In his election night acceptance speech, PM Kevin Rudd said that all of Labor’s policy now becomes a “plan of action” for the incoming Labor government. As to Labor’s oft repeated promise to “tear up Work Choices”, their plans — as far as they actually go — are detailed in the Forward with Fairness: Policy Implementation Plan, released by the then Labor opposition in August.
When I switched on the TV on the day after the federal election, this message hit me: the election is over, now we can get on with Christmas shopping!
Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has called on the new Rudd Labor government to scrap the pulp mill that has been approved to be built in northern Tasmania. Brown has pointed to the strong Greens vote that helped the ALP regain all lower house seats in Tasmania as a mandate to stop the mill.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. In the years following the revolution, its leaders initiated the formation of the Communist (Third) International (Comintern), an international grouping of communist parties. In Venezuela, the leadership of the country’s unfolding socialist revolution have issued a call for a new international of Latin American left parties. This article, by John Riddell, is part of an ongoing series on the history of the Comintern.
In September 2006, Roger Harris, a teacher at Chisholm Institute of Technology (Victoria) and an Australian Education Union member for 23 years, was stood down by the Chisholm management. Harris had been an active union member, playing a central role on the sub-branch executive for 16 years and has served on the AEU’s TAFE sector council for 10 years.
The US troop death toll in Iraq in November — 37 — was the lowest since March 2006, when 31 US troops were killed. Nevertheless, 2007 has been the deadliest year on record for the US occupation forces, with 878 troops killed by the end of November — 56 more than last year.
On November 20, two unidentified thugs use butchers’ cleavers to brutally attack Huang Qingnan, an organiser of the Dagongzhe Centre in the south China foreign capital haven of Shenzhen, leaving him seriously injured. The assault came on the heels of the October 11 and November 14 attempts to ransack the workers’ centre by an unidentified gang, leaving behind extensive property damage.
Following the election of the new federal Labor government, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope announced that a third attempt would be made to introduce same-sex civil unions in the ACT. Legislation currently before the ACT Legislative Assembly will be voted on early next year.
Push Comes to Shove
Music by John Hammond
Only Blues Music, 2007
12 tracks, $23.99
Global warming A vexing problem before negotiators at the December 3-14 UN climate change conference in Bali is how to convince poor countries to invest in renewable energy to power their development, when most renewable sources are significantly
On November 29, a number of soldiers led by Captain Antonio Trillanes, who were on trial for their role in a 2003 popular uprising against Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, walked out of court accompanied by the soldiers who were supposed to be guarding them.
On November 21, up to 10,000 Victorian teachers went on strike, travelling from around the state to fill the Vodafone Arena in Melbourne. Around 150 schools were closed as a result of the industrial action. The teachers are calling for a 10% per annum pay rise over the next three years.
A new US intelligence report released on December 3 “not only undercut the administration’s alarming rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear ambitions but could also throttle Bush’s effort to ratchet up international sanctions and take off the table the possibility of preemptive military action before the end of his presidency”, the December 4 Washington Post reported.
Kevin Rudd is a prime minister in a big hurry. Only a fortnight has passed since the Howard government was thrown into the dustbin, and the new Labor cabinet is already scurrying about its work.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
By Ilan Pappe
Oneworld Publications, 2006
313 pages, $39.95 (hb)
With the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s proposed constitutional reforms, aimed at “opening the path to socialism” in the referendum on December 2, by a tiny margin of 50.7% to 49.3% with 90% of the vote counted, many Venezuelans and supporters of the Bolivarian revolution internationally are asking “what happened?”.


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