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 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.”

editorial October 20, 2018

Prisoners’ dilemma

Psychiatrist Dr Beth O’Connor was Médecins Sans Frontières’ longest-serving mental health professional on Nauru until she left the island last month: “Held in indefinite detention and effectively in a perpetual state of limbo for the last five years, these people have been stripped of any hope for a meaningful future, resulting in shocking levels of severe depression and anxiety in the population – with many having lost the will to live.”

editorial October 13, 2018

Faith palm

Asked if he were comfortable with a child being expelled from a school because of their sexuality, he said: “It’s existing law.” This is how faith works. It is a kind of surrender to that which has already been written down. In politics, it functions as a defence of that which cannot otherwise be defended – a perfect link back to the past and to the morals that resided there.

editorial October 6, 2018

Searching for justice

It’s been a year, this weekend, since The New York Times published Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s decades-long abuse pattern of sexual harassment, assault and cover-up. A time before Weinstein’s abuses were known now feels like another life. And yet, in the slow push of social change, a year is nothing. Momentous events stretch time in strange ways.

editorial September 29, 2018

Aunty maimed

The chaos at the ABC this week is not simply one of personalities. It is the result of five years of concerted interference by government, of public criticism and censure. Perhaps the Coalition did not direct former chairman Justin Milne to “shoot” ABC political editor Andrew Probyn or “get rid of” chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici. They didn’t need to.

editorial September 22, 2018

Looking for justice

What would you do if a powerful figure sexually harassed or assaulted you? Who should you tell? Rounding on a year since The New Yorker and The New York Times first broke the Harvey Weinstein story, any consensus on the right answers to these questions seems a hollow possibility.