politics July 21, 2018

Turnbull backs in the race favourite

In April, excitement rippled through the ranks of politics-watchers. There had been a reported sighting of that unicorn of Australian politics: Malcolm Turnbull saying no to Peter Dutton. Dutton had, according to a story in The Australian , told...

editorial July 21, 2018

Gang of fear

Christopher Pyne doesn’t understand the question. That’s the point of a dog whistle: not everyone can hear it. A journalist asks if he is afraid to go out to restaurants in Melbourne, and he looks confused. “No. Why?” He looks the other way, laughs. “Should I be?” The journalist explains that the prime minister has repeated this claim, first made by Peter Dutton, that people fear going out to dinner in Victoria.

letters July 21, 2018

Imran’s moving words

“I am Imran” informs Australia of its great loss, and shame, and America’s gain (Imran Mohammad, July 14–20). The tears in my eyes did nothing to diminish the clarity and power of his devastating words. That he only began to learn English some four...

politics July 21, 2018

Socialism’s newfound popularity

They raised the roof in Queens, New York, a few Tuesdays ago, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won. Not an election, simply a primary for the candidacy. But the seat’s safe, the opponent was an establishment Democrat heavy, and Ocasio-Cortez is a...

diary July 21, 2018

Gadfly: Watch this face

Bookshelves Brandis signed off on his stellar ministerial career with the observation that he was particularly proud of his espionage, secrecy and foreign interference legislation. Never mind that his original clunky version was significantly reworked and substantially different laws recently passed through the parliament. So what’s next for a country already weighed down with more overwrought security legislation than comparable Western democracies?

law & crime July 7, 2018

The long fight for safe injecting rooms

Last Saturday, the second medically supervised injecting centre (MSIC) in Australia opened its doors in Melbourne’s North Richmond. It was a long time coming. Nearly two decades ago, I met with a group of nurses, doctors, drug users and their...

editorial July 7, 2018

Razing a voice

Mick Dodson says it was a door slammed. He says Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the Uluru Statement from the Heart was “deplorable”. Speaking at the National Press Club this week, he said Turnbull was guilty of “a gross distortion of what was said at Uluru and it’s shameful that it’s come from the head of the country, the person elected to lead the country”. This distortion was done by press release. The greatest consensus ever reached in Indigenous politics was dismissed by email.

diary July 7, 2018

Gadfly: Assassin’s creed

Have you noticed the way that Prime Minister Trumble, and others of his ilk, are more frequently mentioning the “Australian dream”? The tax cuts are all about “realising your dreams”. Owning 15 negatively geared houses is part of the Australian dream. A fair go and all that stuff is also part of our dream. The notion is borrowed, like a lot else, from the US of A, where politicians prattle on tirelessly about the “American dream” – backwoodsman becoming president; the Koch brothers controlling all the newspapers, the universities and the Supreme Court. All fair game for dreamers.

letters July 7, 2018

Fairfax responds to Tracey Spicer

Few publications have done more to expose wrongdoing in the wake of the global #MeToo movement than The Sydney Morning Herald . Together with the ABC, the Herald uncovered decades of sexual misbehaviour by television star Don Burke, as well as...

politics June 30, 2018

Bases loaded for Frydenberg

Heartfelt efforts to persuade the government’s climate change deniers and coal champions to embrace the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have failed spectacularly. But you may not have noticed because on the same day former Coalition leaders Tony...

editorial June 30, 2018

Leave of compassion

Peter Dutton says compassion would destroy the system of offshore detention he has built. That’s his word: compassion. He says this as a man commits suicide on Nauru and his mother begs for the right to bury him. He says this as families are starved in the community and on Manus Island the fog of indecision creates what has been called the most hostile mental environment in the world.