editorial October 23, 2021

Human lessons

When a person is burnt, it is not just their skin that is affected. It is not just the muscle or bones or tendons, the nerve endings that are deadened and become numb. In an immolation, the lungs are also damaged. These respiratory injuries are hugely painful.

editorial October 16, 2021

Moral capacity

The number on its own is terrible enough: in the past seven weeks, 100,000 Afghans have sought asylum from Australia.

editorial October 9, 2021

Last resort

The Nationals have always been a party of opportunists. Now they are a party of last resort. That is how Resources Minister Keith Pitt envisages the slush fund he wants in exchange for agreeing to a net-zero target.

editorial October 2, 2021

The journalist and the mumbler

Scott Morrison’s smile lasts four minutes. He is offended by a question on the Quad. If co-operation is needed between India, Japan, the United States and Australia, the journalist asks, who is it needed against?

editorial September 25, 2021

Rupert bare

It’s a coincidence that as rioters were marching through Melbourne Scott Morrison was dining with News Corp executives in New York. It’s a coincidence, too, that the city’s Shrine of Remembrance looks a little like the United States Capitol Building.

editorial September 18, 2021

Losing to win

Morrison’s decision to enter a trilateral pact built around nuclear hardware is a horrifying miscalculation. It places Australia on the front line of any future war with China.

editorial September 11, 2021

Looking backwards

The letter is very clear. It is addressed to Health Minister Greg Hunt and was sent by Pfizer on June 30 last year. Four days earlier, the company had begun correspondence with the Health Department.

editorial September 4, 2021

Taking the money

One argument is a slippery slope. If the government asked business to pay back $13 billion in undeserved pandemic subsidies, it would look a lot like accountability. And if they were to ask for that of business, then what accountability might they have to ask of themselves?

editorial August 28, 2021

Moral stature

John Howard’s wife once complained to a cartoonist that he was drawing her husband too small. She insisted Howard was the same height as Bob Hawke. In the cartoons, he seemed much shorter: head and shoulders below him. The cartoonist paused and then explained that what he was depicting was moral stature.

editorial August 21, 2021

Cruel to the end

To understand the inhumanity of Australia’s position on refugees from Afghanistan, it helps to understand the self-deception at the heart of our immigration policy. Decades spent arguing that any form of compassion would undermine the system have deadened our politics. They have created a kind of moral numbness that puts decisions outside the reach of logic or decency. To question one part of this would collapse all of it, and so no questions are asked.

editorial August 14, 2021

Fear of a black planet

The argument from the coal lobby is simple. It says that burning Australian coal helps lower carbon emissions. Burning Australian coal is good for the planet.