Our Common Cause

Trade union witch-hunt must be shut down

The future of the federal government’s anti-union, kangaroo court — the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption — is in doubt, following media revelations that the commissioner, retired High Court Justice John Dyson Heydon, accepted an invitation — not once, but twice — to speak at a Liberal Party fundraiser while serving on the body.

The commission first sat on April 9 last year and media reports say Heydon received the invitation to speak via email just one day later, on April 10. He was approached again in March.

Real solutions needed for rising unemployment

The official unemployment rate in Broadmeadows is 23.5% but the real unemployment and underemployment rates are far higher. Youth unemployment is higher than the overall rate. We are very close to the 30% unemployment rate of the Great Depression.

Woolworths has now announced that it intends to close its Hume Distribution Centre and shift it across town to the outer south-eastern suburbs. This would throw about 680 people out of work.

A real ‘root and branch’ change would pay politicians an average wage

Public disgust at Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong is entirely justified. However, Tony Abbott's “root and branch” review of politicians' “entitlements” is designed to whitewash, not solve, the problem.

After all, it is not as if we haven't had “root and branch” inquiries into politicians' entitlements before.

Labor turns its back on asylum seekers

The results of the recent Australian Labor Party (ALP) conference vote on boat turnbacks shows why building a progressive alternative to the left of the ALP in Australia today is urgently needed.

Where does the threat of racism come from?

On the weekend of July 18 and 19 there was another round of right-wing Reclaim Australia (RA) protests.

The stated aim of RA and its offshoot, the United Patriots Front (UPF), was to defend what they call “Australian values” from the threat of “Islamicisation”.

Greece: This is a coup, cancel the debt!

Statement of the Socialist Alliance national executive July 16, 2015:

The Socialist Alliance condemns the effective imposition of colonial status on Greece by the ruling institutions of the European Union (EU), which represent the interests of the big banks whose speculative excesses contributed in great part to the accumulation of the “Greek debt” they are now seeking to recover.

This is a coup and a brutal assault on democracy.

Asia-Pacific left stand with the people and government of Greece against austerity

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.

The case for a universal age pension

If you suspect that neoliberal capitalist governments, including the Australian government, act as kleptocracies for the richest 1% and the large corporations, you have good reason to.

Whether you look at their tax system, the various privatisation or part-privatisation schemes they are forcing on the public, the “user-pays” drives or the publicly subsidised private insurance scams, you can see how the public is being forced to subsidise the profits of powerful corporations and the super-rich.

Tony Abbott’s latest cruel act in his ‘stop the boats’ pantomime

The Tony Abbott government’s illegal “Turn Back the Boats” policy is under further scrutiny, following media revelations that in late May, Australian customs officials paid $US30,000 to six crew members on a boat carrying 65 asylum seekers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, which was heading to New Zealand, from Indonesia.

Unite against racism, Islamophobia and fascism

The campaign against racism and the far right needs a clear understanding of racism and fascism and how to fight these threats.

Racism is not inherent in human beings. It is a product of capitalism. Racist scapegoating is used by the corporate rich because it undermines solidarity among workers, opening the way for conservative policies such as privatisation and cuts to social spending.

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