Bob Hawke, Australia’s longest-serving Labor prime minister, died at his home in Sydney on May 16, aged 89.

The same night, former Liberal PM Tony Abbott caused a stir when he released a statement on Twitter, describing Hawke as a “great prime minister”. After listing what be believed to be Hawke's key achievements — “financial deregulation, tariff cuts and the beginning of privatisation” of major national public assets — Abbott went on to claim they “went against the Labor grain”.

“You might almost say he had a Labor heart, but a Liberal head,” Abbott said.

This year, the First Nations suicide crisis has not only continued its dramatic escalation, but the lack of adequate response only worsens as the rates rise and it remains relatively unacknowledged.

Over the first third of the year, 56 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have taken their own lives. Of these, 14 — or 25% — were under the age of 18 and two were girls of just 12 years old.

The NSW government has begun a crackdown on civil liberties. Sniffer dogs and police are harassing more people at train stations, and strip searches of young people, Aboriginal and people in regional NSW are on the rise. 

In 2014–15 there were 3735 strip searches in NSW. In 2017–18 this figure rose to 5483 — a 46% rise in four years. In 67% of cases, nothing was found.

The results of the federal election have shown the limitations of the Australian Council of Trade Union-led Change the Rules campaign, writes Sarah Hathway.

Fremantle City Councillor and Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fremantle, Sam Wainwright, addresses the reasons for Labor's loss of the 2019 federal election. In particular: Was Labor too ambitious? Was the electorate to blame? What about Clive Palmer's scare campaign.

This follow's Wainwright's recent article: Labor was not radical enough for the Socialist Alliance's "Our Common Cause" column.

They say class politics is dead in egalitarian Australia — but what about election 2019?

If one billionaire can literally buy seats in Queensland and another guy can use his media empire to tear the opposition to shreds, class politics is well and truly alive in this country.

Barely had we digested the news of the unexpected Coalition victory when the corporate media commentators and a number of senior party leaders were blaming Labor’s election loss for it being too left-wing — “too ambitious”, “a large target” and “bit off more than it could chew”.

The very opposite is true. Far from being too radical, Labor’s shift to the left was too little too late, incomplete and sometimes more rhetoric than substance.

The right-wing dominated Coalition's win in the May 18 federal election is a major setback for the climate action movement, the union movement and the interests of working people in Australia. We must now urgently take steps to unite and step up the fight to defend the movements for progressive change in this country, writes Jim McIlroy.

The ruling by the NSW Land and Environment Court on February 8 to reject the Rocky Hill coalmine outside Gloucester is being felt beyond its local community and will have implications for human rights as well as climate change policy.

I will happily take any opportunity to wave a red flag in public. My chance to do so this year was on May 1, the International Workers' Day.


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