1035

Britain's major political parties are so scared of an alternative that they won't even let the left-wing, anti-austerity Green Party into televised debates. If the Greens aren't allowed into the TV election debates, there should be a compromise, such as its MP, Caroline Lucas, being allowed to present an episode of Top Gear.
Briggs

Briggs is 598 kilometres from his hometown of Shepparton - and he's missing his bed. "When I'm at home I don't have people ringing me up telling me I've got to get out of the house," says the rapper, sitting on his hotel room's balcony in Sydney.

The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given to him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war. The persecution of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end.
A Senate committee recommended on November 24 that immigration minister Scott Morrison’s sweeping migration amendments be passed by parliament. The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 would give Morrison unprecedented powers without the scrutiny of either parliament or the courts.
A subsidiary of the giant construction company Grocon was fined $250,000 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on November 21 for “failing to ensure a safe workplace”. The charge related to the deaths of three people when a wall collapsed in March last year. The wall blew over in a strong wind and fell onto a footpath in Swanston Street, Carlton. An advertising hoarding attached to the wall may have contributed to the collapse. However, the wall was in such poor condition that it may have fallen over anyway.
Cuts to the ABC. Cuts to SBS. More broken promises by this rotten Coalition government. Now more than ever we need Green Left Weekly as an alternative source of news and commentary from a progressive viewpoint.
Refugee activists organised a float in the Perth pride parade on November 23 to raise awareness of the discrimination queer refugees face on Manus Island. About 50 people took part in the float, dressed as prison guards and detainees in bright orange jumpsuits. The float was organised by an alliance of queer activists and refugee advocates, and attracted a broad group of people. Refugees living in detention on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea face a possible 14-year prison term if they disclose they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.
Macquarie Group is the largest investment bank and fund manager in Australia. On November 27 it was listed in a “Hall of Shame” report on global financial institutions found to have investments in companies manufacturing cluster bombs.
The Coalition government’s Direct Action policy has become law after passing the lower house on November 23. The centrepiece of Direct Action is the Emissions Reduction Fund. Under this scheme, the government will pay for projects that will reduce CO2 emissions "at least cost". Businesses, farmers, community organisations, local councils and individuals will be able to compete for $2.55 billion in government funding for projects to reduce their emissions.
A report conducted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has shown environmental concerns and technical lapses in coal seam gas (CSG) mining by Santos at their sites in Gunnedah and the Pilliga Forest, NSW. The report, published in Fairfax Media, is an audit from May last year.
In the Social Contract, published in 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that, “man is born free, and everywhere is in chains”. The French Revolution determined to remedy this state of affairs and its chosen instrument was a constitution setting out “natural, imprescriptible and inalienable rights”.
The White Ribbon is a public symbol that family violence is a problem. Women have the right to live a life free from gender-based violence. The fact that White Ribbon Day exists is a tribute to the generations of women and men who have campaigned to have family violence recognised as a crime and a serious problem in society. The Maritime Union of Australia, with a predominantly male membership, has enthusiastically taken up White Ribbon Day.