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In the search for a rationale to justify his assault on pensioners, the poor and the welfare dependent, Scott Morrison has reached back to the 17th century work of the English political theorist and philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes published Leviathan in 1651, a work that gave rise to social contract theory. He was an advocate of strong central government, without which, he maintained, life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency has declared 2014 the hottest year ever recorded. Other meteorology organisations around the world are on track to confirm this as they process their records over the next few weeks. This means that 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century.
NSW Labor has anointed a new leader less than three months before the state election in March. With the ALP trailing Mike Baird's Coalition government in the polls, it must have calculated that it has nothing to lose by dumping former leader John Robertson.
The Basque people have suffered long-standing repression and denial of national rights under Spanish rule, including many jailings of supporters of Basque self-determination. The Basque nationalist movement is entirely committed to peaceful, non-violent means, with Basque armed group ETA declared a “permanent cessation” of armed activity in 2011. Spanish state repression has not ended, however. The statement below was released on January 17 by the Basque Peace Process website. ***
Aboriginal people and their supporters are converging in Canberra from all over Australia for the Invasion Day weekend. The weekend will feature a "sit-in" that is expected to release an historic Declaration of Independence reaffirming Aboriginal sovereignty in this country.
January 26 marks Invasion Day and the ongoing fight for Aboriginal rights. Join rallies and events in your city. Check here for details. Australian roots band Blue King Brown has released their new video which profiles freedom for West Papua. Watch the video All Nations and get involved in the campaign.
On January 5, with most of the country still in holiday mode, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman called on the acting governor (even the governor was still on holidays) to issue writs for a state election on January 31. The Liberal National Party (LNP) won government three years ago in a landslide against the Labor government’s privatisation of public assets, reducing the ALP to a rump of seven seats (now increased to nine after two byelection victories).
While GLW was on its break over the New Year period, the news came that a snap election is to be held in Greece on January 25. GLW has been regularly reporting on the situation in Greece in recent years — the imposition of vicious austerity measures by the European Union and the Greek government and the rising popularity of the left-wing coalition SYRIZA. As the election approaches, polls put SYRIZA in the lead. It is likely to win, though may have to enter a coalition in order to form government.
The Socialist Alliance national conveners released this statement on January 9. * * * The Socialist Alliance condemns the massacre of journalists, cartoonists and others at and around the offices of the Paris-based publication Charlie Hebdo. However offensive anyone may have found some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, this act of brutal violence is not justified.
A bushfire that swept through the Adelaide Hills in early January has destroyed 27 homes, ravaged the local environment and killed many pets and animals. Large smoke plumes were visible from the Adelaide CBD and several Adelaide suburbs were evacuated. It is similar to other severe fires, such as in the Blue Mountains in NSW last year and the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009, which climate scientists say will occur more frequently.
Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke with Jacob Rumbiak, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of West Papua -- a government-in-exile of the Papuan terrritory occupied by Indonesia since the 1960s. Its new foreign affairs office is in Melbourne. Rumbiak is one of five officials of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, a new consultation body set up at a conference in Vanuatu in December.
Joseph Elu, chair of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, told Radio National’s PM on January 5 that the islands that have been home to Indigenous people for thousands of years are “being inundated”, right now because of climate change. “A couple of our islands, the tide rises over the sea walls of the beachfront and it flows under the houses and out the other end ... They’re predicting that in 100 years, then they’ll go under.”