May Day is a historically significant day for our class: without unions we would not have any rights on the job. These are under attack today and on May Day we were there to defend our penalty rates, our unions' right to organise against Turnbull's new construction police (ABCC), against racism and for peace, justice and for an ecologically sustainable future.
The Mike Baird Coalition government in New South Wales is keeping its plans for further privatisation of the publicly-owned Sydney Trains network tightly under wraps, after state officials refused to release nearly 100 documents on the issue, declaring them "cabinet in confidence". NSW Treasury bureaucrats rejected a freedom of information request from the Labor opposition, saying the correspondence and emails could have an impact on commercial interests.
I live and work as a nurse in Fremantle and I'm the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Fremantle in this year's federal election. The Socialist Alliance recognises that not only has corrupt, business-as-usual politics caused a deepening social and climate crisis, but that those entrenched and greedy interests are unwilling and incapable of providing real solutions. Major system change is needed. There is a growing despondency amongst large sections of the community; real anger and frustration in the way things are going. And rightly so.
Mainstream media chatter about recent polls showing the Coalition's honeymoon has dramatically ended has ignored another revealing statistic: there is a growing slice of the population that rejects the politics-as-usual model. They are the people the surveys lump into the category of “don't know”. These are the people who do not engage with the pollsters' questions. They have a variety of reasons, but disengagement from the whole political process as they see it on TV and hear it on the radio is one of them.
Residents attending a public inquiry on February 2 at Wests Ashfield into the New South Wales government's plan to amalgamate Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils were of one mind: they opposed it. About 50 people spoke in the afternoon session, and only 5, including Ashfield Liberal councillor Julie Passas and a self-described businessman, supported the plan. Similar meetings were organised at Sandringham, Bankstown, Manly, North Sydney, Parramatta, Mona Vale, Deniliquin and Shellharbour and more will take place over the next fortnight.
Some of these Liberal politicians must think that the rest of us are stupid. Take NSW Premier Mike Baird, the always-smiling poster boy for this deeply right-wing party, whose latest pitch for raising the GST from 10% to 15% is a politician's promise that he would spend the proceeds on health and education.
Andres Garin died in Wollongong in December, aged 77. Andres was a founding member of Socialist Alliance as well as an activist with the Democratic Socialist Party and its predecessor, the Socialist Workers Party, for whom he ran as a senate candidate in the 1983 federal election. Andres was a comrade of great integrity and political conviction. He was always a fighter for justice and a better world against capitalist oppression and exploitation here in Australia and internationally, particularly in the struggles in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Most people think that democracy and elections are pretty much the same thing. The truth is that any meaningful push for genuine democracy would require a lot more than just electoral reform. The change of prime minister from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull shows that a change of leader means very little in terms of actual policy change. And this is not because the policies they push are popular. We need a change of government: not just a change from the Liberals to Labor, but a change from corporate power to people power.
Former police prosecutor Peter Murrihy is the new councillor for the Kildare ward after winning the recent by-election in the Greater Geelong Council. Murrihy defeated 10 other candidates to win the safe Liberal ward with 27.41% of the primary vote. Although Murrihy said he was politically unaffiliated, he received preferences from Liberal Party member Trent Sullivan. Much was made in the local media of the fact that Murrihy put forward no political promises or commitments during his campaign.
There is a growing chorus of people and groups calling on Malcolm Turnbull to recall and recycle the Radicalisation Awareness Kit that claims environmentalism is a pathway to violent extremism. The Greens have called for it to be withdrawn from circulation immediately and consigned to the recycling bin. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said: “This booklet is so tainted by Tony Abbott’s politics of fear it should be shredded. Malcolm Turnbull has got to assert his leadership and declare Abbott’s culture wars are over.