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Clivosaurus: The Politics Of Clive Palmer Guy Rundle Quarterly Essay November 2014 Black Inc., $19.99 Elected in 2013 by the curious, the disaffected and the dark arts of preference deals, billionaire Queensland coal baron Clive Palmer and his Senate threesome, were, at first, writes Guy Rundle in Clivosaurus, ignored or played for laughs by the establishment media.
Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars Is More Important Than Winning Them By David Keen Yale University Press, 2012. Governments in the US, Britain and Australia seem intent on waging war in faraway lands, supposedly to bring freedom and democracy to foreign peoples and to deliver us from the chaos of terrorism. David Keen's useful Enemies, however, shows the folly of the policies being pursued. Far from bringing peace, it turns out throwing arms, bombs and money against opponents who refuse to neatly line up as targets is more likely to fuel the conflict.
"The people of NSW should rise up and reject the Baird government's plan to sell off the state's power industry, just as Queensland voters did last weekend," Susan Price, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Summer Hill in the March 28 NSW elections, said on February 5. "The massive rejection of Premier Campbell Newman and his Liberal-National Party (LNP) government in the Queensland state election on January 31 has been sheeted home by most commentators to the LNP's disastrous plan to privatise the state's publicly owned electricity industry.
Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum But Lost Scotland By Iain MacWhirter Cargo Publishing, 2014, 174 pages The independence referendum on September 18 last year has been hailed by many as the most important event in the recent Scottish history. The result was far closer than any supporter of independence would have dared predict even a few months before the vote. About 1.6 million voters (45%) refused to be swayed by a sustained fear campaign by the British state and its allies ― voting “Yes” to Scottish independence.
Three passengers were removed from a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin on February 2 after refusing to take their seats in protest against the transfer of an asylum seeker on the same flight. A 25-year-old Tamil man known as Puvaneethan was being transferred from Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne to Darwin. He was distressed about being separated from his family in Melbourne.
If you reading this after Tuesday, there's a chance we could have a new Overlord. Liberals spooked by polls so bad that an electoral coalition between Islamic State and Ebola — or hell, even the Labor Party — could probably win the next federal election, are holding a leadership spill that could dump Tony Abbott as prime minister less than half way through his first term.

Dunking her biscuit into the cup now covered in a suitable amount of filth, she thinks about the time she went driving up a mountain range in Cape York. “What a beautiful area — shame about the people.” Fully aware she’s been accused of intellectual snobbery on more than one occasion, she lulled herself into a meditative state, knowing she would have to turn on the charm once more. “I say vagina and cunt twenty times a day and they still accuse me of it,” she said out loud this time.

On January 30 a meeting of the New South Wales Education Action Network (EAN) was convened at the University of Technology, Sydney. The EAN is a cross campus collective of university students committed to fighting fee deregulation and for free education. It is open to all student activists.
The boats that “just kept coming and coming” under Labor have been “all but stopped”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared to the Press Club in his widely described as “crash-and-burn” address on February 2. “The Abbott government has stopped the boats — and only this government will keep them stopped.”
The Labor Party has enjoyed a remarkable recovery in the recent Queensland elections. Three years ago, after Labor privatised publicly owned railways, ports and forests, the party was reduced to a 27% primary vote and seven state seats. At the January 31 election, its primary vote rose to 38% and, with a stronger flow of Greens preferences, it won at least 43 seats with a possible total of 45 — the final result will be determined by further counting. Forty five seats would give the party an absolute majority in state parliament.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called national rallies against the federal government on March 4. They released this statement on January 30. *** Our rights at work are again under attack from the Tony Abbott government and employers. Just last week it became even clearer that the full-scale Productivity Commission inquiry into our rights at work could deliver cuts to penalty rates, the abolition of the minimum wage, bring back unfair individual contracts and swing even more power to the employers. The time to stand up and fight back is now.
About 3000 people marched through Sydney's inner-west suburbs of Newtown and St Peters on February 1 to show their opposition to the $12 billion WestConnex motorway project. The project would destroy 80 homes and bulldoze sections of six local parks. Iconic Sydney Park is projected to lose 12,000 square metres of green space. WestConnex Action Group and Reclaim the Streets organised the rally.