Kate Carnell, the CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the bosses' main lobby group, was blunt in explaining what she wanted to do with the four out of five people on the age pension who own their own homes. The pension they receive should be treated like a loan, she said, which would then be repaid to the government out of the proceeds of the sale of their homes when they die.
Contractors carrying out construction works for the controversial multi-billion dollar Westconnex tollway, even before official planning approval has been given, called police on February 2 after some local residents occupied their planned drilling site in the middle of Tempe Reserve. No arrests were made during the peaceful protest, which stopped the contractors starting work after residents set up a picnic in the public space where they planned to conduct drilling. One resident also climbed the drill rig and occupied it for several hours to stop work going ahead.
Some of these Liberal politicians must think that the rest of us are stupid. Take NSW Premier Mike Baird, the always-smiling poster boy for this deeply right-wing party, whose latest pitch for raising the GST from 10% to 15% is a politician's promise that he would spend the proceeds on health and education.
Malaysian human rights group SUARAM says that several members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and other human rights activists were subjected to arbitrary arrests simply for attending a peaceful candlelight vigil in the city of Johor Baru on January 10. The vigil was called to protest the second-time arrest on remand of PSM Central Committee member Khairul Nizam (also known as Aduka Taruna).
In the current world situation — where imperial war and blowback terrorism have fueled a resurgence of racism in West — it is not surprising that Australia's small, far-right, racist Party For Freedom, led by its would-be fuhrer Nick Folkes, has called for a rally to commemorate the racist riot in the Sydney beach suburb of Cronulla ten years ago.
Thousands marched in protest during the APEC Summit held in Manila on November 18-19. US President Barack Obama turned up with a "gift" of two warships to the summit perversely themed of this APEC Summit is "Building Inclusive Growth". More than a quarter of Filipinos are struggling to survive on less than US$1.25 per day but Obama does not come with food, clothing, housing or anything urgently needed by these millions in extreme poverty, but with two warships to underline Washington's latest military build up against China.
Peter Boyle speaking at World Kobanê Day rally, Sydney, November 1. Peter Boyle gave this speech on behalf of Socialist Alliance at the Sydney rally for World Kobanê Day on November 1. * * * I am here to bring you greetings from the Socialist Alliance and the progressive newspaper Green Left Weekly.
It is rare that a critical article on Australia's military spending appears in one of the corporate newspapers but on October 25, the Melbourne Age published such an article by senior correspondent Daniel Flitton entitled “Does Australia's military need such tentacles of defence?”. Flitton argued that while Australian governments have “talked the good talk of regional co-operation and engagement for decades” their “staggering shopping list of new military hardware was signalling a very different message to the region.
Tom Iljas visits his mother's grave in West Sumatra. He was stopped from visiting the grave of his father who was killed during the 1965 massacre of leftists. Photo: Yulia Evina Bhara.
The latest World Bank Global Monitoring Report boasted that only 9.6% of the world's population — 702 million people — are forecast to be living in extreme poverty in 2015, 200 million fewer than in 2012. And this even with the WB now raising its official poverty line from the 2008 US$1.25 a day level to US$1.90. WB president Jim Yong Kim declared that the world has a good chance of ending extreme poverty by 2030.