Graham Matthews

GLW author Graham Matthews

Public transport: Labor has a bet each way

“Labor’s public transport policy lacks vision. It’s just more of the same — and follows the Liberals’ privatisation agenda”, John Coleman, Socialist Alliance candidate for the Legislative Council said.

“Labor promised $1 billion for a small-scale light rail project to run from Parramatta to Homebush, matching the Liberals’ promise. But while any money spent on public transport rather than roads is money well spent, Labor’s policy doesn’t address the real problems.

Medicare: 'Free' does not mean worthless

Just because we don't pay for something, it doesn't mean that it has no value. Clean air, safe food and public education are just some of the things that we expect to be provided “free” by governments. Yet ask anyone, and they will tell you how valuable these things are. We expect government to provide these services as a matter of course.

Who benefits from terrorism?

With his harsh budget in tatters and his popularity in decline, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and outgoing head of ASIO David Irvine raised the terror alert from medium to high on September 13.

It was justified, they claimed, by the threat of those returning from fighting in the Middle East — all 70 or so of them — posing an increased risk to Australia’s way of life.

Locals take a stand against CSG in Ingleburn

More than 80 people attended a community forum and organising meeting at the Ingleburn Community Centre in Sydney’s south west on June 29 in opposition to coal seam gas (CSG) mining.

Stop CSG Illawarra spokesperson Jess Moore, Doctors for the Environment’s Helen Redmond and Australia Institute researcher Mark Ogge addressed the meeting.

Moore presented a brief introduction to the nature of the CSG industry and detailed the environmental catastrophes that have followed the industry from the US to Australia.

Latham’s intonations from the political grave

Quarterly Essay
Issue 49 2013
'Not Dead Yet: Labor’s post-left future'
By Mark Latham
Black Inc 2013

Margaret Thatcher may be dead, but Thatcherism is alive and well and living in the bowels of social democracy if Mark Latham’s contribution to the latest Quarterly Essay, “Not Dead Yet: Labor’s post-left future”, is anything to go by.

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Why we should put mining in public hands

Where to start with an analysis of the mining boom in Australia?

Perhaps ironically, with the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). It is now holding an inquiry into the dealings of former NSW resource minister Ian Macdonald, his mate and Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid, and another mate, John Maitland, former president of the Construction, Mining, Forestry and Energy Union (CFMEU), and part owner of the new coalmine in Doyle's Creek, to the tune of $9.8 million.

NSW train bailout fiasco: PPP fails again

Renewing Sydney’s train fleet is far too important a matter to be left to the “free” market. On February 6 the NSW government announced it was going to pay $175 million in 2018 to bail out the failed Reliance Rail syndicate that has been contracted to build and maintain the new Waratah commuter trains for Sydney’s CityRail network.

It's another failed Public Private Partnership (PPP), meaning more public money is poured into the coffers of financiers and speculators.

Sympathy for the devil: Film justifies Thatcher's crimes

The Iron Lady
Directed by Phyllida Lloyd, written by Abi Morgan, starring Meryl Streep
In cinemas now

Film can be a powerful ideological tool. Truth can be manipulated, tyrannies expunged and sympathy conjured for the devil. The Iron Lady, depicting the life and times of former British Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is just such a film.

The roots of the Irish crisis

The Republic of Ireland’s financial crisis, which has caused unemployment to rise from 4.3% in 2006 to 14.1% in October, has deep roots.

The conditions of the European Central Bank (ECB)/International Monetary Fund (IMF) “bailout” package for the Irish government will total €85 billion — at a higher interest rate than that tied to the Greek bailout in May. It is tied to the Irish government carrying out huge government spending cuts, tax rises for workers and wage cuts for public sector employees.

Irish workers are being told to pay for a crisis they did not cause.

OECD: increase GST, lower company taxes

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Economic Survey of Australia, released on November 15, called for an increase in the rate and scope of the goods and services tax (GST) and a cut in business taxes.

The rich countries’ economic club also called for higher road tolls, greater labour productivity and a price on carbon.

The OECD’s annual survey congratulated the Labor government for avoiding recession during the global financial crisis but also demanded it undertake further “structural reforms to strengthen productivity”.

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