. The aspirations became exceptional.

editorial May 18, 2019

Time to choose

Both leaders have attempted to cloak themselves in the charisma of their predecessors in this campaign. Scott Morrison with Menzies, then Howard. Bill Shorten first with Keating, now Whitlam. Neither has managed to breathe life into the public imagination in the way these leaders did. The way Bob Hawke, who passed away on Thursday, was able to do so effortlessly – with his extroversion and his boundless energy.

editorial May 11, 2019

Equal measures

In rebuking The Daily Telegraph’s editorial about his mother, Ann, Bill Shorten conjured a rare moment in Australian politics. He said: “My mum would want me to say to older women in Australia that just because you’ve got grey hair, just because you didn’t go to a special private school, just because you don’t go to the right clubs, just because you’re not part of some backslapping boys’ club doesn’t mean you should give up.” It is not rare, of course, for male politicians to relate the discriminations faced by women to their own families, to flatten to the personal: I wouldn’t want this to happen to my daughter/my wife/my mother. The test for Shorten, if elected, is how broadly his empathy can be cast.