Peter Boyle

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.

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