media

media

media September 8, 2018

Speaking for freedom

Online, in forums around the world, at the United Nations and beyond, the Australian government is quick to point out how important free speech is to a functioning democracy. The Liberal Party’s own website proudly proclaims, “We believe in those...

religion August 18, 2018

Fraser Anning and racist politics

Oh, but doesn’t Australia have a lot of them? These watershed moments of lines crossed and politics forever changed, where the bar set for public discourse is not so much lowered but dispensed with altogether. This week it was crossbench senator...

immigration July 14, 2018

How racism diminishes humanity

I remember the last time “African gang crime” was front-page news. It was a warm summer’s day in January – just after New Year – and I decided to take my daughter to a park close to our home. There was no one around, just the two of us, and we sat...

immigration August 11, 2018

Pushing the limits of acceptable debate

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory, many people sought to persuade themselves it wasn’t as dramatic a result as it seemed. If only a few thousand votes in a few forgettable states had gone the other way, they posited,...

media June 16, 2018

Murdoch and Trump, sons of oligarchy

Fans of Rupert Murdoch will be relieved to know he and wife Jerry Hall enjoyed a date night at Scott’s in London’s Mayfair this week. Looking like Stanley Tucci’s benign granddad in a bright blue suit and trainers, friends were relieved to see the...

rural June 9, 2018

The latest Barnaby Joyce fallout

This past week marks a watershed in Australian politics. Politicians’ private lives are no longer off limits. We have arrived at the same place as the United States. But unlike the Americans, it isn’t coming from a puritan tradition; it’s coming...

environment June 2, 2018

Barnaby Joyce wreaks havoc again

The exasperation in the government is palpable. “The only thing anyone is talking about this week is the Barnaby Joyce soap opera,” was the reaction of one fed-up backbencher. But it is not only the distraction that is the issue; it is the spectre...

religion March 31, 2018

The land of the fair gone

There was an awful fascination to watching the Australian cricket captain destroy himself on the television news. It was almost as grisly as those shots of the Mad Monk kissing Hanson at her “book” launch on Tuesday, although for different reasons...

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...

media October 21, 2017

Australia’s welcome mat for right-wing trolls

In so many ways, Milo Yiannopoulos is unremarkable. He is just one of a long line of conservative grifters making hay in Australia. In 1943, a time when the devil had the best poems, if not the best tunes, George Orwell could write: “By and large...

religion August 5, 2017

Misunderstanding Islamophobia

In the two-and-a-half decades between the publication of his groundbreaking book Orientalism and his death, Edward Said spent considerable energy rejecting claims that his work is a defence of the “real” Islam. Such an assumption, he wrote, “would...