editorial

editorial March 23, 2019

Media’s new lie

There is an urgent desire to blame internet forums for Brenton Tarrant’s bent interpretation of the world. The bigger concern is that many of the thoughts expressed in his manifesto have appeared, in one form or another, on the opinion pages of most mainstream publications in this country. Tarrant is an aberration, as is all terrorism. But he is produced by a culture that has normalised hate, that is built from division, whose politics routinely exploits fear and whose press caters enthusiastically to it.

editorial March 16, 2019

Carbon copy

To the streets, tens of thousands of students went on Friday, picketing for climate action. We cannot wait, their common refrain. There is no time. Meanwhile, unimpassioned, our leaders squabble still over coal. And the deja vu sets in – the climate battles of the past two decades, hashed and rehashed, an endless circular argument as the stakes and the temperatures rise.

editorial March 2, 2019

Five years

When The Saturday Paper launched, we promised a newspaper for a country more serious than it is sometimes credited as being. Australia’s seriousness has never wavered, despite the farce of the people who stand at its top. Five years after printing that first issue, our job has never been clearer: to keep writing what others will not.

editorial March 9, 2019

Body politic

It is March of 2019, and the prime minister refuses to talk about publicly funding access to abortion services for women. He says it would not be ‘good for the country’ to speak of such things. Labor promises to link public hospital funding to abortion access, only to baulk at the first sign of disquiet from Catholic health providers. ‘

editorial February 23, 2019

Affairs to remember

Perhaps once the Paladin contract story could have toppled a minister. This week, it was almost overshadowed by a parade of other scandals – the 2000 Centrelink robocall deaths; the Helloworld travel scandal; the revelation both Michael Keenan and Michaelia Cash refused to give witness statements to the Australian Federal Police over the Australian Workers’ Union raid tipoffs; the apparent leaking of security advice to The Australian, which was then misrepresented.

editorial February 16, 2019

Our women

Scott Morrison says he will protect our women. Inherent in his choice of words is the paternalism of a prime minister who doesn’t think his party has a “women problem”, even as it sheds female MPs at record speed. Of a man who starts sentences that describe his concern about the harassment and abuse women face with the caveat, “As a father…”

editorial February 9, 2019

Loyal commission

Two numbers tell the same story. One is zero and the other is 19 billion. The first is the number of prosecutions recommended by the Hayne royal commission. The second is the amount invested in a record day for bank stocks following the release of its report. One is like the other: craven, predictable and depressing. The report is eviscerating, as were the hearings. Its recommendations are conservative, as was its commissioner.

editorial February 2, 2019

The breakfast club

“Black children aren’t safe in their own homes.” It’s a line that stretches deep into this country’s history, stringing together atrocities to justify paternalism and refuse self-determination. Kennerley's comment is a familiar straw man, to reach for the worst abuse suffered by First Nations people and then use it to deny action on any other issues.

editorial January 26, 2019

Cartoon characters

Morrison is concerned children are being taught to despise our history, but what he really fears is they are being taught it at all. His politics is dependent on an ahistorical vision of colonisation. To him, it doesn’t matter where Cook sailed or what actually happened on January 26. What matters is that the story remains simple and the power structures built from it do not change.

editorial December 22, 2018

The edge of chaos

Always, there was some spectre, some looming threat – a capricious American president, the North Korean nuclear arsenal, Russia’s cyber sabotage, the possibility of Brexit’s economic devastation, the inevitability of climate disaster. We lived, in 2018, at the edge of chaos. Faced with chaos, it is human to attempt to find order. The impulse is one that tends from sense towards containment, control. It is no coincidence this year of ataxia spurred authoritarianism.

editorial December 15, 2018

Mighty men of values

We know, now, a little more of what the election will look like. We know that it will be desperate. We know the Morrison government will do anything to win, except develop policies that address the concerns of the electorate. The stories are already being placed. In The Daily Telegraph is spurious legal advice that says Labor’s “softened border policy” would invite criminals into Australia.