Gough Whitlam has passed away aged 98. Green Left will run more detailed analysis of his significance and legacy, but for now here is Sydney-based Celtic punk band Roaring Jack, fronted by Scottish socialist Alistair Hulett, with "The Ballad of '75" about the coup that removed the Whitlam government from power. See also: Uncovering the real Gough Whitlam
What's The Catch is a new three-part documentary series that will premiere on SBS on October 30. The series follows Gourmet Farmer star Matthew Evans as he uncovers the state of Australia's seafood industry and begins a campaign for labelling laws.
Richard Avedon People Exhibition, Art Gallery of Western Australia Until November 17. More than ever, we live in the “society of the spectacle” that Guy Debord theorised in 1967. Bourgeois commodification is augmented by reducing reality to a shallow image of itself. However, the spectacle itself “is the historical movement in which we are caught”.
“Iraq is our main effort, and it has to be, and the things that we’re doing right now in Syria are being done primarily to shape the conditions in Iraq,” General Lloyd Austin, the US commander overseeing the air strikes against Iraq and Syria told an October 17 Washington press conference. However, the first significant victory against the official enemy in the latest US-war in the Middle East ― the ultra-violent terrorist group that calls itself “the Islamic State” (IS) ― is being won in the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border.
No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, The NSA & The Surveillance State Glenn Greenwald Hamish Hamilton, 2014 259 pages, $29.99 (pb) Glenn Greenwald’s No Place To Hide is not just a thrilling account of the award-winning journalist’s “cloak-and-dagger” encounter with National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, but a clinical and impassioned analysis of the danger posed by the US’s vast surveillance state.
In celebration of the nationally acclaimed Day of Indigenous Resistance on October 13, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro handed over collective land titles to 14 original communities. Maduro also established a presidential council for indigenous peoples, lowered the threshold age for indigenous pensioners, and announced the creation of an institute to protect the country’s 44 native languages.
As 35 busloads of teacher-training students from Michoacan headed for Guerrero state to join increasingly militant protests for justice, students from major universities in Mexico City called a two-day strike on October 13. The protests were in response to the disappearance of dozens of students.
The Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) has written to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop over the banning of rallies in West Papua that had been called for October 13. The purpose of the rallies was to call on the Indonesian government to free the two French journalists Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois who were arrested on the 6th of August in Wamena and remain detained in Jayapura. They could face up to five years in prison.
New information was released on October 14 at the Financing Development with Transparency annual conference about the controversial operations of US mining company Newmont. Journalist Raul Weiner and accountant Juan Torres released their investigation, claiming it proves the US transnational committed tax fraud by not paying the Peruvian state about US$137 million last year alone. Newmont owns Yanacocha in Peru, a set of five gold mines that make up the second largest gold exploration in the world. The transnational also owns an expansion project called Conga.
University of Sydney professor Barry Spurr has been suspended following a protest at the university on October 17. Students and staff rallied to express their disgust over reports from New Matilda the professor had vilified minority groups in emails to his colleagues by using terms such as “abos, mussies, chinky-poos” and referred to a woman as a “worthless slut”.
The ebola outbreak in West Africa is "unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times", World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Dr Margaret Chan said on October 14.
The article below was is taken from a longer message released by Malalai Joya, the renowned Afghan feminist who has resisted the Taliban and US-led occupation of her nation, on October 12. It is abridged from www.malalaijoya.com. ***
"We are now in the world of 'big insurance,' with health funds squarely in the business of providing financial returns to shareholders ... Private health insurers serve their shareholders, meaning they don't necessarily seek to actively protect or advance models of care that result in the best health outcomes for members," chief executive of St Vincents Health Australia Toby Hall, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health-care organisation, wrote in the October 10 Sydney Morning Herald.
Paul Verhaeghe, senior professor of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis at Ghent University in Belgium, has argued in a recently published essay that neoliberal economics brings out the worst in human beings. He finds that thirty years of neoliberalism, and the privatisation and free-market misery that comes with it, have taken their toll on people’s values and even their personalities.
As I watched the slick military-supplied “news” clip of the first Australian Super Hornet mission over Iraq — where the two warplanes dropped not a single bomb on an IS target — I wondered how much that abortive mission cost the supposedly budget-strapped government and certainly budget-slapped Australian public.
Woolworths was caught out this month selling T-shirts with the slogan “If you don’t love it, leave” emblazoned over an Australian flag. After George Craig posted a photo of the shirt on Twitter with the caption: “@woolworths cairns, selling racist singlets for everyday low prices! #racist”, the T-shirt was quickly and widely condemned. Woolworths immediately pulled the stock from its shelves and apologised.