What sort of dogmatic free-market ideologue would use poor peoples (often socially constructed) desire for credit to justify shrinking the already beleaguered welfare policies of wretched Third World states?
How hard is it to raise $76,500 before the end of this year? Not hard at all for some organisations. As the November 1 Sydney Morning Herald reported: Opposition Leader, Peter Debnam, took to the harbour last night for a fund-raising cruise with the property industry aboard a luxury cruiser owned by a developer, Greg Gav.
“I’m just, I’m a little concerned with all this hysteria over this greenhouse gases and the environment, that the Liberal Party is not selling your message the way you sold it now to Leon, and that it’s not getting through to the average man in the street” — this is what “Emile”, an “unashamed supporter” of Prime Minister John Howard, had to say to the PM on November 2, during Leon Byner’s talkback show on Adelaide’s Radio 5AA.
Geelong Trades Hall was packed with unionists on October 28 exchanging ideas and experiences about surviving and fighting Work Choices. Some 130 unionists travelled from Victorian country centres such as Port Campbell, Portland, Hamilton and the Latrobe Valley to join unionists from across the country.
In its first national minimum wage decision on October 26, the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) handed down an increase of $27.36 for workers earning under $700 per week and $22.04 for those earning more than $700 covered by awards.
"When hypocritical old sexists like PM John Howard, Treasurer Peter Costello and radio shock-jock Alan Jones start delivering pious sermons about the rights of women, something very suspicious is happening", Pip Hinman, the Socialist Alliance's anti-war spokesperson, told Green Left Weekly.
Along with his contemptible "catmeat" analogy, Sheikh Taj El-din Al Hilaly's assurance to his congregation last month that, "If a woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she's wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don't happen" was, of course, absolute bullshit. One in five Victorian women report being physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner at some time in their adult lives (VicHealth 2004). More than 20% of homicides involve intimate partners (Mouzos 2000). An estimated one in four children and young people have witnessed intimate partner violence (Office of Women's Policy 2002).
The plight of Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks continues, as the government's arrogance and subservience to the US shows no sign of abating.
On October 21, two days after the anniversary of the sinking of the SIEV-X, shadow minister for immigration Tony Burke announced that he would recommend that the ALP change key aspects of its refugee policy.
A Congolese prosecutor has called for three former managers of the Perth-based Anvil Mining corporation to be indicted for "complicity in war crimes" - involvement in the massacre of up to 100 people in the village of Kilwa in October 2004. The slaughter, committed by Congolese Armed Forces soldiers ferried to the scene by Anvil-chartered planes and company-owned trucks, took place 50 kilometres from the company's Dikulushi silver and copper mine in the south-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Advocates of justice for asylum seekers and refugees were relieved when the government was forced to withdraw its proposed amendments to the Migration Act, amendments that would have meant that any asylum seeker arriving by boat in Australia would be deported to Nauru to be processed.
Cuban Consul-General Nelida Hernandez told supporters on October 24 that Cuba will again ask the United Nations General Assembly on November 8 to support a motion to lift the 45-year-long economic embargo imposed by the US government on Cuba.
The strong parliamentary vote of confidence in Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is a sign that the Howard government's Pacific intervention strategy is facing collapse.
Ever since the federal Coalition government introduced Work Choices, the trade union movement has been united behind the demand that the legislation be repealed. The debate has been over what alternative industrial relations system the movement should advocate.
Bernadette Peters is a part-time cleaner and a full-time activist. She is also the partner of Mal Peters, one of the Leighton Kumagai 107", who were fined $22,000 by the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) for a strike in February in defence of a sacked health and safety delegate.
Melbournes public transport system is in crisis despite a huge increase in subsidies since privatisation. Delays, cancellations and standing room only this is the reality for passengers across the system. And on top of the bad service, Melbourne has the most expensive fares of any Australian capital city.