Peter Boyle

Ker-ching! $2.5 million from the Business Council of Australia. Ker-ching! $3 million from the Australian Chamber of Commerce. Ker-ching! $1-2 million from the Minerals Council (they’ve got a few billion in spare change). Ker-ching! $3 million from the Master Builders (they swear they don’t swear like those thuggish unionists in the building industry). Ker-ching! $1 million from the National Farmers Federation (“Sorry John, we’re still bleeding from the Patricks’ fiasco and there’s the drought …”). Ker-ching!

“I’m taking control”, said Johnny Howard, with a contrived quiver of righteousness in his voice. His face was set into a familiar pastiche of horror and disgust at the degraded behaviour of lesser beings. He also conveyed a weariness — the weariness of shouldering the “white man’s burden”.

OK, I admit this idea to boost the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund was inspired (to be honest, stolen) from the recent adventures of one Canape Crusader from Kirribilli: we get 225 people to donate $8000 each to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund and, in return, I have them over to my place for drinks and canapes. That should raise enough money to make this column redundant for seven years!

When the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the latest national accounts last week it was revealed that the corporate profit share of all Australian income had risen to 28.1%, well above the long-term average of 20%.

The good news this week is that the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund has reached a third of the way to its $250,000 target for 2007!

Just a week after Treasurer Peter Costello delivered the federal budget, which contained $31.5 billion in tax cuts over four years among other pre-election bribes, a Newspoll published in the May 15 Australian found that support for Labor had increased to 59% (on a two-party preferred basis) from 57% the previous month. Several other polls have since confirmed this trend.

Tom Lewis, 83, is a long-time Green Left Weekly subscriber in a small town between Bundaberg and Gin Gin, Queensland. His eyesight is rapidly failing and he can no longer read. But last week he renewed his subscription to the paper and made a $100 donation to our fighting fund.

Australia’s top silk and civil rights advocate Julian Burnside QC has suggested introducing a law that makes it an offence for politicians to lie. I don’t know how practical this would be, but imagine if politicians could be forced to tell the truth and ’fess up like the makers of Ribena?

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.

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.

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