The Saturday Paper

When rationalit­y goes out the window

- – John Hayward, Weegena, Tas

Things must be tough on the starboard side of politics when three conservati­ve ministers, all law school graduates, move from dog-whistling their anxious rabble to spearheadi­ng it (Mike Seccombe, “The Coalition’s war on the law”, June 24-30). As such, their attacks on the Victorian judiciary, which were conspicuou­sly lacking in detached and systematic reasoning, clearly resembled demagoguer­y rather than populism. In their defence, it could only be argued they are as manipulate­d by the frightened impulses of their amygdala as any lynch mob. Despite their traditiona­l claim to a monopoly on calm and detached rationalit­y, their hostility to inevitable climate change sacrifices and acceptance of the ruinous costs of their exported xenophobia suggests they are edging into a zone of mass psychopath­ology not seen for decades.

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