editorial

editorial July 20, 2019

Serving justice

No dessert has entered the Australian public consciousness more aggressively than the towering croquembouche. George Calombaris called it one of the hardest challenges ever put to MasterChef contestants. Built on little more than air and sleight of hand, it foiled many an aspiring chef and seems to have inspired the Melbourne business operations of the celebrity chef’s sprawling restaurant empire.

editorial July 13, 2019

A matter of respect

The photo is red earth and a line of bodies, snaking the length of the frame. Climbers locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a desperate push to summit. They fill the surrounding campgrounds, and every motel for a hundred kilometres. Their rubbish on the roadside, their black waste dumped in the backyards of unsuspecting properties. For so long, the Anangu people have asked visitors not to climb Uluru. They never banned the practice, asking only for respect, “that, as a guest on Anangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing”. Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima.

editorial June 29, 2019

Maybe God didn’t make your penis

The defining feature of homophobia is that the people who hate you are picturing you having sex. Michael Kirby once made this point, although not as bluntly. The hatred is a kind of jealousy. The challenge of queer sex is a challenge to the notion that intimacy shared between a man and a woman is somehow special. It isn’t.

editorial July 6, 2019

Destroying Australia

And so it passes, the greatest assault on the safety net from which Australian life is built. Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are through and the revenue base that provides for health and education and social welfare is shredded. The legacy of the 46th parliament is there in its very first week: the destruction of the social compact that made this country stable.

editorial June 22, 2019

United we stand

Many at the time saw Australia’s response to the shooting down of MH17 as evidence of Tony Abbott’s potential statesmanship. History has shown it to be a triumph of Julie Bishop’s diplomacy. And it remains a vital reminder of the role organisations such as the United Nations can, and should, still play in our grand bargain.

editorial February 9, 2019

Loyal commission

Two numbers tell the same story. One is zero and the other is 19 billion. The first is the number of prosecutions recommended by the Hayne royal commission. The second is the amount invested in a record day for bank stocks following the release of its report. One is like the other: craven, predictable and depressing. The report is eviscerating, as were the hearings. Its recommendations are conservative, as was its commissioner.

editorial February 2, 2019

The breakfast club

“Black children aren’t safe in their own homes.” It’s a line that stretches deep into this country’s history, stringing together atrocities to justify paternalism and refuse self-determination. Kennerley's comment is a familiar straw man, to reach for the worst abuse suffered by First Nations people and then use it to deny action on any other issues.

editorial January 26, 2019

Cartoon characters

Morrison is concerned children are being taught to despise our history, but what he really fears is they are being taught it at all. His politics is dependent on an ahistorical vision of colonisation. To him, it doesn’t matter where Cook sailed or what actually happened on January 26. What matters is that the story remains simple and the power structures built from it do not change.

editorial December 22, 2018

The edge of chaos

Always, there was some spectre, some looming threat – a capricious American president, the North Korean nuclear arsenal, Russia’s cyber sabotage, the possibility of Brexit’s economic devastation, the inevitability of climate disaster. We lived, in 2018, at the edge of chaos. Faced with chaos, it is human to attempt to find order. The impulse is one that tends from sense towards containment, control. It is no coincidence this year of ataxia spurred authoritarianism.

editorial December 15, 2018

Mighty men of values

We know, now, a little more of what the election will look like. We know that it will be desperate. We know the Morrison government will do anything to win, except develop policies that address the concerns of the electorate. The stories are already being placed. In The Daily Telegraph is spurious legal advice that says Labor’s “softened border policy” would invite criminals into Australia.

editorial December 8, 2018

Abbott’s tour of himself

Amid the chaos that was parliament’s final sitting day for the year, Tony Abbott got to his feet and cleared his throat. “Back when prime minister,” he said, introducing himself with a descriptor as unnecessary as it was telling of what was to come, “I used to observe that to live in Australia is to have won the lottery of life – and that’s true, unless you happen to be one of those whose ancestors have been here for tens of thousands of years.”