Issue 1194

News

Former Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) secretary Tim Gooden has been preselected as the Victorian Socialists lead candidate for the Western Victoria Region Legislative Council electorate in the November state election.

Food delivery giant Foodora is leaving Australia owing $28.3 million in debts to workers and small business, plus more in unpaid taxes.

This huge debt is small change for Foodora’s parent company, Delivery Hero, which is worth $14.7 billion. Based in Germany, Delivery Hero trades in 40 countries and is attempting to further expand its global reach.

“Wage theft is rife in the food delivery industry,” Transport Workers Union (TWU) spokesperson Tony Sheldon told a rally of delivery riders and unionists on August 29 organised by the union and On-Demand Workers Australia.

The action demanded that the federal government puts in place a safety net to ensure riders from all companies are guaranteed minimum wage and entitlements.

Daniel Gasparri, the Charge d’affaires at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was welcomed here at a 60-strong dinner on August 26, hosted by the Communist Party of Australia.

The Victorian Socialists launched its policy manifesto on August 24 at the Brunswick Town Hall, attracting about 600 people.

The Manifesto outlines a comprehensive set of policies the Victorian Socialists are taking to the state election on November 24, the key ones being affordable housing for all, an expanded public transport system and the renationalisation of the power and public transport sectors.

Australia Workers' Union (AWU) members at Alcoa refinery plants and bauxite mines in Western Australia have been on strike since August 8. At stake in the dispute is the job security of 1600 workers. To mark the strike’s 20th day, site meetings were held on August 27 at the ongoing picket lines set up outside Alcoa workplaces in Pinjarra, Kwinana, Wagerup, Huntley and Willowdale.

The Tamil Refugee Council has no confidence in the Scott Morrison-led Coalition, saying his inhumane record towards refugees and asylum seekers speaks for itself.

Analysis

Along with his affiliation with the Horizon Church in Sutherland, Sydney, newly appointed Coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s commitment to conservative social movements and the number of Christian conservatives in the Coalition should ring alarm bells.

There has been ongoing reporting of individual instances of bank malpractice and occasional reporting of large scale institutionalised malpractice. Reporting of the banking royal commission hearings has quickened the pace. But nobody, including the media, joins the dots: the key financial institutions are structurally given to corrupt practices, writes Evan Jones.

Deposed Liberals Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the factional implosion in his party as “a kind of madness”. It sure looked like it — and there may be even more “madness” ahead.

The Liberals 'National Energy Guarantee' — which is a wholesale rejection of climate science — is also a sophisticated political ruse. It must be rejected.

A lot of people are alarmed at the rate at which prime ministers get changed these days. Personally, I’d be happy to have a new PM every week so long as none of them torture any innocent people in isolated offshore prison camps, writes Carlo Sands.

Shortly after #libspill, United States President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Scott Morrison, who replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Australian prime minister on August 24. The two have a lot in common.

World

The Argentine Senate’s rejection of a bill to legalise abortion did not stop a Latin American-wide movement, writes Fabiana Frayssinet. The movement is on the streets and expanding in an increasingly coordinated manner among women’s organisations in the region with the most restrictive laws and policies against pregnant women’s right to choose.

Prisoners across the United States launched a prison strike for August 21-September 9, which has since spread into Canada.

Mexico’s next president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO for short) is still three months away from taking office, but some of his campaign trail promises already seem distant, writes Ryan Mallett-Outtrim from Puebla.

Back in July, AMLO became the first left-wing candidate in Mexico’s modern history to win a presidential election, though he has to wait until December 1 to take office.

John Bellamy Foster is editor of Marxist journal Monthly Review, whose books include Marx’s Ecology (2002) and The Ecological Revolution (2009). He spoke to Fiona Ferguson, a Belfast-based activist in People Before Profit. The interview below is posted the Irish socialist website REBEL.

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"I don't want to lie to myself anymore. I don't want to create the illusion that my presence in the government means we're up to the challenges, and so I've decided to quit the government." With those words, France's environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced during a live radio interview that, after 15 months in the role, he was parting company with President Emmanuel Macron.

Democracy Now! has looked back at the life and legacy of John McCain, the six-term senator and two-time presidential candidate, who died on August 25 at the age of 81. McCain began his decades-long political career after he was a naval pilot in the Vietnam War, where he spent more than five years as a prisoner of war after his plane was shot down in Hanoi in 1967. 

Culture

Six new books for reds and greens, as recommended by Climate and Capitalist editor Ian Angus.

The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of the Bankers
Ann Pettifor
Verso
London, 2017
192 pages
Fictitious Capital: How Finance is Appropriating Our Future
Cederic Durand
Translated by David Broder
Verso
London, 2017
176 pages

BlacKkKlansman
Directed by Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Adam Driver, Laura Harrier & Topher Grace.
2018, in cinemas now

BlacKkKlansman is based upon the 2014 memoirs Black Klansman by former Colorado Springs police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) telling the real-life story of his operation to infiltrate the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).