editorial

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 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 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 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 December 1, 2018

The man who wasn’t there

It is as if Scott Morrison is getting smaller. With each passing week, the member for Cook shrinks into his leadership. His government has lost its majority. It intends hardly to sit next year. Its early budget seems to promise a May election, and on all accounts Morrison will likely lose it. His prime ministership is set to last no more than nine months.

editorial November 24, 2018

Fear factory

Scott Morrison is afraid. He fears losing the prime ministership he fell into. He fears Muslims. He fears the looming threat of Australia being caught out with no baseload power. This week, the familiar spectre of gender stirred fear in our prime minister. Not the “gender whisperers” being deployed into our schools, but the choice by Tasmania to change its laws around gender on birth certificates.

editorial November 17, 2018

Granting injustice

The euphemism in the documents calls the grants “departmental approaches”. Everywhere else in Indigenous affairs, the money has to be begged; here, it is given freely. Possibly because here it can be used to fight Indigenous interests. By Nigel Scullion’s own admission, the money was for “legal fees, effectively … to put forward a case of detriment to the land commissioner”. That is, to object to native title claims.

editorial November 10, 2018

Tactical assault

To glance at this week’s headlines was to see just how much Australian gender relations have shifted in the past year. No longer are we ignoring women’s stories – the approach is now one of control, minimisation and punishment.

editorial November 3, 2018

The dark room

When this story was published in 1973, it was as a thought experiment. The idea of perpetual suffering, forced on a child for the benefit of an otherwise benign society, of endless detention and terrible deprivation, was science fiction. And yet here we are. Even as the children are slowly pulled from Nauru, Peter Dutton defends the Omelas he has built. He refuses to accept there are humanitarian reasons for closing the camps.

editorial October 27, 2018

Fair bunkum

The condescension in this video is not just to the Avrils and Colins who people Morrison’s Australia, whose bills and service records he uses as props. The condescension is to climate change and to energy policy. The price control is a fiddle: some bills will go down, others will go up. The cost to the environment is the cost of a country with no policy on climate change, willing to destroy the Earth for politics. “Renewables are great,” Morrison says, his expression unchanged, as if calibrating a polygraph. “But we’re also needing the reliable power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.”