Labor’s first federal budget in 13 years was well received by much of the welfare lobby, despite its shortcomings. “The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Rudd Government’s first Budget because of its focus on helping disadvantaged Australians to overcome poverty and achieve their aspirations”, Tony Nicholson, BSL executive director said in a media release on May 13. “Robin Hood may have just fired off his first humble arrow”, said Dr John Falzon, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society, in his statement on the budget.
The Combined Rail Unions in NSW are recommending industrial action to force the NSW Rail Corporation (Railcorp) to back away from plans to cut 400 jobs on stations, along with rail workers’ conditions of work.
On May 22, 40,000 public school teachers in NSW took 24-hour strike action in opposition to the Labor state government’s refusal to negotiate with the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) over the way teachers are allocated to public schools.
The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), based in Fitzroy, and started by Koori activists in 1973, is threatened by funding shortfalls.
The Connex ticket inspectors, who already have a reputation for violent and thuggish behaviour, are pushing for the right to carry handcuffs. Julian Burnside QC, president of Civil Liberties Victoria, has described the plan as “insane”.
The Socialist Alliance is joining the growing number of people and organisations campaigning for a big increase in all pensions and other welfare benefits. It is outrageous that people on welfare were almost totally ignored in the recent federal budget.
Ideas become a material force when they grasp the minds of masses.
Below is an abridged sign-on statement initiated by the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, http://cispes.org. To add you organisation, please email sistercities@gmail.com The context for the violence is the increasing likelihood of a victory in the elections for early next year of the left-wing Farabundo Marti Liberation Front.
Christy Moore is a powerful vocalist, song interpreter, and a passionately political person and performer. To many he may be simply a folk singer, but Moore is a voice for the voiceless.
Below is an abridged statement released on May 15 by participants in the People’s Social Summit in Lima, denouncing the decision of ETI and Telecom Italia to demand that the New York State Court freeze the accounts of the National Telecommunications Company (ENTEL). This action is part of a strategy of aggression against the government of Bolivia, which has nationalised ENTEL. Visit http://boliviarising.blogspot.com for the full statement with signatures.
The Irish referendum on the European Union Lisbon Treaty will take place on June 12. The Dublin government, media and all the major political parties, with the exception of Sinn Fein, are calling for a “Yes” vote for “jobs, the economy and Ireland’s future in Europe”.
Shostakovich: A Life
By Laurel E. Fay
Oxford University Press, 2005
458 pages, $47.95 (pb)