editorial

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.

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 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 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 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.

editorial May 19, 2018

A sheep at the wheel

Even the farmers admit it is an increment – the decision by Malcolm Turnbull’s government not to ban live exports over summer, despite evidence of the risk to animals, despite footage of mass deaths and calls from vets to end the trade.The truth is, this is an industry of undue political clout. There are economic arguments against live exports, good ones. There are obvious welfare arguments, too.

editorial May 12, 2018

The cutting wedge

What this government hates is scrutiny. That’s what these cuts are about. This is the government whose communications minister is a card-carrying member of the Institute of Public Affairs, a body that lobbies for the ABC to be privatised. It is a government that hates, deeply hates, the public broadcaster.

editorial May 5, 2018

The trials of Pell

Pell is the most senior Catholic in the world to face court over allegations of child sexual abuse. The sombre process through which he now passes will decide the outcome of those allegations. The authority of the church rests uneasily on it. The statement from the Vatican was terse, perfunctory: “Last year, the Holy Father granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations. The leave of absence is still in place.”

editorial April 28, 2018

Nelson’s new column

This week, Brendan Nelson proposed that the war memorial be used to commemorate military involvement in Australia’s campaign against asylum seekers – a war fought against innocent people. In an Anzac Day interview, Nelson said border protection was, “arguably the most important thing our military is doing with other agencies”. The public servants are in uniform. The policy is increasingly hostile and warlike. And the war memorial, that monument to blood and carnage, is waiting anxiously to commemorate the campaign.

editorial April 21, 2018

Time warped

It is important, though, to remember Hunt’s ministry – his responsibilities to health. It is as health minister that Hunt refuses to condemn gay conversion therapy. It is as health minister that he pretends the torment of young queer people in the name of religious doctrine is a freedom of speech issue. In other countries, this kind of psychological abuse is illegal. In Australia, the health minister entertains it on national radio.