editorial September 16, 2017

Keilor scarring

“Hitler had concentration camps for these gay people – one of the two good things he did,” the caller said. “The other one was build the autobahn.” There is no real point to the postal survey on marriage equality except this: it licences hate speech and gives platform to views that are otherwise so despicable as to be absent from public debate.

editorial September 9, 2017

Masters of the true perverse

Macquarie Bank is a delinquent organisation. On the evidence of this week, it is a company absent of moral decency, a company whose success is matched only by its perversion. It is as if the greed there feeds on the worst misogyny.

editorial August 26, 2017

Past convictions

Stan Grant described Australian history as a “hymn to whiteness”. The outrage at a suggestion that was never made is about making sure that hymn never changes. It is about power in this country – where columnists still deny that government policy ever took Indigenous children away from their parents, that continues a quarrel with the documented massacres of Indigenous people.

editorial September 2, 2017

National disgrace

It is this man who is touted as a future leader of the Liberal Party. The Australian has written a draft of the speech he would give. It draws on family values and a celebration of his simplicity. There is nothing to see in Dutton except the worst of what this country could be. We can only be thankful that the court he so criticises stops him from taking us there with him. He plays politics as if it were a game but there is nothing to win, only losses.

editorial August 19, 2017

Damn the barricades

This is the lie of Australia politics. Nothing is considered on its merits. Everything, apparently, is connected: traditionalist marriage and transphobic bullying and Australia Day barbecues. The past is held on to like tinned hams in a survivalist’s bunker.

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 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 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 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.