austerity

It is clear the federal government has badly mishandled the COVID-19 pandemic, with doctors now warning Australia is on track to be in a "worse position than Italy is currently in". But humane alternatives are possible, argues Chris Jenkins.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's faces printed on to swimsuits

I’m late commenting on the royal wedding due to having to recover from a drinking game I invented for the spectacle: you had to take a shot each time you see a parasite. Here’s a tip for anyone wanting to try this game next time: best play it in the emergency department of your local hospital to save time.

The idea that every eurozone country should adopt an export-led growth model should not only be rejected because it is based on exploitation, but also because it is economically impossible.

Friends of Victoria University released this statement on April 19.

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Victoria University is planning to fundamentally change the structure of its workforce and radically alter the type of education that students receive.

Up to 115 academic staff will be sacked and replaced by 65 entry-level academic staff (Academic Teaching Scholars). These staff will have increased teaching hours and inferior retrenchment provisions so that they can be easily sacked should there be future cuts at VU.

Treasurer Scott Morrison's speech to a Bloomberg business breakfast in Sydney on August 25 echoed previous warnings by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that Australians were heading for economic trouble if the new parliament fails to pass the government's "omnibus" budget package.
In 2015 Prime Minister Tony Abbott was booted from the top job courtesy of his own party and replaced by Malcolm Turnbull. This was considered a victory by many and a result of the work of a number of social movements campaigning against a range of Abbott's policies.
For the past couple of days I have been trying to understand what is happening in Greece. I shared the celebratory atmosphere after January’s elections [of the SYRIZA government] and the sense of hope and dignity that seemed to be restored following the destruction that led to one-third of the population living in poverty. The SYRIZA government inherited a country with a population devastated by austerity but, most importantly, with a sense of power for having chosen its future.
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the SYRIZA-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015, on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the Troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission. We support the call of SYRIZA for a “no vote” as the only option for the people of Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over the country's economy and their own future.
Fearless Milk Crate Theatre Carriageworks, Sydney September 13-22 $35, $25 www.milkcratetheatre.com Milk Crate Theatre director Mirra Todd says his main goal is to get people thinking and talking about homelessness. “All theatre is about starting a conversation,” the wiry, animated Todd tells Green Left at Milk Crate’s rehearsal rooms in Sydney’s Kings Cross.
At first glance, you might have mistaken London’s packed streets on November 10 for a Mardi Gras carnival. There young faces and large grins, combined with incessant whistle-blowing, trumpet-blasting and drum-beating. All mixed together to form the din of student protest. The noise took shape and all of a sudden burst from the centre of the crowd, picked up by everyone else: “No ifs, no buts, no education cuts” — the main chants of the 50,000 students marching forward from Westminster to the destination of the Milbank headquarters of the Conservative Party.
The Conservative Party, or Tories, has never really forgiven the British working class for demanding and winning the creation of the “welfare state”. Gains won included such things as free health care, council homes at affordable rents, and care for the elderly and vulnerable. From the Tories’ point of view, these are all things individuals should sort out for themselves. The modern state should provide the same level of social protection as was available to Queen Victoria’s subjects in the 19th century.
The Irish Republic’s government said on November 4 that it wants to slash 6 billion euros from its 2011 deficit, MorningStarOnline.co.uk said the following day. The cuts were announced despite the government admitting it would lead to lower economic growth. Ireland’s deficit is set to reach an astronomical 32%, MorningStarOnline.co.uk said, mainly because the government’s bailout of the banks with public funds cost 31 billion euros. The country has already endured two years of recession driven by the bail-out costs and a doubling of unemployment to 13.6%.
A million trade unionists marched past Rome’s Colosseum on October 16 in defence of rights that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government and Fiat bosses are trying to water down. The attacks are part of the government’s “deficit reduction” measures. Under red flags, and the banners of the metal workers’ union (FIOM-CGTI), workers from metal and other industries, students and opposition politicians shouted: “Strike, strike, strike!”
Since October 12, France has been gripped by intensifying mass opposition by workers and students to proposed counter reforms to the country’s pensions system by the right-wing government of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Public opposition to the attack has been highlighted by three national strikes each involving millions of people, two national student strikes and a growing wave of indefinite strikes in a range of industries — most notably the crippling shutdown of the oil industry.
Workers and students mobilised in their millions on October 12 in the fourth and largest mobilisation in the last month against laws that will reduce the pension entitlements of French workers. The protests and strikes come the French Senate has begun passing aspects of the pension bill that will see an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 62 years of age and increase the qualifying period that workers must work to receive a full pension.

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