Latin America 2014 conference, in solidarity with the continent's progressive struggles, was held in London on November 29 and attracted hundreds of participants. Held in the Trade Union Congress building, it was jointly organised by several trade unions, Latin America solitary groups and other supporters of the progressive and revolutionary struggles in the region. The participants took part in more than 30 workshops across a broad range of topics surrounding the achievements and challenges of the various governments, social and political movements across the continent.
You know a government is in some serious trouble when a morning TV host tears the prime minister to shreds. And when the most likable member of the government appears to be Julie “Death Stare” Bishop, it has less good options than a drunk at closing time in Canberra. A little over a year in office, and Tony Abbott's one big achievement is he has made Bill Shorten look electable.
The Denis Napthine government, elected by a slim majority in 2010, has fallen in Victoria. This is the first time a Victorian government has lasted only one term since 1955, when the Cain Labor government fell in the midst of the great Labor split. The Napthine government had lost support due to brutal public sector cuts, vindictive attacks on nurses, paramedics and teachers, the unpopular East West Link project, and corruption scandals that led to the removal of Ted Baillieu as premier last year and the sacking of several Liberal candidates before the poll.
On its establishment in 1788, the colony of New South Wales was subject to English law by the application of legal reasoning that was settled in the late 18th century. It confirmed that “if an uninhabited country be discovered and planted by English subjects, all English laws then in being, which are the birthright of every subject, are immediately there in force.”
Britain's major political parties are so scared of an alternative that they won't even let the left-wing, anti-austerity Green Party into televised debates. If the Greens aren't allowed into the TV election debates, there should be a compromise, such as its MP, Caroline Lucas, being allowed to present an episode of Top Gear.
More than 200 people attended a candidates meeting in the Sydney suburb of Haberfield, called by WestCON Action Groups and Save Ashfield Park. The standing-room-only meeting to discuss the proposed WestConnex tunnel through the area heard from Labor, Greens and Socialist Alliance candidates for the state seat of Summer Hill in the state election in March. Liberal candidate Julie Passas sent an apology, claiming a prior commitment.
Five hundred people rallied in Melbourne on November 15 to protest against the Coalition government's proposed East West toll road. The rally had three main demands: scrap the East West Link, rip up the contracts and invest in public transport. Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Pascoe Vale in the Victorian election, Sean Brocklehurst, gave this speech to the rally. * * * My name is Sean Brocklehurst. I am a candidate for the seat of Pascoe Vale. I am also an activist with Moreland Community Against the Tunnel. We are against this tunnel.
How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the same name. Posed as a simple question, it quickly developed into as many answers and narratives as there are positions within the left.
The November 4 congressional mid-term elections in the US reflect the further shift to the right in capitalist politics. The obvious aspect of this is the fact that the Republicans won control of the Senate, increased their majority in the House, and won more state governorships. There has been speculation in the media about how this result came about.
In the 2010 Victorian elections the Greens scored about 30% of the vote in each of the Labor-held inner-city seats of Brunswick, Richmond and Melbourne. They are campaigning hard to break into the Legislative Assembly in all three in the November 29 election. A poll reported in the November 7 Age predicted Greens wins in Richmond and Melbourne, but was not conducted in Brunswick. Tim Read, a medical doctor and researcher, is the Greens candidate for Brunswick. He believes that parliament should stand up to big business.
Nearly twenty-five years to the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialist party Die Linke (“The Left”) looks set to form government in the eastern German state of Thuringia for the first time. After two months of uncertainty following September 14 state elections, the way was cleared for Die Linke to head a coalition government in December, alongside the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, on November 4 when nearly 70% of SPD members in Thuringia voted to enter the coalition.
Millions of residents of Catalonia will indicate their preference for the future political status of their country, one of the 17 “autonomous communities” (regional governments) within the Spanish state, in the November 9 Catalan “participatory process”. The “process” will present voters with the same ballot paper as the original non-binding consultation adopted by the Catalan parliament on September 26 — which was immediately suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court. Its asks: “(1) Do you want Catalonia to become a state? (2) If yes, do you want that state to be independent?”