Dick Nichols

Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden thinks it’s high time for the construction industry unions to “stop feeding the hand that strangles us”. Gooden was referring to the fact that under the legislation that set up the Australian Building and Construction Commission, unions and workers have been hit with $1.39 million in fines ($654,000 of which has been suspended).
In periods of capitalist economic implosion, increased public spending and an enlarged role for the public sector becomes unavoidable, even for the most one-eyed of free marketeers.
The challenges, opportunities and responsibilities that socialists face today are huge.
Morris Iemma and Michael Costa crashed out of NSW politics because they tried to ignore overwhelming public opposition to electricity privatisation.
There’s one positive aspect of global financial chaos. It throws into question the Australian model of funding our retirement—compulsory superannuation.
Voices from Venezuela — Behind the Bolivarian revolution
By Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy
Resistance Books, 2008
316pages, $25
Available from Resistance Books
The latest issue of the Socialist Alliance’s national discussion bulletin, Alliance Voices, is out, in a new web-based format. It can be found at http://alliancevoices.blogspot.com.
In the two years that have passed since the Socialist Alliance’s fifth national conference, the Australian political terrain has shifted a lot.
Everyone remembers the tropical storm that swept through Northern Queensland in 2006, destroying that year’s banana production, flattening houses and creating widespread misery. Now imagine if that hurricane had:
“Will my superannuation fund be next?” “Are my savings safe?” As working people in the developed economies watch the assets of one financial institution after another vaporise into nothingness, tens of millions are asking these dreadful questions.

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