editorial June 16, 2018
We must reckon with a society that is not safe. It is a society of violence and entitlement. Our institutions have not the language or the tools to begin dismantling this. Eurydice Dixon was murdered because someone felt entitled to kill her. The horrifying randomness of the crime makes it news, but it does not change that basic fact. Society has to change the basic fact.
editorial June 2, 2018
To see One Nation break apart again is to be reminded of the brokenness of racism. Pauline Hanson’s is a dried-out vision of Australia, mean and unimaginative. It is a pleasure to see it fail. It is like watching a dirt clod give in to rain. Hers is a country of racist privilege, of conspiracy theories and clapped-out ideology. It is a godsend to see it founder.
editorial June 9, 2018
Malcolm Turnbull has shown he lacks the spirit or imagination to offer a referendum on the consensus reached in the Uluru statement. It is perhaps the greatest single failing of his prime ministership, a tenure marked by failings and failure. His hands must be sore from sitting on them.
editorial May 26, 2018
Salim Kyawning was a Rohingya refugee, the 14th person to die in offshore detention. It fell to a charity to tell his family of his death. The Home Affairs office had not bothered. It put out a single line statement: “This is a matter for the PNG government.” This was the suicide of a man transformed by cruelty into a non-person. He was killed by the instruments of Australia’s border protection policy.
editorial May 19, 2018
Even the farmers admit it is an increment – the decision by Malcolm Turnbull’s government not to ban live exports over summer, despite evidence of the risk to animals, despite footage of mass deaths and calls from vets to end the trade.The truth is, this is an industry of undue political clout. There are economic arguments against live exports, good ones. There are obvious welfare arguments, too.
editorial May 12, 2018
What this government hates is scrutiny. That’s what these cuts are about. This is the government whose communications minister is a card-carrying member of the Institute of Public Affairs, a body that lobbies for the ABC to be privatised. It is a government that hates, deeply hates, the public broadcaster.
editorial May 5, 2018
Pell is the most senior Catholic in the world to face court over allegations of child sexual abuse. The sombre process through which he now passes will decide the outcome of those allegations. The authority of the church rests uneasily on it. The statement from the Vatican was terse, perfunctory: “Last year, the Holy Father granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations. The leave of absence is still in place.”
editorial April 28, 2018
This week, Brendan Nelson proposed that the war memorial be used to commemorate military involvement in Australia’s campaign against asylum seekers – a war fought against innocent people. In an Anzac Day interview, Nelson said border protection was, “arguably the most important thing our military is doing with other agencies”. The public servants are in uniform. The policy is increasingly hostile and warlike. And the war memorial, that monument to blood and carnage, is waiting anxiously to commemorate the campaign.
editorial April 21, 2018
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
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.