Peter Boyle

The Labor opposition has voted for the $6.3 billion in public spending cuts over four years proposed by the Malcolm Turnbull government. The opposition agreed to support 20 of the 24 cuts originally proposed by the government in its "Omnibus Bill" and put forward more cuts of its own to prove how committed Labor is to “budget repair”.

Since 2003, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has had the power to detain people for up to seven days, without charge, for questioning in relation to a terrorism investigation.

That person does not have to be a terrorism suspect or even an associate of a terrorism suspect; is compelled to answer questions; and is forced to keep the detention and interrogation secret.

Brusk Aeiveri. Sydney Central Local Court, July 29. Photo: Peter Boyle.

Few people would have shared tears — unless they happened to be chopping onions at the time — when Tony Abbott was ejected as prime minister in the latest of a string of Lib-Lab leadership spills.

Let's be honest. The rolling TV coverage of Malcolm Turnbull's political assassination of Abbott kept the nation entertained for a couple of hours on a Monday night. Who did not enjoy watching the grim faces of those Liberal MPs as they trooped into their party room for the spill, and the even grimmer faces of some as they came back out?

Aboriginal activist and writer Ken Canning will head the Socialist Alliance NSW Senate ticket — For a People's Movement — in the coming federal election.

“I've joined this election campaign to build a people's movement to free all our communities from the tyranny of the old big parties which have been bought out by the rich and the multinational corporations.

In the wake of the national scandal about the abuse and torture of mainly Aboriginal juveniles in detention in the Northern Territory, the Grandmothers Against Removals (GMAR) organised a march and rally to protest the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families and communities.

The abrupt arrival of this year's bush fire season should be taken as another warning of the urgency of tackling the climate change crisis.

The El Nino phenomenon of severe droughts and flooding rains that will make this a more dangerous summer has been a part of longstanding weather patterns on the Australian continent. But research has shown that El Nino will double in frequency and severity as global warming increases.

Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, a descendant of the Guringai, Gadigal, Wiradjuri and Dharug peoples of NSW and National Councillor in the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), has been preselected for the Socialist Alliance's NSW Senate ticket for the next federal election. The ticket is headed by militant Aboriginal activist and writer Ken Canning. Peter Boyle interviewed Leroy-Dyer for Green Left Weekly.

* * *

What motivated you to throw your hat into the ring for Socialist Alliance's NSW Senate ticket?

When the Olympic Games begin, the news headlines will be swamped with stories of new world records in this or that sporting field. We will be whipped into a frenzy about it. There will be discussions all around the world about how the record was broken, about the ferocious competition to produce record-breaking athletes, about performance-inducing drugs.

Meanwhile, much more significant world records will barely rate a mention in the media.

In the wake of the shooting outside Parramatta police station — which left Curtis Cheng, a civilian police employee, and 15-year-old schoolboy Farhad Jabar dead — Parramatta mosque chairperson Neil El-Kadomia told the Daily Telegraph he was preparing to advise his congregation that “if you don’t like Australia, you should leave.”

Australia's new, more silver-tongued PM raced to echo this sentiment, as did the no-serious-opposition leader Bill Shorten.


Subscribe to Peter Boyle