R.W. McKenzie

Fremantle City Council agreed on May 23 to support a rise in the federal government’s Newstart Allowance paid to unemployed jobseekers, becoming the first local government in Western Australia to adopt this position.

Acting on a motion proposed by Councillor Sam Wainwright, council took this decision following the presentation of a petition of residents organised by Anti-Poverty Network Perth (APN). The petition called for Newstart to be raised to a level sufficient to allow recipients to live in dignity.

Next year will see the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the charter of rights that the barons of old England forced King John to sign when they cornered him at Runnymede-on-Thames in 1215.

While we may doubt that the barons intended that the rights they sought should apply to ordinary folk, Magna Carta nevertheless effectively introduced the legal concept of the presumption of innocence — the principle that an accused person is innocent until found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a jury.

Wilhelm Furtwaengler — The Great EMI Recordings
21 CD set, EMI
Furtwaengler the Legend
Three CD set, EMI

George Whitbread, a long-deceased left identity in Perth who once led a printer’s strike at The West Australian, was reputedly fond of saying that “Beethoven gives you strength”.

Nor was “Whitty” (as he was called) alone in his sentiments.

After World War II, many on the left — builders, grocers, teachers, homemakers — took an active interest in classical music.

Members of the Aboriginal community were joined by construction and manufacturing unionists at a 350-strong protest on April 3 to bring an end to deaths of Aboriginal people in custody.

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