Analysis

In the lead-up to the federal election, your guide to what’s really happening behind the spin of the official campaign.
Anti-war activists have again called for the Australian troops to get out of Afghanistan as a second Australian soldier this month was killed there.
If you’ve sat in front a TV in the past few weeks, you’ll have seen the message: Australians need to get “climate clever” just like the Howard government, which, we’re told, is encouraging and funding new, environmentally friendly technologies such as “clean coal”. In fact, we’re led to believe, the government has put some $3.5 billion in recent years into new methods for combatting climate change.
A landmark Federal Court hearing for 96 Western Australian construction workers that begins on October 24 is the most dramatic demonstration yet of the impact of the Howard government’s draconian IR laws.
On October 16, events in more than 150 countries marked World Food Day, which commemorates the founding of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, with the theme of “the right to food”.
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.
Victoria’s nurses are fighting three enemies: the state Labor government, the hospital administrations, and the federal Coalition government.

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