Editorial

Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange have made some powerful enemies. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Wikileaks of putting the world in danger and Australian PM Julia Gillard has said its activities are illegal.

In the US, Wikileaks has been denounced as a terrorist organisation and there have been calls for Assange to be either prosecuted, kidnapped or simply assassinated.

On September 15, France’s Senate passed a bill banning women from wearing full Islamic face veils such as the burqa and niqab.

Similar laws are being considered in other European countries. In the New South Wales Legislative Council, Christian fundamentalist MLC Fred Nile has introduced a private member’s bill seeking to ban wearing the burqa. Neither major party supporta the bill, so it is expected to fail.

After a record high vote for the Greens in the August 21 federal election, it did not take long for the corporate media to get its claws out.

In particular, Rupert Murdoch-owned News Ltd’s flagship newspaper The Australian has been called out for its string of critical stories and headlines targeting the Greens.

In a September 9 editorial, the paper responded to Greens Senator Bob Brown's criticism that the paper was openly attacking the Greens-Labor deal, saying the Greens “are bad for the nation; and ... should be destroyed at the ballot box”.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is enjoying a honeymoon in the polls since taking Kevin Rudd’s place. A July 2 Reuters Trend poll confirmed a series of polls since Gillard became PM on June 24, giving Labor the lead over the right-wing Coalition.

The June 26 Sydney Morning Herald said a Herald/Nielson poll found Greens support since Gillard took over had fallen from 15% to 8%.

But another crucial poll indicated the true nature of Gillard’s rise to power. As soon as she was installed as prime minister, the share price of the large mining corporations rose.

The deaths of three Australian commandos in a helicopter crash on June 21 should bring home the message: it's time to leave Afghanistan.

The deaths bring the total number of Australians killed in the occupation to 16. This, not to mention the countless thousands of Afghan deaths, should be enough reason to call an end to Australian participation in this war.

In recent weeks, the big mining companies have spent millions on propaganda against plans to make them pay more tax. But the results of a June 1 Newspoll showed they have hardly made a dent on public opinion.

Both big parties are losing ground, the poll said. Labor’s primary vote dropped two points, to 35%. The Coalition went down by the same margin, from 43% to 41%. But the bombshell was the record Greens vote — up four points to 16%.

This is not a new trend. Support for the Greens has risen steadily over the past decade.

The world was shocked by Israel’s latest act of barbarism — an act of high-seas piracy that ended in slaughter. Israel’s excuse of “self-defence” is so ludicrous it is hard to believe anyone is expected to take it seriously.

On May 31, Israel raided the six boats of the Freedom Flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip has been subjected to a siege of growing intensity by Israel since 2006. The flotilla contained people from more than 37 nations.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's proposed tax on mining industry super-profits has, to the surprise of no one, attracted a great deal of whining from the mining sector.

Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Metals accused those who supported the tax of engaging in “class warfare” and threatened to sell his mining interests overseas if the tax goes ahead, reported the May 19 Herald Sun. On May 20, he said that he had shelved $17.5 billion in new mining projects as a result of the tax.

Bolivia's World People's Summit on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth was radical, inspiring, uncompromising and exactly what was needed.

Up to 30,000 people from six continents took part in the summit, which was held in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba from April 19 to 22.

The huge oil spill from a BP rig in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the summit’s significance. About 800,000 litres of oil are spewing out a day. The company admits it may not be able to stop the leak for weeks — or even months.

Australians voted out the Howard Coalition government in 2007. But the Labor government's decision to suspend processing new refugees arriving by boat from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka means John Howard's racist refugee policies have been revived.

Pages

Subscribe to Editorial