'Never had it so good', but welcome to the class war

Ben Hillier “Never had it so good”, read a 4 March headline in Melbourne’s Herald Sun . Natasha Bita, the author of the piece, noted the “Lucky Country lifestyle for working Australians”. “Even moaning Millennials are on a good wicket”, she said. There is a certain truth to all this. But there’s also...CONTINUE READING

Hate speech as free speech

Ben Hillier “I can’t stand Muslims … They’re not all bad – they do chuck pillow-biters off buildings.” Larry Pickering is a cartoonist. He was the VIP guest at a February Q Society meeting in Sydney. To help with the fundraising, he donated one of his own sketches for auction – a depiction of a veiled...CONTINUE READING

Don’t blame the Russians for US democracy’s failures

Ben Hillier US democracy was undermined from within, not from without, long before Donald Trump’s election victory. But an alleged conspiracy by the Russian government to help him reach the White House continues to motivate hypocritical lamentations for the republic on the part of US media, congressio...CONTINUE READING

Trash the US alliance

Ben Hillier The Greens in the Senate in early February again attempted to force a debate on the Australia-US alliance. Party leader Richard Di Natale secured a suspension of standing orders to launch an attack on US president Donald Trump, describing him as “dangerous, unhinged … and hateful”. Followi...CONTINUE READING

New era of politics, new era of protest

Ben Hillier The Trump era has opened with a resounding display of popular rejection of the incoming president. Across the US on 21 January, mass anti-Trump demonstrations choked the streets of major cities. More than half a million each in Washington and Los Angeles, 250,000 in Chicago, 250-500,000 in...CONTINUE READING

‘All that is holy was profaned’: the year that was, and the politics we need

Ben Hillier The last 15 months mark a quickening breakdown of a decades-long political consensus. Neoliberal globalisation, already a damaged brand among large sections of the population, is facing a globalised right wing populist challenge – still at this point neoliberal, but not so openly and with...CONTINUE READING

‘Post-truth politics’ isn’t peak populism, it’s peak liberal capitalism

Ben Hillier Political lying has taken on a qualitatively new dimension. It’s the “post-truth politics” period, apparently. Oxford Dictionaries, which crowned “post-truth” the 2016 word of the year, notes that “it describes not just particular assertions, but a general characteristic of our age”. Donal...CONTINUE READING

Establishment liberals tell everyone to eat shit

Ben Hillier Donald Trump has served up a steaming pile of shit to the US working class. And the liberal establishment is passing around the cutlery. Calls for reconciliation are now being voiced across the country by the very people who warned that a Trump presidency would result in Armageddon. Vacuou...CONTINUE READING

Why does the US establishment reject Trump for president?

Ben Hillier Donald Trump is a compulsive liar, a shill for big business, an enemy of trade unions, a conspiracist, a racist, a bigot, a sleaze, a sceptic of both reason and science, and a militarist of the highest order. In many ways, then, he is perfectly fit to be commander-in-chief of the world’s l...CONTINUE READING