Some of Australia’s most respected investigative journalists have signed an open letter to the federal government urging it not to privatise the corporate registry held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). They have urged the government to make access to the database free, as it is in New Zealand and Britain.
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.
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.
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.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched through Dublin on September 17 in a national demonstration against water charges, Morning Star said on September 19.
Several hundred members of the NSW Public Service Association (PSA), the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA), and other unions rallied outside state parliament on September 21 to “Stop the Secret Sell-Off” of five NSW public hospitals and other services by the Mike Baird state government. The rally followed the revelation on September 15 of plans by the Coalition government to call for private tenders to build and run upgraded regional hospitals at Maitland, Wyong, Goulburn and Shellharbour, and carry out hospital improvements at Bowral.
More than 1000 people marched through Circular Quay to The Rocks on September 17 to protest plans by the NSW state government to demolish the iconic Sirius public housing building. The march coincided with the declaration of a Green Ban by the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU).
CFMEU state secretary Brad Parker announced that the union was "officially imposing an interim Green Ban here today" on the site. The ban on any redevelopment of the Sirius means no unionised workforce will be allowed on the site, and pickets will be introduced when any work commences.
A year in politics changes everything.
When Jeremy Corbyn won the British Labour Party leadership election in September 2015 with about 60% of the vote, the puzzle was how on Earth could a socialist have taken power.
The left, weaker than ever, had never wielded significant power in the Labour Party. This year, the surprise will be if he does not win the leadership elections this month by a significant margin similar to last year’s landslide.
Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
By Richard Seymour
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.
Intervention from the White House and a court order have temporarily halted construction of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline 20 miles (32km) on either side of Oahe Lake, part of the Missouri River in North and South Dakota.
The temporary restraining order halts construction along this 40-mile stretch. But pipeline construction continues apace elsewhere.