politics February 17, 2018

Joyce ruins Turnbull’s turnaround

The Turnbull government’s much-hyped better start to 2018 hit a brick wall this week, or more accurately a barn door with Barnaby Joyce’s face painted on it. The deputy prime minister has spectacularly exposed what is wrong with the Coalition...

editorial February 17, 2018

Barnaby rubble

When it’s all over, Barnaby Joyce’s clearest contribution to Australian public life will likely be a rule that says ministers cannot have sex with their staff. The second most senior member of this government – the deputy prime minister – is a politician whose talents add up to a total of nothing.

indigenous affairs February 17, 2018

The failures of Closing the Gap

On February 13, 2008, the First Nations people of Australia received something for which we had waited decades. Kevin Rudd, having been prime minister for a little over two months, followed through on an election promise and apologised to the Stolen...

letters February 17, 2018

Foreign interference and the TPP

A major function of the proposed new national security legislation on “espionage and foreign interference” is to “introduce new offences relating to foreign interference with Australia’s political, governmental or democratic processes” (Mike...

religion February 17, 2018

Representation and diversity

The city of Santa Fe sits 2200 metres above sea level, my new friend – an older, established writer who has lived here for decades – tells me as we drive along the highway, the Rio Grande a flashing blue knife on one side, ragged sloping bush on the...

diary February 3, 2018

Gadfly: The Pentecost of denying freedom

God save us from Christians. That must be uppermost in the minds of those 700 asylum seekers who missed out on permanent protection visas because, as immigration minister, Scott Morrison asked ASIO in 2013 to go slow on processing the security checks. This helpful “mitigation strategy” ensured the applicants missed their deadline and could be marched out of the country within three years, instead of getting permanent residency.

politics February 3, 2018

Shorten outpaces Turnbull on vision

At his major scene-setting speech at the National Press Club this week, the Opposition leader warned that Australia is in danger of becoming “a left-behind society”. While that is to be avoided, he is certainly working on applying it to Malcolm...

editorial February 3, 2018

Burning anger

The lie is that this country has a mature discourse, that the national conversation could be scandalised by an excess of rhetoric. It’s a lie of condescension, a lie that lets Jeff Kennett tell a young Indigenous activist to “buy a one-way plane ticket”. It’s the discourse that lets a News Corp columnist look at a hashtag such as #IStandWithTarneen and headline their corresponding piece “#InTheQueueAtMcDonald’s”

letters February 3, 2018

A compelling argument on Australia Day

Nakkiah Lui’s “Dated politics” (January 27–February 2) was so fresh, so honest and so very real. Compared with the “divide and rule” practices of our dated politicians she has every right to resent the practices of successive governments of “old...

law & crime February 3, 2018

#MeToo, corroboration and rape law

Dylan Farrow has been waiting an awfully long time for support. She first made her allegations of a 1992 sexual assault by her adoptive father, Woody Allen, in 2014. She has been shunned, disbelieved, her mother accused of coaxing her into the story...

indigenous affairs January 29, 2018

Dated politics of January 26

Writing this is hard. That is because Australia Day is hard. It’s been hard for me ever since I can remember. I’ve marched every year since I was a child. I’ve worn my Aboriginal flag shirt with pride and been sneered at. I’ve written about it for...