Analysis

How many more leaked internal reports into criminal-sounding behaviour of some Australian army and special forces personnel do we need to demand the occupation troops in Afghanistan and Iraq be removed — immediately?

At the recent Victorian Labor state conference, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) delegation and the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (SDA) and Labor’s Right faction to close the conference early. That meant that a range of good motions, including for a Shorten government to close the offshore detention centres, were not debated. Union leader John Setka didn't think this was a problem but others, including rank-and-file CFMMEU members, do.

When is enough, enough? The latest assessments of the new round of tax cuts for the top end of town indicate that that they will definitely be better off.

But why, I find myself asking? How in all conscience can those with money to burn press for a bigger slice of the pie when they already have much more than they’ll ever need, at a time when there are so many living below the poverty line?

'Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you’re on. Class analysis is figuring out who is there with you.' — Slogan from a 1970s poster, author unknown.

The newly formed "Industrial Left" faction of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in Victoria combined with the right at the party's state conference on May 28 to block discussion about imposing a 90 day time limit on offshore detention.

The Global Day of Action for Women's Health was on May 28. Around the world, the preceding week was punctuated by significant actions for abortion rights.

The most significant was the resounding Yes vote in the May 25 Irish referendum on removing the ban on abortion from the constitution. This gave a shot in the arm to the campaign for abortion rights in the six counties of Northern Ireland, where the anti-abortion provisions of British Offences Against the Person Act from 1861 remain in force.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the highest-paid leader in the entire Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to a recent report.

Analysis by market research group IG also showed Turnbull earns up to 10 times the average Australian wage — the second-highest disparity with the majority of ordinary workers among OECD countries.

The Victorian Branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) held its state conference over the weekend of May 26 and 27.

The conference was held amid rising tensions within the Victorian ALP; with several prominent unions including the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) splitting from the Socialist Left to form the new “Centre Unity and Industrial Left Alliance” faction with a number of right-wing unions including the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

"Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice To change true rules for odd inventions."

William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, 1593.

On May 21 Australian Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt introduced a small but potentially significant private member's bill into the House of Representatives.

The North Coast Environment Council (NCEC) has accused the NSW government of trying to keep the public in the dark about its proposals for logging on public land. The proposals include opening state forests to increased logging, zoning 140,000 hectares for clearfelling, removing the need to look for and protect most threatened species before logging, reducing stream buffers and allowing logging in old growth forest.

There were mixed results in the recent Greens NSW Legislative Council preselections. But, that in itself represents a revival in the fortunes of the more radical (or red-ish) Greens who have suffered a series of losses in such ballots over the past two years. Those losses were welcome news to the self-styled “mainstream progressives” (or centrists) who lead the Australian Greens and have long chaffed at the presence of Corbyn-like elements in the Greens NSW. Now, writes former convenor of NSW Greens Hall Greenland, that losing trend is over.

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