editorial April 21, 2018

Time warped

It is important, though, to remember Hunt’s ministry – his responsibilities to health. It is as health minister that Hunt refuses to condemn gay conversion therapy. It is as health minister that he pretends the torment of young queer people in the name of religious doctrine is a freedom of speech issue. In other countries, this kind of psychological abuse is illegal. In Australia, the health minister entertains it on national radio.

editorial April 14, 2018

Hateful numbers

This is a story about Peter Dutton’s willingness to use race to advance his leadership ambitions. Just as Abbott made his first challenge to Turnbull’s leadership on climate change – letting it be known he thought the science was “absolute crap” – Dutton is making a pitch based on his willingness to exploit this country’s racism. The choice is between a man who calls multiculturalism Australia’s greatest success and another who calls refugees paedophiles.

editorial March 31, 2018

Race chasing

So Tony Abbott thinks Australia would be better if it were built in Pauline Hanson’s image. He thinks the Liberals should do preference deals with One Nation. The former prime minister is willing to defile the prestige of that office to endorse a book of racist speeches. What a grotesque spectacle.

editorial April 7, 2018

Brutal force

This is the violence of a force detached from reality – the detachment that imagines a city scared to go to dinner, as Dutton says Melbourne is, or overrun by gangs, as the Murdoch tabloids claim. In both sets of footage, it is the smiles of the officers that are most terrifying. They are the smiles of people who know they will not be challenged, who know that the politics of this country encourages their excesses.

editorial March 24, 2018

Dutton’s casualties

It is worth considering who else is dead to Peter Dutton. Their names are a reminder of the worth of that criticism. Fazel Chegeni is dead to him. He died on Christmas Island while Dutton was the minister responsible for his care, crushed by a bureaucracy that had left him stateless. When he died, his file ran to 700 pages.

editorial March 17, 2018

Waving the white tag

The only real conclusion is that Peter Dutton is a racist. This comes as no surprise, but the starkness of it bears recording. To listen to Peter Dutton talk about white South Africans is to hear a man whose empathy is graded by colour. It took white suffering for him to realise there is injustice in the world.

editorial March 10, 2018

Neighbour hoods

Here is a headline from Tuesday: “Australia to train Myanmar military despite ethnic cleansing accusations”. And here is one from Wednesday: “Australian spy who revealed bugging of Timor-Leste cabinet under ‘effective house arrest’ ”. Here is a headline from 2014: “Axe falls on foreign aid spending, nearly $8 billion in cuts over next five years”. Here is Australia, irresponsible neighbour and opportunist.

editorial March 3, 2018

Four sore years

To watch Michaelia Cash hide behind a whiteboard after abusing parliamentary privilege is to know one thing above all else: politics in this country is conducted as if by children. This is not the coward’s castle; it’s a creche. This week marks four years since The Saturday Paper published its first edition. The paper’s archive is a farce in weekly acts.

editorial February 24, 2018

Hypocrite to child’s care

Peter Dutton is a moral void. His actions as a minister have debased this parliament. He is a cartoon of overreach and indifference, the proud jailer of innocent refugees. It is a grotesque spectacle that this man now seeks to interfere in the education of children, that he is willing to use children to start a sly war over nationalistic values.

editorial February 17, 2018

Barnaby rubble

When it’s all over, Barnaby Joyce’s clearest contribution to Australian public life will likely be a rule that says ministers cannot have sex with their staff. The second most senior member of this government – the deputy prime minister – is a politician whose talents add up to a total of nothing.

editorial February 10, 2018

Derision and contempt

When Malcolm Turnbull walked out on the release of a new report into Indigenous disadvantage this week, he walked out on a decade of failures. He walked out on the appalling disparity between black and white Australia, on education, employment and health. He walked out on a report that found First Australians had been “effectively abandoned” and that targets for betterment had been destroyed by budget cuts and political myopia.