Comment and Analysis

'Baird in danger from power sell-off': Socialist Alliance candidate

"NSW Liberal Premier Mike Baird is in danger of going the way of his Queensland counterpart Campbell Newman, if he continues down the path of selling essential public assets," Howard Byrnes, Socialist Alliance candidate for the NSW Legislative Council, said on February 11.

"The issue of power industry privatisation effectively brought down the Newman Liberal-National Party government in the Queensland elections on January 31, and could cause a huge upset in the upcoming NSW elections as well," he said.

Grandmothers say ‘Bring our babies home’

Grandmothers Against Removals National Committee and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy released this statement at a rally in Canberra on the anniversary of the National Apology on February 13.

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Today we march in protest against the unprecedented theft of Aboriginal children from their families by so-called “Child Protection” agencies across Australia.

Just DO IT -- make ATO investigate fraud

The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) is the second-largest bank in the world.

It operates in most countries, including Switzerland, which has long had a reputation for the secrecy of its finance sector. In 2008, a former HSBC employee gave the French government a list of the names of 261 Australians who held HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland.

In 2010, the year that HSBC’s 25th branch office in Australia was opened in North Sydney by Treasurer Joe Hockey, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) received a copy of the list — a fact it disclosed on February 9.

Disunity in NSW Education Action Network

On January 30 a meeting of the New South Wales Education Action Network (EAN) was convened at the University of Technology, Sydney. The EAN is a cross campus collective of university students committed to fighting fee deregulation and for free education. It is open to all student activists.

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Saving Medicare: universal health care is vital in a fair society

This joint statement was issued by unions and campaign organisations on February 10.

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Australia’s universal health insurance scheme, Medicare, has ensured world-leading public health care is accessible for all, for over 30 years. The availability of bulk-billing has delivered a health system that is more cost-effective and equitable than in many comparable OECD countries.

The best politicians that money can buy

The Australian Electoral Commission data from the declaration of donations to the major parties in 2013-14 was made public in early February.

They show that a total of more than $278 million in speculative political capital was invested in the ALP, Liberals, Nationals, Palmer United Party (PUP) and the Greens.

State governments share blame for (Not) Closing the Gap

Sharlene Leroy-Dyer, the lead Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council in the upcoming March 28 NSW elections, released this statement on February 11.

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The NSW and other state governments must share the blame for the latest shameful and outrageous results of the Closing The Gap Report tabled by PM Tony Abbott in federal parliament today.

SYRIZA’S victory and building a green-left alternative

What lessons can we learn from the recent victory of SYRIZA for building the anti austerity movement and a political alternative to neoliberalism here in Australia? Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, in her recent article in New Matilda [see reprinted article on page 6], writes that the left in Australia should wake up and take notice of what is happening in Europe. I couldn’t agree more.

Lee Rhiannon on Greece's lessons for Australia's left

As the excitement subsides on the Queensland election results, we need to take stock of what this means for the left in Australia. While the deep north of our country is a world away from Greece, there is a political trend here. But first let’s stay in Queensland.

It was just three years ago that the then Bligh Labor government was thrown out suffering a 15.6% swing, one of the largest against a sitting state government in Australian political history. The Newman government lost with an 8.8% swing against it.

Four ways Australia is killing refugees

Eighty days on hunger strike has put an Iranian man who sought safety in Australia at death's door, as advocates around Australia fight for the immigration department to act to save his life.

“Martin” took the non-violent step to refuse to eat last November after the Australian government denied him refugee protection and redetained him in the remote Wickham Point Detention Centre. At least 15 other men in the same situation as Martin have also taken up a hunger strike.

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