opinion

opinion

diary December 19, 2020

Gadfly: Speech day at St Brutes

“Thank you, Reverend Pastor Houston, for those prayers and your message about rich men walking upright through the eye of a needle, with or without a camel. Boys, remember the pastor’s encouraging words about how religion and real estate can work together in the name of our Lord.” 

letters December 19, 2020

Mungo’s sharp wit will be missed

Mungo MacCallum will be missed by all who know the joy of words (Editorial, “Mungo MacCallum 1941-2020”, December 12-18). His acerbic wit in dedicating to Spooner some of his cleverest crossword clues has been a constant source of enjoyment. I read...

editorial December 19, 2020

Sliding towards zero

The quality that makes Scott Morrison uniquely equipped to lead Australia in 2021 is his preternatural inability to feel shame. There were hints of this early on – in the treasurer who held aloft a lump of coal in parliament, the Immigration minister with an almost absurd commitment to the phrase “on-water matters” – but since his elevation to the prime ministership, it has become the defining feature of his government.

health December 19, 2020

A health system exposed

In March, researchers from the University of Melbourne and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity presented stark pandemic modelling to the federal government. Made public on April 7, it showed that “an unmitigated Covid-19 epidemic...

environment December 19, 2020

Big holes in the Coalition’s pre-election bucket list

As the year like no other draws to an end, the challenges and crises it presented have highlighted the nation’s strengths and dramatised its weaknesses. Facing up to these realities will be particularly daunting for our political leaders as they...

diary December 21, 2019

Gadfly: Another year at St Brutes

There’s a carnival atmosphere at St Brutes (motto: Tabula in naufragio) as the end-of-year speech day gets under way. Parents, boys and staff are assembled in a marquee on the oval. Professor Flint on the Wurlitzer falls silent as the headmaster, Mr Morrison, strides to the lectern, droplets of lunchtime pie and sauce on his chin catching the afternoon light. Pastor Houston is invited to say a short and meaningful prayer.

letters December 21, 2019

Lagging behind on renewables

As Karen Middleton writes (“Coal custody”, December 14-20), Labor leader Anthony Albanese sees the future of coal in Australia as a choice for or against jobs in the coalmining industry. It is likely to be neither. There will be domestic and...

editorial December 14, 2019

This is an emergency

We don’t know for sure if Nero played violin while Rome burnt. If it did happen, it was likely a different instrument, perhaps a kithara. But that other question – of whether a leader could be so frivolous and uncaring in the face of such catastrophe – was answered this week by Scott Morrison.

environment December 14, 2019

PM’s clouded judgement on climate

On a day when thick, acrid smoke made Australia’s largest city virtually uninhabitable, the prime minister claimed climate policy success. Scott Morrison told a news conference – which had been called not to respond to the crisis but to discuss the...

immigration December 14, 2019

Australia should lead way on refugees

Next week, the first United Nations Global Refugee Forum will take place, where member states will try to co-ordinate a response to the largest global refugee crisis since World War II. It is the first step towards a necessary international...

letters December 14, 2019

Indigenous numbers beat Lambie’s

Senator Jacqui Lambie (Mike Seccombe, “Lambie’s secret medevac bargain”, December 7-13) only got 31,383 primary votes, and her preferences made up the Tasmanian senate quota, which at the last election was 50,285 votes. So 50,285 voters gave her a...