editorial

editorial September 15, 2018

News agency

It’s not just the Herald Sun. It’s a media that is fragile and defensive, built on unquestioned values. It’s the uncomfortable realisation that we can be wrong – that the ethics we hold dear as journalists were honed in rooms of men, drawn from the same class, the same race, the same schools.

editorial September 8, 2018

Gender troubles

Scott Morrison governs in the assured first person. His curiosity ends at the limits of his own experience. He speaks as a man whose imagination reaches as far as Kurnell. Like John Howard, he believes leading the country is the same as organising a barbecue. He speaks “as a parent”. For complex questions, he forms a quorum: “Jenny and I.” He defers to his faith. He rules in his own image.

editorial August 25, 2018

Enter the void

It is not that the system fails to attract talent; it is that it seems to preclude it. If anything is to change, people from outside the machine need to run for parliament. People reading this need to run for parliament, people without patronage or preening expectation. People need to stand not out of self-interest but out of concern for the country in which they live. Our politics can no longer survive its own emptiness.

editorial September 1, 2018

Winning ugly

The one constant in politics – holding power – has been cast aside. With it go the orthodoxies of logic and reason. This is about ideology. This is about giving up on the country, on what it wants, because a stubborn few cannot give up on coal and traditional values. The Coalition would sooner forsake electoral success than reckon with the realities of climate science or engage with the leadership asked for by multiculturalism.

editorial August 18, 2018

100 women

There is a tendency in Australia to look at our history as a measured march towards some inevitable, fairer ideal. To indulge in the magical thinking that things just get better. The reality is that every step of progress in this country has been fought for, tooth and nail, and despite history’s affinity for rendering their leadership invisible, it has been disadvantaged minority communities that have started these movements for change.

editorial June 30, 2018

Leave of compassion

Peter Dutton says compassion would destroy the system of offshore detention he has built. That’s his word: compassion. He says this as a man commits suicide on Nauru and his mother begs for the right to bury him. He says this as families are starved in the community and on Manus Island the fog of indecision creates what has been called the most hostile mental environment in the world.

editorial June 23, 2018

Counting the dead

Eurydice Dixon (22), Qi Yu (28), Unnamed Woman (69), Caroline Willis (69), Unnamed Woman (46), Unnamed Woman (37), Karen Ashcroft (52)...

editorial June 16, 2018

The fact of murder

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 9, 2018

Trickle treaty

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 June 2, 2018

Death of the vile

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 May 26, 2018

Dutton’s moral twilight

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.