editorial

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 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 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 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 July 14, 2018

Bad eggs, Latham

On Twitter he is “Real Mark Latham”, as if the rest of the time it was an act. Unmasked, he is a Rivers catalogue of cruel misogyny and transphobic venom, a man who wears wraparound sunglasses and believes brown is colourful. He mocks schoolchildren and working mothers, disbelieves psychiatry and demands that everyone speak English. Mark Latham is a gout on our politics. But the whole Falstaffian body is set with pox. It is a picture of sad urges and failing organs. Its ills trace back to men such as Mark, to the basement out of which he now broadcasts, but they do not end there.

editorial July 7, 2018

Razing a voice

Mick Dodson says it was a door slammed. He says Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was “deplorable”. Speaking at the National Press Club this week, he said Turnbull was guilty of “a gross distortion of what was said at Uluru and it’s shameful that it’s come from the head of the country, the person elected to lead the country”. This distortion was done by press release. The greatest consensus ever reached in Indigenous politics was dismissed by email.

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.