Analysis

On October 12, PM John Howard announced his plan to hold a referendum to alter the preamble to the Australian constitution to include an acknowledgment of the original inhabitants of Australia. This is a departure from Howard’s historic position against “symbolic” gestures of reconciliation — a position that in the past has earned him the ire of Indigenous groups, who in 2000 literally turned their backs on Howard when he refused to apologise for previous governments’ complicity in the horrendous policies that led to the Stolen Generations.
The socialist movement lost a strong supporter with the death from cancer of David Matthews — my father — on September 30 at the age of 79. David joined the Socialist Alliance soon after its formation and remained a financial member and a strong supporter of the campaign to bring the fractious left together.
In the lead-up to the federal election, here’s a guide to what’s really happening in the Liberal and Labor camps, as well as anecdotes from the Socialist Alliance’s campaign trail.
Victoria’s nurses are fighting three enemies: the state Labor government, the hospital administrations, and the federal Coalition government.
During the upsurge of working-class and liberation struggles that followed the 1917 Russian Revolution, socialists from all continents joined in founding a world party, the Communist International, or “Comintern”.
On October 3, immigration minister Kevin Andrews justified cutting the number of African refugees accepted into Australia using racism, alleging that African refugees were “not adjusting too well” to Australian society.
The first comprehensive research study on how Australian working life is being transformed under Work Choices reveals that Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual contracts) are eating away at workers’ wages, conditions and job security.
As the 40th anniversary of the death of Argentinean-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, murdered in Bolivia on October 9, 1967, on the orders of the CIA, arrives, there is increasing evidence that his spirit of struggle against injustice continues to get stronger in Latin America.
Michael Barker has once again (GLW #725, online edition) engaged in a series of false accusations and major leaps of logic in his attacks on the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) — an independent, nonprofit educational foundation that promotes the study and utilisation of nonmilitary strategies by civilian-based movements to establish and defend human rights, social justice and democracy — for which I serve as chair of its board of academic advisers.
A statement by federal ALP leader Kevin Rudd that a Labor government would seek to have Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad charged with “inciting genocide” attracted front-page coverage in the October 3 Australian and ridicule from foreign minister Alexander Downer.

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