Peter Boyle

Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) general secretary Farooq Tariq was released from detention in the early hours of May 7. Tariq and more than 1000 others were rounded up the previous Friday in a failed attempt by the government of General Pervez Musharraf to weaken a mass reception for a visit by suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to Lahore. Chaudhry was suspended for being too independent of the Mushurraf regime and too respectful of the rule of law.
It’s like having one of those nightmares that seems to grow more horrible as it drags on. We’ve been looking forward to the next federal election for a chance to get rid of John Howard, but with each day federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd sounds more and more like Howard.
This year’s proposed US spending on the Iraq war is larger than the military budgets of China and Russia combined. The combined spending requests would push the total for Iraq to US$564 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Paul Wolfowitz, president of the World Bank and formerly US President George Bush’s deputy secretary of defence, doesn’t seem to comprehend why he is in trouble. He has admitted to ordering a US$60,000 pay increase for his lover, a World Bank employee, before seconding her to the US State Department as part of a generous compensation package.
Last week, right-wing Sydney Radio 2GB “shock jock” Alan Jones was let off with a ticking-off from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for inciting on air the infamous anti-Lebanese bashing spree in Cronulla in 2005.
“Democracy remains a great danger to those who have privilege and control. When you are part of the top 1% of the population that has as much income as the bottom 75% of the people, democracy is a permanent threat to your interests.”
There was something very sad about the debate in federal parliament around the Labor opposition’s grand plan to bring Australia up to speed on internet broadband. Behind the noise and smoke of the furious jousting was the sobering fact that both sides of the House embrace the corrupt logic of privatisation.
March 14 was Black Bashing Day on Tim Blair’s blog . Most other days are Muslim-bashing days, but on this day his red-neck cyber-mates decided to pick on Jakalene X, Aboriginal activist, rap artist and the lead candidate on the Socialist Alliance upper house ticket for the March 24 NSW election.
The Blue Team appeared to regain some advantage after the leader of the (mislabeled) Red Team was forced to admit he’d made an “error of judgement” in meeting up three times last year with convicted fraud and former WA premier Brian Burke (now a professional lobbyist).
On March 4, hundreds of armed right-wing militia, calling themselves the Indonesian Anti-Communist Front (FAKI), attacked the East Java regional conference of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) at Hotel Selekta in Batu City. The same militia group attacked Papernas’s founding national conference in January.
On December 27, 2006, the Socialist Alliance, along with all other parties without representation in the national parliament, lost its federal electoral registration. If we do not regain registration, the name Socialist Alliance will not appear on ballot papers at the next federal poll.
When the vice-president of the “land of the free” came to Sydney recently, the joke going around was that he brought a “troop surge” to town. A few friends are still sporting bruises from that “surge”, made possible by the NSW Labor government’s generous provision of a large number of bullies in uniform to terrorise the local population.
Seven hundred issues ago the first copy of Green Left Weekly hit the streets in the midst of the first US-led invasion of Iraq. “Just say no” to the war, was the cry on our multi-coloured cover, and the issue was snapped up eagerly at the anti-war protests.
An article by Adele Horin in the February 15 Sydney Morning Herald reported the findings of a world authority on income inequality, Sir Anthony Atkinson, of Oxford University, which he presented at a seminar at the social policy research centre at the University of NSW.
Dita Sari is arguably the most well-known progressive activist in Indonesia today. A former trade union leader and political prisoner under the Suharto regime, she is now the chairperson of the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), which is the leading force in the new, broader National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas). Sari was interviewed in Jakarta by Green Left Weekly’s Peter Boyle after the founding conference of Papernas in January, which selected her as its candidate for the 2009 presidential elections.
Green Left Weekly has received a desperate appeal from Papernas (the National Liberation Party of Unity) in Indonesia for emergency solidarity in the wake of severe floods in Jakarta and surrounding heavily populated areas.

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