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 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 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 August 18, 2018

100 women

There is a tendency in Australia to look at our history as a measured march towards some inevitable, fairer ideal. To indulge in the magical thinking that things just get better. The reality is that every step of progress in this country has been fought for, tooth and nail, and despite history’s affinity for rendering their leadership invisible, it has been disadvantaged minority communities that have started these movements for change.

editorial April 7, 2018

Brutal force

This is the violence of a force detached from reality – the detachment that imagines a city scared to go to dinner, as Dutton says Melbourne is, or overrun by gangs, as the Murdoch tabloids claim. In both sets of footage, it is the smiles of the officers that are most terrifying. They are the smiles of people who know they will not be challenged, who know that the politics of this country encourages their excesses.

editorial March 31, 2018

Race chasing

So Tony Abbott thinks Australia would be better if it were built in Pauline Hanson’s image. He thinks the Liberals should do preference deals with One Nation. The former prime minister is willing to defile the prestige of that office to endorse a book of racist speeches. What a grotesque spectacle.

editorial March 24, 2018

Dutton’s casualties

It is worth considering who else is dead to Peter Dutton. Their names are a reminder of the worth of that criticism. Fazel Chegeni is dead to him. He died on Christmas Island while Dutton was the minister responsible for his care, crushed by a bureaucracy that had left him stateless. When he died, his file ran to 700 pages.

editorial March 17, 2018

Waving the white tag

The only real conclusion is that Peter Dutton is a racist. This comes as no surprise, but the starkness of it bears recording. To listen to Peter Dutton talk about white South Africans is to hear a man whose empathy is graded by colour. It took white suffering for him to realise there is injustice in the world.

editorial March 10, 2018

Neighbour hoods

Here is a headline from Tuesday: “Australia to train Myanmar military despite ethnic cleansing accusations”. And here is one from Wednesday: “Australian spy who revealed bugging of Timor-Leste cabinet under ‘effective house arrest’ ”. Here is a headline from 2014: “Axe falls on foreign aid spending, nearly $8 billion in cuts over next five years”. Here is Australia, irresponsible neighbour and opportunist.

editorial March 3, 2018

Four sore years

To watch Michaelia Cash hide behind a whiteboard after abusing parliamentary privilege is to know one thing above all else: politics in this country is conducted as if by children. This is not the coward’s castle; it’s a creche. This week marks four years since The Saturday Paper published its first edition. The paper’s archive is a farce in weekly acts.