Well, January isn't even over and the race for Biggest Hypocrite of 2014 is well under way. And the ever-reliable contenders from Parliament House in Canberra already have some serious competition in the media.
Comedian, Hollywood star and former host of MTV and Big Brother's Big Mouth Russell Brand took on veteran BBC broadcaster Jeremy Paxman in a Newsnight interview subsequently viewed millions of times on YouTube. The journalist, veteran of many bruising encounters with politicians of all stripes, decisively lost.
Call me old-fashioned, but as far as celebrity outlaws go, I’ll take Ned Kelly over Chopper Read any day. The rise to fame of recently deceased Mark “Chopper” Read symbolised the emptiness of our celebrity culture. In a world governed by large-scale gangsters in control of big industry and finance, Read was a mere petty psychopath and opportunist who figured out how to turn a buck from the fact that, as he famously noted, “posh people love gangsters”.
Members of Sydney's Chilean community and supporters protested outside New South Wales Parliament on September 16 to demand Premier Barry O'Farrel sack Liberal MP Peter Phelps.
September 11 is a date forever associated with mass murder of civilians — and this was the case nearly three decades before the 2001 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. This year, September 11 marks the 40th anniversary of the US-organised military coup that overthrew the elected left-wing government of Salvador Allende and installed a brutal dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet. The day was the start of a nightmare for Chileans, as a reign of terror crushed left-wing groups, trade unions and popular organisations.
Twenty years ago, Aboriginal Australian Football League player Nicky Winmar famously responded to racist taunting by Collingwood fans by pulling up his jumper and defiantly pointing at his black skin. “Heartbroken” Aboriginal Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes created another iconic image when he was snapped — shocked and furious — pointing at a Collingwood fan. Goodes was responding to a 13-year-old girl abusing him as an “ape”. It was only one of two examples of racial abuse directed at Aboriginal Swans players by Collingwood fans during the game that came to light.
Latin America's Turbulent Transitions: The Future of 21st Century Socialism By Roger Burbach, Michael Fox & Federico Fuentes Zed Books, 2013 www.futuresocialism.org In a quirk of history, Margaret Thatcher died a little more than one month after Hugo Chavez. Thatcher was a figurehead for the global class war in the 1980s and '90s known as “neoliberalism”. Chavez was a figurehead for the struggle against it and the alternative starting to be built in Latin America over the past decade.
“We’re from the streets of western Sydney,” chanted thousands of Western Sydney Wanderers' supporters as they marched onto Newcastle’s Hunter Stadium on March 29. About 8000 Wanderer fans had travelled to watch their soccer team beat the Newcastle Jets 3-0 to secure top place on the ladder and win the A-League Premier’s Plate.
On February 3, Artists Against Apartheid Australia (AAPA) sent an email to the organisers of WOMADelaide 2013 with a request to reject funds it received from the Israeli embassy for the upcoming show of the Alaev Family. The call is part of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, initiated by a wide range of Palestinian groups. It targets Israel in a bid to force it to abandon its apartheid policies against Palestinians.
Plastic bullets were fired and water cannons were used as rioting erupted again in Belfast on January 12 at loyalist flag protests, Irish Republican News said that day. Belfast has been hit by violent protests and riots in the aftermath of a decision by Belfast City Council to restrict the flying of the Union Jack at Belfast City Hall to 17 days a year.
Venezuela's US-funded opposition and the international corporate media has used President Hugo Chavez's serious health issues to run a campaign against the Venezuelan government. In particular, the opposition has claimed that the failure of Chavez, who is recovering from surgery in Cuba, to be sworn-in by the National Assembly by the originally scheduled date of January 10 means he is no longer president. Chavez was re-elected president for a six year term in October with more than 55% of the vote.
Israel's brutal eight-day assault on Gaza, which killed dozens of Palestinian children, was formally ended with an Egyptian-negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on November 21. It caused fresh carnage in the besieged Gaza Strip, which is regularly bombed by Israel and has not recovered from Israel's 22-day offensive in 2008-09 that killed about 1400 people. Rockets fired from Gaza in response to Israeli attacks killed five Israelis.
Rod Quantock, the “Australian institution” of comedy, is set to headline a special one-off comedy show in Marrickville, Sydney, on December 8 in aid of the Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network (AFTINET). Quantock ― winner of the Melbourne Comedy Festival 2012’s Director’s Choice Award ― will be joined at the Red Rattler by comedians Matt Wakefield, Alice Fraser, Justine Rogers and James Colley, as well as resident Englishman, Jazz Twemlow for the benefit gig.
Working people in Greece are facing increasingly attacks on their living standards and civil liberties. The radical left coalition SYRIZA came close to winning government in June elections on an anti-austerity program, but fascist forces are also growing out of the despair. Afrodity Giannakis, a member of the International Workers' Left (DEA), which is part of SYRIZA, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Stuart Munckton about the situation. * * *
The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange. Ironically, Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to the Australian citizen who founded the whistleblowing website came on the same day the Australian Senate voted to further punish those seeking asylum in this country.
Trouble flared across Ireland's north on the night of July 12 as sectarian Orange Order marchers insisted on marching through nationalist areas, the Morning Star said the next day. It said serious rioting followed a unionist (supporters of Northern Ireland's union with Britain) parade through the the largely Catholic and Irish nationalist working-class suburb of Ardoyne in north Belfast.