editorial August 12, 2017

The killing of Hamed Shamshiripour

The very last picture to be taken of Hamed Shamshiripour is too distressing to publish. It looks like the scene of a lynching. In many respects, it is. Hamed’s face is held in great anguish. Blackness fills the sockets of his eyes. His shoulders hang as if responding to a question for which there is no answer. In death there is the silence that follows great trauma. This last image, this tableau of jungle and resignation, is frozen in violent stillness.

editorial August 5, 2017

Lost in the past

The right in this country is living inside a poisonous cartoon. So desperate are they to hold a contrary view, they can look at a report into widespread abuse on university campuses and instead of wronged survivors see only ideological enemies.

editorial July 22, 2017

Four years on Manus

Four years on, they’re cutting off the power and water. Inside the detention centre, men are still waiting to find out what is happening. The minister maintains everything will be resolved. These buildings will be demolished by October. “Our emotions fluctuate between despair and, occasionally, a faint flicker of hope,” Imran Mohammad wrote this week.

editorial July 29, 2017

Justice for Elijah

The death of Elijah Doughty is a signal moment. In pondering the value of a human life, the judge asked the community to do the same. He asked unintentional questions, too: Is a black life worth less than a white one? Does this country grieve the same now as if a white boy were run down on a city street?

editorial July 15, 2017

Race to the bottom

There was no surprise in Rowan Dean’s smirking editorial on Sky News, either, where he told Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane to “hop on a plane and go back to Laos”. There is something sick in the satisfaction of it. Dean’s comments were clearly prepared. He intended them.

editorial July 8, 2017

Force of Abbott

Tony Abbott never understood he was living in a contemporary society; he governed for a world that no longer existed, for a fantasy of the past. His leadership was always illusory. His default has always been treachery. That one man could do so much damage is testament to his corrosive gift for harm.

editorial July 1, 2017

Pell’s day in court

This is not a piece about guilt. A court will decide that. This is a piece about a church that is finally being forced to address accusations of child abuse where they should always have been addressed: under the law.

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 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 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.”