editorial

editorial December 21, 2019

The Canada Project

After the United States resettlement deal it is likely there will be 250 refugees in Papua New Guinea and on Nauru, still unsettled and held in stasis. Often it feels as if there is nothing that can be done. In this case, however, there is. A little-known part of Canada’s immigration system allows for refugees to be sponsored for resettlement. For about $20,000, a person can be considered as part of a special intake. There is a quota each year, which is about to be refreshed. Some 200 places are expected to be available in 2020. So, as the year comes to an end, The Saturday Paper is raising money to ensure the people held by Australia in offshore detention are included in this sponsorship process.

editorial December 14, 2019

This is an emergency

We don’t know for sure if Nero played violin while Rome burnt. If it did happen, it was likely a different instrument, perhaps a kithara. But that other question – of whether a leader could be so frivolous and uncaring in the face of such catastrophe – was answered this week by Scott Morrison.

editorial December 7, 2019

Missing in action

The prime minister speaks of taking action. “Practical, meaningful action.” To buoy our economy, protect our land, lower emissions and create new jobs. On Thursday, as parliament hurtled to a close for the year, he took action – moving ruthlessly to push his union-busting bill through the house of representatives once more, undeterred by last week’s shock defeat in the senate.

editorial November 30, 2019

In a Taylor spin

The boys in the photo are still wearing their tuxedo jackets as they dive, arms tangled together, through the bonfire, and crash to the ground, unsinged. Others strip to their underwear to make the leap. One, perhaps not so lucky, is doused with a fire extinguisher by his peers. In the background, their boat is engulfed in flames, embers streaking the black night.

editorial November 23, 2019

Murdoch manifesto

“There are no climate change deniers around here,” says Rupert Murdoch. “I can assure you.” Except at The Australian: “Yes we have an early fire season, because we are in a drought, a bad drought, in some areas it is the worst since the Federation drought. There’s your clue, we had as bad or worse in the 1890s and 1900s.”

editorial November 16, 2019

A lonely place

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs “blue book” – given to the Morrison government after the election – the threat of “populism, nationalism and authoritarianism” is only growing in the region. “We need to work hard to respond to the challenges,” the document warns, “enhancing global co-operation and limiting coercive power.” The world it describes is a troubled one. Tensions are rising. Orthodoxies are breaking down.

editorial November 9, 2019

Everything is not okay

Labor’s campaign was flawed but its policies were right. Its failure came in acknowledging that the country needs to change. More than anything, Australians want a prime minister who covers for their shortcomings – who says not to worry, and that most of you will be okay.

editorial November 2, 2019

The lie of resistance

In the ad, James McGrath says the Voice to Parliament is an attempt to “divide Australia … on the basis of race”. The Queensland senator maintains the lie that the Uluru Statement from the Heart proposes “a special chamber or a special voice”. He says: “We’re all equal, we’re all the same. This is just nuts.” The lie is not much different from the one Malcolm Turnbull told when he first rejected the proposal, or from the line Scott Morrison has run since.

editorial October 26, 2019

Moot caught

Perhaps a better question is why is the Energy minister writing to a lord mayor about her air travel? Is this the state of climate policy in Australia – a schoolboy snipe about planes, using grotesquely distorted figures? You might ask where he gets the time, except it is obvious: he isn’t doing anything else. His portfolio is a joke to him, and his days are empty of responsibility. The climate changes without Angus Taylor.

editorial October 19, 2019

Voyage to disaster

No one saw it coming, though the signs were there. They stacked up quietly, covered only on the business pages and the financial cable news shows with their meagre viewerships. Mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy; house prices beginning to slip. Then, everything went quickly. And when Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15, 2008 – bloated with debt – the firm dragged the sharemarket down with it.

editorial October 12, 2019

The untold joke

At best, larrikinism is a cover for the worst aspects of the Australian character. It excuses poor behaviour and indulges second-rate talent. It is a particular kind of unseriousness that avoids difficult questions and laughs at those who try to ask them.