editorial November 18, 2017

The silent majority is a lie

There is one thing we now know, tested at great expense and through a process of significant trauma: Australia is better than its politics. The silent majority is a lie. Tony Abbott is a lie. So are Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi. Lyle Shelton is a lie. The Daily Telegraph is a lie.

editorial November 11, 2017

The truth about Manus

The crisis on Manus Island is not about drownings at sea. It is about Pauline Hanson and the margin by which Peter Dutton holds the seat of Dickson. It is about the 1505 people who represent Dutton’s tenuous grip on power. Dutton cannot allow the situation on Manus to be resolved, because to do so would be to undermine the crude image of authority he derives from it.

editorial October 28, 2017

Breaking the heart

Noel Pearson says, “Malcolm Turnbull has broken the First Nations’ hearts of this country, expressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart”. He calls the cabinet’s rejection of the proposal for an Indigenous voice, “dog whistling about third chambers of parliament”. He calls it a “hoary line”.

editorial November 4, 2017

This is our Guantanamo

For four years, Australia has tortured the men on Manus Island. They have been deprived and exploited. Some have been killed. More have killed themselves. Now they are abandoned. Their suffering has exceeded its political purpose.

editorial October 20, 2017

One-eyed bandits

The relationship is about a curious orthodoxy regarding casinos. Politics behaves as if it needs them. It has no appetite for regulation. It has refused decades of advocacy for reform. That is why licences are given with extraordinary concessions, why planning laws are modified or public lands leased for dollar coins. It is why you can smoke in gaming rooms.

editorial October 14, 2017

Overdue care

The government’s response is that it doesn’t care. It will not suspend its flawed system of debt collection. It defends its actions in inaccurately and inappropriately raising thousands of debts against Australians. It feels no contrition or need to apologise.

editorial October 7, 2017

Trading faces

For the premier of Western Australian, Mark McGowan, it is even more straightforward: “We are dealing with the civil liberties of terrorists and I don’t particularly care about the civil liberties of terrorists or potential terrorists.”

editorial September 30, 2017

Talk of shame

Peter Dutton does not argue when Ray Hadley says the first refugees to leave Manus for resettlement in the United States, “looked like a fashion show on a catwalk somewhere in Paris or New York”. Instead, he lies.

editorial September 23, 2017

The ‘No surprises here’ case

In Tony Abbott’s mind, he is the vanquished leader of a silent majority. In reality, he is a fringe figure who has spent his life clinging to the leftovers of debates other people have won.

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.