Analysis

The advertising industry is insidious. A massive US$464 billion was estimated to have been spent globally on commercial advertising in 2011. Next year it is tipped to grow by another US$22 billion despite the ongoing economic crisis in Europe and the US.
Graphic that says 'We the corporate citizens united'.

Sometimes it takes a truly dramatic event to really make you face up to a serious threat.

A “free trade agreement” being negotiated by Australia, the United States and other countries could have profound impacts on crucial public policy issues including food security, natural resource management, access to essential medicines, public assets and more. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) – including Australia, the US, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam – are taking place in unprecedented secrecy.
Workers and their unions need strong labour law reforms. Two of many changes I urge can be adopted by the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work in Australia and the federal government’s Fair Work Act Review are: 1. Amend the Fair Work Act to repeal the penal powers and have an effective right to strike. 2. Amend the Fair Work Act to restrict casual and other forms of precarious work to a limited period. Then require employment contracts for ongoing, more permanent work. Fair Work Australia should have the power to order the transition to more secure employment contracts.
It was a week which started with federal treasurer Wayne Swan having a go at the mining billionaires for distorting our democracy, but which soon entered a new phase whereby the Labor party illustrated the rather narrow range within which our two party system has room to move.
In 1963, a senior Australian government official, A R Taysom, deliberated on the wisdom of deploying women as trade representatives. “Such an appointee would not stay young and attractive for ever [because a] spinster lady can, and very often does, turn into something of a battleaxe with the passing years [whereas] a man usually mellows.” On International Women’s Day 2012, such primitive views are worth recalling; but what has happened to modern feminism? Why is it so bereft of its political, indeed socialist roots, that any woman who “achieves” within an immoral system is to be admired?
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on March 8. * * * This International Women’s Day, on March 8, falls at a time when the environmental and economic crises of global capitalism are making life even harder for most women and the communities they live and work in.

The corporate media has fawned over the new foreign minister, but a look at Bob Carr in his own words shows his right wing positions on uranium, Palestine, Julian Assange, the US, Aboriginal rights, human rights, workers and privatisation.

I remember Grong Grong; my aunt and uncle had a store there in the 1960s. Floods are not common in this stretch of the NSW Riverina, but they happen in odd years when the Murrumbidgee River further south rises and breaks its banks. For runoff from the often-parched paddocks around Grong Grong to cause flooding is almost unheard of.
Independent MPs Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announced a plan in early February to convince the government to count native forest wood-fired power stations as a renewable energy source. Their plan would mean wood-fired power would qualify for renewable energy subsidies. Below is an “open letter of concern” to Oakeshott from 16 Australian scientists about his support for “incentives for native forest biomass burning”. * * * Dear Mr Oakeshott,
Prime Minister Julia Gillard anointed former NSW premier Bob Carr as Australia's foreign minister on March 2. His appointment awaits the approval of a joint sitting of NSW parliament, but for all intents and purposes, Carr has just been catapulted to the third-highest political post in the land after being out of politics since 2005.
Self described “advocate for women and girls” Melinda Tankard Reist recently launched a defamation claim against blogger Jennifer Wilson for saying Reist is a Baptist. Wilson’s article, on her blog No Place for Sheep, criticised Reist’s anti-abortion stance.