The Socialist Alliance "Howard Overboard" election night party in Green Left Weekly's offices in Sydney spontaneously spilled into the streets when John Howard conceded defeat. Jubilant activists celebrated with chants, whistles and pots and pans in a lap around the block which drew out people from their homes. A right-wing government that has plagued Australia since 1996 has been defeated and we have much to celebrate.
I became a grandfather last week. The much-anticipated first grandchild arrived at 11.42pm. Thats 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 daughters 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 Lords funeral that I started crying.
When PM John Howard tried, unsuccessfully, to ban the use of the worm the audiences reaction graph in the only debate Howards 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 Internationals 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.
Thanks to the generosity and hard work of Green Left Weeklys supporters, we have raised $155,467 for our Fighting Fund this year. Over the next three months we need to raise $94,500 to reach our target. Every bit our readers do whether through making donations or organising and/or attending our fundraising events will be critical.
Saturday September 8 was another red banner day for people’s power.
Whenever a socialist from the generation whose political ideas were shaped by involvement in the global movement against the US-led Vietnam War pay their first visit to Vietnam, it is a bit like a pilgrimage. It is an encounter with a symbolic home of our political hopes and convictions.
A report released on August 30 by the Australia Council Of Social Services (ACOSS) shows that the number of Australians living in poverty has increased over the past 10 years. Using an international poverty line of 50% of median income, the numbers increased from 7.6% to 9.9% of the population between 1994 and 2004, or nearly 2 million Australians. This measure is used extensively in OECD countries. Using the same poverty line used in the UK and Ireland, 60% of median income, poverty has risen from 17.1% of the population in 1994 to 19.8%, or 3.8 million Australians, in 2004.
In a desperate attempt to justify the criminal and disastrous US war of occupation in Iraq, President George Bush has chosen to wrestle the ghost of the US defeat in the Vietnam War.