economy

Corbyn re-elected with bigger majority -- huge win for Britain's left

In a new leadership election for the leader of the Britsh labour Party sparked by a right-wing, corporate media back assault on incumbent Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader was re-elected with an even larger majoroty of almost 62% of the vote. Corbyn stunned the political world when he won Labour's leadership in September last year with a "from nowhere win" on the back of anti-austerity politics.

Welfare ‘reform’: New Zealand’s model for attacking the poor

I was dismayed to discover that Australia’s Minister for Social Services is turning to New Zealand for inspiration in his latest approach to welfare.

On September 20 Christian Porter announced the ‘Australian Priority Investment Approach’. This draws on work New Zealand’s right-wing National government has done since 2011 on using actuarial estimates of fiscal liability to underpin an extensive program of punitive and pauperising reforms.

‘Priority Investment’: code for attacks on most vulnerable

On September 20, days after the passage of the “omnibus” legislation that enabled the implementation of the federal budget, Minister for Social Services Christian Porter released the Baseline Valuation Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as part of the federal government’s “Priority Investment Approach”.

In what amounted to a financial audit of the welfare system, the report focused on the costs to the welfare system over a prolonged period of three categories of recipients: young carers, young parents and students.

Ecuador pushes for global tax haven crackdown

Ecuador ramped up its fight against tax dodging on September 21 as the South American country proposed a plan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York aimed at tackling offshore tax havens with stiffer regulation.

The push comes in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks that exposed just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of global tax evasion and its impact on the global South.

The unexpected, inspiring Corbyn phenomenon dissected with a cold eye

Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
By Richard Seymour
Verso, 2016
paperback, 256 pages

If ever a book was born under a lucky star, it surely was Richard Seymour’s Corbyn.

No sooner had the English socialist blogger and author’s book about the British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn been published in May than the anti-Corbyn coup pushed it into the best sellers list.

European protests condemn unfair ‘trade’ deals

Thousands of protesters marched through Brussels on September 20 to demand the European Union abandon planned trans-Atlantic free trade deals they say will worsen labour conditions and allow big business to challenge governments.

It came just days after tens of thousands rallied against such deals on September 17 in other European cities, mainly in Germany.

Brazil: A blow from above after a collapse from below


Protests triggered by public transport fare increases in 2013.

Less than two years after Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff was re-elected as Brazil’s president, she was removed from office by the Brazilian senate.

The Brazilian right, which controls the senate, carried out a constitutional coup. In the process, they revealed their contempt for democracy.

In post-coup Honduras, liberation far from realised

Protesters demand justice for murdered Indigenous environmentalist leader, Berta Caceres.

Honduras marked 195 years since winning its independence from Spain on September 15, but the small Central American country remains deprived of true independence. It is stuck under ongoing domination of wealthy local oligarchs, foreign corporations, and US imperialism.

Ecuadoreans go to Canada to collect Chevron compensation

Ecuadorean indigenous groups’ years-long court battle to force oil giant Chevron to pay US$9.5 billion in damages for the environmental disaster known as the “Amazon Chernobyl” began a new phase on September 12 — this time in Canada.

Plaintiffs from Ecuador have been trying for years to collect damages it won in its 2011 lawsuit against Chevron in a court in Ecuador, where the multinational oil giant no longer has assets that can be seized.

Australia faces court for stealing East Timor’s oil and gas

East Timor has taken Australia to the United Nations Conciliation Commission at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

At issue is a permanent maritime boundary and the exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea — with East Timor accusing Australia of stealing badly needed resources that, by international law, belong to Asia’s poorest nation.

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