opinion

opinion

letters February 16, 2019

Bipartisan agreement on torture

Every time I see a picture of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (on the cover of No. 239, Karen Middleton, “The pain in Hayne stays mainly...”, February 9-15) I also think of Tanya Plibersek, two parliamentarians of the major parties who have refugee family...

diary February 16, 2019

Gadfly: Justice married

In a week of political panic stations it was touching to see news of Michael Kirby’s marriage to Johan van Vloten, 50 years after their first meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 1969, at the Bottoms Up Bar of the Rex Hotel in Kings Cross. It’s been onwards ever since, with Kirby’s vaulting career as a lawyer and a judge and Johan moving for a time into the newsagency business. On AIDS, discrimination, equality and a fair go even if you don’t have a go, Kirby was unbending, which brought him into conflict with some pretty grisly fossils on the bench.

immigration February 16, 2019

Morrison doubles down on security

What a week for the Morrison minority government. It started with the prime minister promising to keep Australians safe and secure. It ended with him and his government looking less assured they will be around long enough to deliver. Tuesday’s...

editorial February 16, 2019

Our women

Scott Morrison says he will protect our women. Inherent in his choice of words is the paternalism of a prime minister who doesn’t think his party has a “women problem”, even as it sheds female MPs at record speed. Of a man who starts sentences that describe his concern about the harassment and abuse women face with the caveat, “As a father…”

immigration February 16, 2019

A bill of human rights

The Australian parliament has taken decisive action to ensure sick refugees held in indefinite detention on Manus Island and Nauru receive prompt and proper medical treatment. Prime Minister Scott Morrison lost the first government vote in the house...

diary February 2, 2019

Gadfly: Leading from behind

Let’s try to keep a sense of proportion about the recent performances of a few of our most adorable contenders. First, The Mad Monk, sportsman and all-round fitness freak, who is raring to have another crack at winning Warringah for the Nasty Party, was in the Palm Beach to Whale Beach 2.8-kilometre swim last Sunday, where he finished 1013th out of 1050.

letters February 2, 2019

UN should act on West Papua

The Indonesian embassy’s response to “Chemical weapons dropped on Papua” (Letters, January 26-February 1) is an example of misdirection and government evasion, obscuring and misrepresenting an oppressive and illegal situation in Papua. Irrespective...

politics February 2, 2019

A trip down memory pain

Scott Morrison wants us to forget why he is prime minister. Instead, he assured a national TV audience he was “getting on with it”. The problem is his own MPs, party members and supporters – and the electorate – remain vividly aware of the turmoil...

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.

health February 2, 2019

Opting out of My Health Record

I remember one warm evening in 2003, when I was still a medical student based in the emergency department of a major metropolitan hospital. An elderly woman walked in to the waiting room and collapsed. The team transferred her to a resuscitation bay...

diary January 26, 2019

Gadfly: Joyful, strained

Australia Day comes but once a year and so soon after Christmas that it seems all our heavens arrive at once. This year, we might take flatheads and fakes as our theme for the day. SloMo brought the humble flathead centrestage when he made the announcement to Lord Moloch’s tabloid consumers that he likes nothing more than hanging around the Shoalhaven Heads Hotel with Jen and the girls, “enjoying flathead and chips like everyone else”.