Sam Wainwright

After promising not to “lurch to the right” on refugees if he returned as prime minister, Kevin Rudd dramatically did just that with his plan to send refugees to Papua New Guinea for processing and resettlement. He says no refugee who arrives by boat will ever be settled in Australia.

This is a draconian plan beyond the dreams of hardline racists like Pauline Hanson and John Howard. Yet despite this, leaders of the ALP left, such as Doug Cameron and Melissa Parke, have defended the policy.

Sam Wainwright gave this speech at a refugee rights rally in Perth on July 20.

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A statement by famous British Labour MP and socialist Tony Benn said: “The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.”

What he was getting at is that the fear and loathing of refugees is a deliberate concoction.

The refugee crisis is real, but the fear and loathing of refugees that’s generated in our media and the general population, is a deliberate and cynical concoction.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme, now to be known as DisabilityCare, has become a central theme of Australia’s national debate. This is a tribute to the many thousands of people who have campaigned tirelessly for better support for and inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

There's a lot of unease in progressive circles in Western Australia in the wake of Liberal Premier Colin Barnett's landslide reelection win in the March 9 WA state election. The expectation is that many things will get worse before they get better.

The minority Liberal government, dependent on National Party support and buoyed by mining royalties, has been restrained compared to the slash-and-burn of public services rammed through by its counterparts in Queensland and Victoria.

While Australia and Sri Lanka battled it out at the Sydney Cricket Ground early this month, a Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker on a bridging visa living in Hamilton Hill, a victim of torture, died in Fremantle Hospital after attempting suicide last Thursday.

The tragic event played out as momentum grows for a boycott of Sri Lankan cricket, lead by former cricket writer for The Age Trevor Grant.

The members and supporters of Socialist Alliance join progressive minded people across Australia and around the world in mourning the heart wrenching and tragically unexpected loss of Gavin Mooney and Del Weston.

Del and Gavin were as kind and loving in their personal dealings with everyone they met as they were committed to the liberation and freedom of all humanity. They were strong supporters of Green Left Weekly; making regular donations, hosting fund-raisers and recently making a significant contribution to the new Green Left TV project.

Sam Wainwright is a Socialist Alliance councillor in Fremantle. Below is a talk he gave on the topic of how to achieve social change in Australia.

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It's pretty obvious for anyone that cares to look that capitalism is a socially destructive and ecologically unsustainable system.

Based on the unequal distribution of wealth, it condemns billions to living in poverty worldwide.

Our dear friend and comrade PA (Ram) Subramaniam, a tireless and courageous supporter of Tamil freedom and the liberation of all humanity, died on the morning of October 4.

When PA called to advise us of his cancer diagnosis less than two months ago, he did so in a completely matter of fact way. There was not a hint of self-pity or regret. In fact there was a renewed impatience and urgency.

The antics of Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer have served as a useful foil for Labor. They're like caricature capitalists lifted from a comic book.

Attacking them has given Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan the opportunity to make up for their earlier capitulation on the Rudd mining tax with a bit of populist rhetoric, while letting BHP and Rio Tinto just get on with it.

Socialist Alliance member on the Fremantle City Council, Sam Wainwright discusses the "boom", 457 visas, training and migration to Australia.

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