diary November 10, 2018

Gadfly: Counting the cursed

It’s wonderful to see British high commissioner Bookshelves Brandis back in business, making policy announcements in London on behalf of the government in Canberra. It looks like he was first out of the blocks with the proclamation that refugee children on the gulag of Nauru will be moved out of detention and to Australia by the end of the year. In a wireless interview from London he said: “There are hardly any children on Nauru and in New Guinea ...”

letters November 10, 2018

No thanks to Murdoch

Reading Mike Seccombe’s excellent article on the politics of removing children from Nauru (“How Murdoch got the kids off Nauru”, November 3–9) was a reminder that the inhuman policy of offshore detention could not have lasted so long without the...

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.

politics November 10, 2018

You’re neither on the bus nor off the bus

Like others among the mystically inclined, Christians can be prone to portents. Ominously for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a flash storm last weekend tore apart the oak tree opposite The Lodge’s day-to-day working driveway on Canberra’s National...

immigration November 10, 2018

Saving Planet Earth

Historians and political scientists have classified recent world history into two distinct periods, with the end of World War II as the dividing line. The period from 1901 to 1945 was marked by aggressive nationalism – trade wars, high tariffs,...

letters November 3, 2018

Take action on asylum-seeker children

Martin McKenzie-Murray’s front-page story about the national apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse was masterful – complex, compassionate, critical where necessary, and very moving (“Julia Gillard was our hero”, October 27–...

diary November 3, 2018

Gadfly: Inflight infotainment

Onto the aircraft strides one of Lord Moloch’s former pashas, the silver-haired John Hartigan, viceroy of all he surveyed on the media landscape. Passengers were amazed and delighted that the mighty Harto lowered himself into an economy-class seat. It was only a matter of moments later that the ABC’s taxation affairs correspondent Emma Alberici appeared and was ushered into a business-class seat surrounded by fluttering ladies-in-waiting.

immigration November 3, 2018

PM Scott Morrison’s sinking popularity

There is a sense that Scott Morrison’s government has reached the point of no return as the realisation dawns that Bill Shorten’s Opposition is now the government-in-waiting. The near 20 per cent shift against the Liberals in Wentworth is the...

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.

ir November 3, 2018

Unions key to workers’ wage growth

For much of human history, economic growth puttered along slowly – so slowly, in fact, that shops would sometimes carve prices into their stone walls. Then, in the late 1700s, one of the most dramatic transformations in world economic history took...

letters October 27, 2018

No justice on Manus Island

From February 1948, the Australia government started transferring the last war criminals held since 1945 to Manus Island. There they were to languish until pressure from the United States led to them facing trial in 1950, many for crimes against...