Posts in: Features

Hit the Greedy NOT the Needy: Government caught out on vicious cost-cutting plan

Summer/Autumn 2000

On 29 September, Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman, made a speech at the National Press Club announcing that social policy would be the next major “reform” priority of the Government. She has set up a hand-picked committee to develop a Green Paper on welfare reform. But Minister Newman already has her… Read more »

Business Dumps its Arbitration “Umpire”: if they want a fight, let’s give ’em one!

Summer/Autumn 2000

On August 12 last year, at least 80,000 strikers marched in Melbourne against the anti-union “second wave” assault by Federal Industrial Minister, Peter Reith. In many other cities, workers took to the streets to protest against the Howard Government’s agenda. His proposed legislation — perversely titled the Workplace Legislation Amendment (More Jobs, Better Pay) Act… Read more »

Death of a picketer: Honour Christine Clarke by continuing the struggle

Summer/Autumn 2000

December 31, 1999: while the world was mesmerised by multi-million dollar fireworks displays and TV cameras were pointed skyward, a tragic story — the death of picketer, Christine Clarke — was confined to New Zealand’s local news. Christine Clarke, aged 45, was picketing on the Lyttleton waterfront when she was run down by a scab… Read more »

NMIT Unionists Update: Flawed EO Law Allows Only Partial Victory

Summer/Autumn 2000

A decision in Alison Thorne’s Equal Opportunity Case against Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) was handed down on August 25 last year. Alison, the local Australian Education Union (AEU) branch President and a teacher of 20 years’ standing, was dismissed from her full-time position at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) on April 11,… Read more »

Who’s pulling YOUR strings? The money manipulating the media

Summer/Autumn 2000

Did listeners find their views about the big four Australian banks “slowly shifting” over the past year? The views of John Laws, the immensely influential “shock jock” star of commercial radio’s 2UE certainly shifted. He changed from being stridently anti-bank, mirroring the resentment of his blue collar constituency — to urging “let’s be fair” approval…. Read more »

Bitter Harvest: The Legacy of the Snowy Mountains Scheme

Summer/Autumn 2000

Politics and water are intimately related in Australia, the driest inhabited continent. For example, after a close election, Victoria now has a minority ALP government, supported by rural independents. One of these, Craig Ingram, gained his seat on the basis of a single issue — restoring some of the flow of the Snowy River. Steve… Read more »

New Age Fascists: The dangerous politics of the Citizens Electoral Councils

Summer/Autumn 2000

Rural Queensland is fertile ground for reactionary populist groups. Isolation, withdrawal of services and sharp practices by the banks have given farming communities a lot to be angry about. In the late ’80s, the Citizens Electoral Councils (CEC) took root in these communities, set up by Eric Butler’s League of Rights. It campaigned around issues… Read more »

“Battle in Seattle” Promises a New Era of Solidarity Against Free Trade Piracy

Summer/Autumn 2000

When representatives of the World Trade Organization swept into downtown Seattle at the end of November, they meant for their five-day Ministerial Round to entrench and expand “free trade” — the free ride of the biggest corporations at the expense of everyone else. Instead, the WTO meeting crashed and burned, thwarted by determined protesters in… Read more »

The Transitional Program: A Tool Kit for Radical 21st Century Organisers

Summer/Autumn 2000

Leon Trotsky wrote The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International 62 years ago while living in exile in Mexico. Trotsky was a leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution and, as Commander in Chief of the Red Army, was pivotal in the defeat of the counter-revolutionary forces, backed by foreign invaders…. Read more »

For a mass international united front to free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

Summer/Autumn 2000

On the day Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge set a new execution date for death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, the radical Black writer resolutely declared: “This is just the next stage of the fight. We will continue the fight and we will win.” Each day counts toward achieving that goal. For now, a temporary stay of… Read more »