Green Left

Green Left Weekly welcomes the historic vote to decriminalise abortion in Queensland and pledges to redouble its efforts to win free, safe and legal abortion across the country.

“What was the Daily Telegraph even doing at an event like that?” a few people asked me after Tim Blair’s scathing review of Green Left Weekly’s September 22 comedy fundraiser was the the subject of his Tele feature column last month.

The answer is simple; Bashing the left. If you can’t make Scomo & Co sound good, bash the opposition.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a disingenuous pitch for “unity” and “honesty” in response to Byron Bay Council’s decision on September 20 not to celebrate Australia Day, in deference to the hurt it engenders to Indigenous peoples.

Over the past 27 years, Green Left Weekly has given voice to activists in the Asia-Pacific region fighting for justice and freedom and built up strong bonds of internationalist solidarity with the movements and parties they are part of.

We believe it is important that GLW continues to report on struggles in neighbouring countries from the point of view of the oppressed and exploited majority.

Comedian and radio personality Wendy Harmer tweeted recently about a dinner experience she had: “Had my Liberal-voting friends over last night who are adamant the Govt. should nationalise the banks — same position as espoused by Green Left Weekly. Weren't best pleased when I pointed this out. Fun debate :)” 

It’s no surprise people are drawing this conclusion, as more revelations from the banking royal commission show just how much the banks have screwed over customers in the name of profits.

 

Australia has long had one of the most monopolised media industries in the world. Indeed, when Green Left Weekly was launched in 1991, one of our key slogans was “Break the media monopoly — support Green Left Weekly”. Today it is even more relevant.

Ever tried to book a flight online, made a mistake and then found that either there was no one available to help you fix it or that it was just going to cost you more anyway? I have, while experiencing the fury that everyone feels at the helplessness and injustice of it all.

I would consider myself to be relatively computer and internet literate. However this era of new technology and electronic media excludes vast numbers of people and disadvantages them terribly.

After 25 years, it is clearer than ever that privatisation of electricity in Australia has been a disaster for people and the planet.

In the early 1990s, prior to privatisation, energy prices in Australia were some of the lowest in the world and had been dropping for decades. That trend was sharply reversed following privatisation. Today, households are paying skyrocketing prices and growing numbers of Australians are now living in “energy poverty”.

Their accountants and lawyers have done their annual magic. They have massaged the numbers, whisked away a gazillion or more dollars to the Cayman Islands, or some other tax haven and — oh, what a miracle — they have managed to reduce their taxable income to zero (or better still, into the offset bliss of notional “losses”).

And all this while they sit by the pool, sipping only-the-best champers.

What a life — for some.

Melbourne Green Left Comedy Debate 2018

The annual Melbourne Green Left Comedy Debate held in Brunswick Town Hall on June 16 started off on a sad note with a tribute in words and song to Eurydice Dixon, a young woman comedian who was murdered on her way home from a gig on June 12.

The fate of more than 600 people rescued at sea by the Doctors Without Borders rescue ship Aquarius is one more example of the impact of right wing populism on human rights in Europe today.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the highest-paid leader in the entire Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to a recent report.

Analysis by market research group IG also showed Turnbull earns up to 10 times the average Australian wage — the second-highest disparity with the majority of ordinary workers among OECD countries.

I’ve been a Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) member for 15 years and I cannot remember a time when the union was not portrayed as a pack of gangster-like thugs, who standover "innocent" bosses.

Somehow the nature of a tough, multi-billion dollar industry with a history of being the most dangerous in the country always gets lost in the propaganda.

So imagine my delight, along with tens of thousands of other CFMEU members, when blackmail charges against union officials John Setka and Shaun Reardon were dropped on May 16.

It is bad enough that Australia is not on track to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 26–28% on 2005 levels by 2030, as it is notionally committed to doing, but according to the government's own figures, it is only set to reduce them by 5%. What makes it worse is that even the 26–28% target is very conservative and unlikely to be sufficient.

In truth, wealthy industrialised countries like ours should be seeking to become net zero emission economies and societies, both because we can and because it is simply not worth gambling with the continued existence of life as we know it.

 

The 18th annual Green Left Weekly Comedy Debate is set to take place on June 16 at 6.30pm at Brunswick Town Hall. Bookings are available online at Trybooking.    

The event has been running since 2000, each year raising a significant amount to contribute to the annual Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund.

I awoke this morning to Radio National telling me that United States President Donald Trump could be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize.

What the … is black white? Had I awoken in a dystopian parallel universe?

Last week, the creep was bombing Syria. This week he’s the world’s greatest peacemaker and British bookies are slashing the odds on Trump and Kim Jong-un getting a Nobel Prize!

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