Many people are dismayed that the Greens have supported the Coalition government’s age pension cuts. Greens’ social media has been awash with commentary, with many people venting their anger at the Greens. Some have defended the deal, trusting the Greens to do the right thing and labelling criticism as Labor propaganda. Others just want an explanation.
"The NSW Coalition government's 2015 budget has a massive 'housing sales tax' windfall from stamp duty arising from the Sydney housing bubble," Susan Price, Socialist Alliance candidate in the recent NSW state elections, said on June 24. The government expects to reap more than $30 billion in stamp duty in the next four years, but the budget papers note that the cyclical nature of the property market means that revenue source is "inherently volatile".
More than 5000 people rallied in Brussels on June 21.
The US has been at war for all but 17 years of the 239 the nation has been in existence. Successive Australian governments have hastened to send troops into every war the US has provoked in the past 70 years. Many people consider Australia's strategies, priorities, and interests have been subsumed by those of the US.
As Greece's anti-austerity SYRIZA-led government seeks a deal to give it badly needed funds to pay creditors and avoid a collapse of its banking system, 40 groups from across Europe are petitioning for Greece's debt to be cancelled. The groups say the crisis-hit southern European country is not in a position to repay the debt and it should not have to shoulder a burden accumulated by previous governments. A preliminary report on the audit of Greece's debt initiated by the Greek parliament declared on June 17 that the debt was “illegal, illegitimate and odious”.
The Labor Party has backed federal government legislation that will, in some circumstances, force Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block their customers from accessing certain online services. Labor and Coalition senators passed the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 on June 22, with the Greens and a number of other cross-bench senators voting against the legislation.
It has become a disturbing hallmark of the current government that the degree to which Prime Minister Tony Abbott adopts the style of a Nazi leader addressing the Nuremburg Rally is a reflection of the policies being foreshadowed. At Abbott's June 23 press conference, the flag count was up to 10. The parliamentary sitting week that followed was an assault on democratic rights.
Hundreds of people rallied in Melbourne on June 25 to protest against the transfer of a young baby, Asha, to the Nauru detention centre. The rally occurred on the same day as the federal government, with support from the Labor opposition, voted to change the law to keep the prisons on Nauru and Manus Island open to defeat a high court challenge. Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said: "We can defeat this criminal policy, but it won't be easy."
Melbourne rally to return baby Asha on June 25. Photo ASRC/Facebook The campaign to bring back baby "Asha" (not her real name) from Nauru is gaining momentum. The five-month-old baby girl, her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru in early June.
Brad Chilcott is the director of Welcome to Australia, a community organisation that, according to its Facebook page, is “dedicated to giving asylum seekers, refugees, new arrivals and long-term migrant residents of Australia a warm, dignified and positive Welcome to Australia”. An article by Chilcott entitled Possibility before Protest has appeared on Chifley.org, a website for ALP members and supporters. The article does not clarify Chilcott’s relationship with the ALP.