Sam Wainwright

Who really runs this country? The announcement by the federal government that it has struck its first Enterprise Migration Agreement with the world's richest woman Gina Rinehart reveals just how eager our governments are to serve the mining millionaires.

Youth unemployment in Kwinana, in suburban Perth, is at 26.4%. So why the skills shortage?

A looming staffing problem in Western Australia's 26 Police and Community Youth Centres (PCYC) is exposing premier Colin Barnett and the Liberal government's disregard for youth services and the complete hypocrisy of the law and order rhetoric that crops up at every state election.

PCYCs are formally independent non-profit organisations, supported by the state through the provision of police officers as full-time centre managers.

If you speak out against the widening gap between wages and CEOs’ salaries, the corporate media will accuse you of stoking the “politics of envy”. Workers who dare take industrial action to get a few more crumbs from the bosses’ table are cast as class war dinosaurs.

The Occupy protesters? We’re told they are naive rebels without a clue. But the Qantas lock-out proves otherwise.

The determination of the WA government and transport minister Troy Buswell to close more than 720 kilometres of so-called Tier 3 railway lines in the state’s Wheatbelt has put it on a collision course with grain farming communities. It threatens to unleash a vast increase in heavy truck traffic and all the problems that go with it.

It was a good thing when 14 Labor members of the Western Australian parliament and the federal member for Fremantle, Melissa Parke, publicly voiced their disgust that unaccompanied children would be sent to Malaysia as part of the Labor federal government’s refugee swap.

The claptrap used to sell this cruel and illogical farce is deservedly collapsing in on itself.

Federal Labor’s contradictory flip-flopping on this issue has been excruciating to watch. It’s not guided by any rational policy making, but political imagery.

Last year, Marrickville council in Sydney passed a resolution in support of the non-violent struggle of the Palestinian people for their human rights.

Since then The Australian and other media outlets have gone into a hysterical frenzy, accusing the councillors of being dangerous, naive, anti-Semitic extremists.

Actually they are just ordinary community members; some of who are in the Australian Labor Party, some in the Greens and some who have no political affiliations.

Long-time Perth activist, Communist Party of Australia leader, World War II veteran and retired waterside worker Vic Williams died on April 19, aged 96.

Born on June 28, 1914, Vic joined the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) in 1939 and was one of its leading members in Western Australia until it split over the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The conflict in Western Sahara, little known in Australia, is at last starting to get some prominence.

Unionists held a protest outside the Moroccan embassy in Canberra on February 9. This coincided with a visit to the Western Saharan capital, El Aaiun, by eight European trade unions to investigate the attack on striking phosphate workers by Moroccan police in August 2010.

A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara has been illegally occupied by Morocco since 1975, in defiance of international law and UN resolutions calling for a referendum on self-determination.

Below is the text of a speech by Fremantle councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sam Wainwright to Green Left Weekly's 20th anniversary celebrations in Perth on February 12.

See also:
Greetings to Green Left from around Australia
Greetings to Green Left from around the world
Green Left turns 20!
Green Left’s 20 years of independence

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The Business Council of Australia (BCA), which represents Australia's 100 biggest companies, said on February 14 that the federal government should consider cutting the disability pension as an alternative to the Queensland flood levy.

How low can these grubs go? Only days later, BCA’s biggest member, BHP-Billiton, posted a record $10.5 billion half-year profit.

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