Peter Boyle

I became a grandfather last week. The much-anticipated first grandchild arrived at 11.42pm. That’s worse than it sounds because she was born in Perth and I live in Sydney — two hours ahead. I groggily answered the phone but my eldest daughter’s excited voice woke me up quickly and the memory of the birth of my younger daughter just 11 years ago came rushing back.
Come Saturday night, most political parties in Australia will be winding up their public campaigning until the next elections. The rank-and-file members who did their stint of letterboxing and polling booth duty will mostly retreat into inactivity, leaving “politics” once again to the professional politicians. No wonder so many people are cynical about politics — in their experience, it’s about politicians doing it by themselves and largely for themselves.
The idea that we build something much better than capitalism had been around for generations but, 90 years ago in Russia, for the first time an alliance of workers and peasants made a revolution that was to frame the course of history ever since.
The idea that we build something much better than capitalism had been around for generations but, 90 years ago in Russia, for the first time an alliance of workers and peasants made a revolution that was to frame the course of history ever since
Thousands of people will read Green Left Weekly for the first time this week. You may be one of these first-time readers. If so, chances are you will have picked up a copy at one of the large Walk Against Warming marches being held all around Australia on the weekend of November 10-11.
It was when they played Kermit the Frog singing The Rainbow Connection at Gail Lord’s funeral that I started crying.
When PM John Howard tried, unsuccessfully, to ban the use of the “worm” — the audience’s reaction graph in the only debate Howard’s agreed to have with Labor leader Kevin Rudd in this election campaign — Rudd protested with a scripted joke.
If you were to believe those federal government advertisements now saturating television and radio, pigs do fly.
Berlin-based Transparency International’s latest corruption perceptions report listed Burma and Somalia as the two most corrupt countries in the world. Then comes Iraq, Haiti, Tonga, Uzbekistan, Chad and Afghanistan. The three least corrupt countries were New Zealand, Denmark and Finland. Australia came in 11th, just after Canada but ahead of the US, which was 20th on the list.
Some 230 people attending the Green Left Weekly annual dinner in the Marrickville Town Hall on September were the first to hear the news that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has decided visit Australia.

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