Issue 1252

News

Alex Bainbridge reports more than 400 people marched through the streets of Brisbane on February 1 against Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s religious discrimnation bill.

Extinction Rebellion organised a small but lively disruption of the opening of Queensland state parliament on February 4, reports Alex Bainbridge.

Israel has been internationally condemned for its deliberate policy of depriving millions of Palestinians access to regular clean water. Yet, the NSW government is stepping up collaboration with Israel by signing an agreement on water management with the apartheid regime, writes Mark Govier.

Speaking at the National Press Club on January 29, Morrison said: “I want households and businesses paying less for their electricity and I want to continue to get emissions down — this deal does both.”

But, as Margaret Gleeson argues, there is no evidence it will do either.

For years, gas companies have been eyeing the Beetaloo Sub-basin, 500 kilometres south-east of Darwin, in the Northern Territory. Now, a compliant NT Labor administration, working hand in glove with the federal Coalition government, has emboldened them to step up production, despite widespread objections, writes Pip Hinman.

Zebedee Parkes reports thousands of people converged on Canberra for the opening of parliament on February 4 to demand the federal government declare a climate emergency.

Analysis

The sheer scale of the recent bushfires and their timing (during the summer school holidays) have had a crippling impact on many working people, including small business owners, and put the ongoing sustainability of rural communities at serious risk, writes Graham Matthews.

The federal government is pouring billions of dollars into its attempts to deal with the worst impacts of a climate crisis it prefers to ignore. Yet, as Elena Garcia explains, this money will never achieve its stated aim nor reach those who need it most.

Animal rights activist in Melbourne have harmed the climate movement and their own cause by attempting to stack meetings and ram through demands, argue Jacob Andrewartha and Sue Bolton.

The burden of responsibility for the climate crisis is often placed on poorer nations. But, as Chloe DS argues, the main culprits continue to be the rich and powerful 1%.

Leo Crnogorcevic takes a look at how Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s business-as-usual approach on the climate crisis is increasing risks for workers who are already inadequately protected when it comes to extreme weather conditions.

Banks are hated for good reasons: they rip off and abuse ordinary customers while helping their richest clients spirit away ill-gotten gains. They help keep the poor poor while making the rich even richer, writes Peter Boyle.

The spread of coronavirus 2019-nCoV, argues Coral Wynter, has been whipped up by the media and governments to promote hostility against China, provoking outbreaks of racism against Chinese people.

World

Twenty-nine people were arrested in Islamabad on January 28 while peacefully protesting the arrest and imprisonment of Manzoor Pashteen, leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), writes Susan Price.

There are currently two wars being fought in northern Syria, writes Chris Slee.

Green Left is pleased to announce the formation of the Global Ecosocialist Network. We encourage all readers to support this important initiative to strengthen ecosocialist collaboration around the world, write Susan Price and Federico Fuentes.

Capitulation to the Spanish state has blown apart Catalonia's pro-independence alliance and forced an early election, writes Dick Nichols from Barcelona.

Critics of Trump’s Middle East “Peace Plan” in the capitalist media claim he has given Israel everything it wants. Trump says he is just being realistic, recognising the reality on the ground.

Barry Sheppard explains that Trump is right – he has given Israel nothing it did not already have, except United States official recognition and approval of that reality.

The current uprising represents a crisis of the Baghdad government and is a striking rejection of the entire post-2003 US-imposed political structure, writes Rupen Savoulian

Circulating intimate images — real or fake — over the internet to attack a woman's credibility, shame her or silence her, is one of the various types of online violence against women that the Mexican government will likely formalise as a crime in coming months, writes Tamara Pearson from Puebla.

British politics continues to be chaotic and uncertain. This might appear a surprising judgement, considering that: Boris Johnson’s government has a majority of 80 seats, the first time since the 1980s that the Conservatives have been able to rule without serious parliamentary challenge; and Britain left the European Union on January 31, apparently ending a saga that split first the Conservative Party and then the entire country.

Yet, beneath the surface, politics remains in flux, argues Derek Wall.

While the stark reality of the global climate emergency struck home in Australia with its worst bushfire season, its neighbour Indonesia faced catastrophic floods and islands disappearing below the rising sea. Green Left's Peter Boyle interviewed Friends of the Earth Indonesia climate change campaigner Yuyun Harmono about the situation.

Culture

When conversing with commoners, members of the British Royal Family are instructed to always ask the question "And what do you do?" For, after all, this gives the working class something to talk about – their job.

But Phil Shannon says it is high time the question was returned in kind by asking of the royals: "And what do you do?"

A photo exhibition in Tokyo on January 23–26 celebrated the life and advocacy of Song Sin-do, who campaigned for an apology from the Japanese government for coercing her into sexual slavery during World War II, writes Melanie Barnes.

10 new political albums january 2020 album artwork

Mat Ward takes a look back at January's political news and the best new albums that related to it.