Why the ‘free speech’ right sook like babies

Louise O’Shea Object to the bigotry of a right wing politician or commentator and the cry will inevitably ring out: “My free speech! Oh, unbearable persecution!” It’s the political equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the grass clutching his ankle because someone ran between him and the goal. In this...CONTINUE READING

An International Women’s Day to remember

Louise O’Shea International Women’s Day hasn’t always been about corporate lunches and worthy pontificating by stuffy politicians. One hundred years ago, it started a revolution. Not a revolution in anti-ageing cream or stain remover like the sort we’re used to, but a generalised uprising of workers and...CONTINUE READING

What better time to demand the impossible?

Louise O’Shea “Be realistic, demand the impossible”. So went the slogan of the insurrectionary Parisian students in May 1968. It beautifully captured the mood of the time: the collective rejection of the stultifying parameters of capitalist normality and the boundless optimism that a better world was po...CONTINUE READING

The system that produced Trump

Louise O’Shea US capitalism was a disaster for the majority of the country’s residents, and for the majority of the world’s population, well before Donald Trump came along. And now it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Four decades of ruling class attacks have created one of the most unequal societies in...CONTINUE READING

Bill Leak is a racist, but pursuing him under 18C is a mistake

Louise O’Shea In what must be an answer to the right’s prayers, a complaint has been brought against the Australian under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The complaint concerns a cartoon by Bill Leak, which depicts an Aboriginal father, beer in hand, unable to remember the name of his chil...CONTINUE READING

How oppression can be ended

Louise O’Shea The struggle against oppression has been the driving force of history and social development. Far from submitting meekly to their lot, human beings have resisted inequality and oppression from the earliest days of class society. But resistance alone is no guarantee of success. Oppression,...CONTINUE READING

Why capitalism causes oppression

Louise O’Shea Attempting to explain and understand the many forms of oppression that exist in society without reference to the nature of the capitalist system is a sure path to answers that don’t answer and explanations that don’t explain. Individual prejudice, lack of education or ill-advised public po...CONTINUE READING

Nauru files expose barbarity at the heart of Australian capitalism

Louise O’Shea Australia’s offshore detention regime is a fortress of secrecy, intimidation and repression. The Guardian ’s “Nauru Files” have knocked some of the bricks out of this edifice; what they reveal is horrifying. The files contain more than 2,000 incident reports involving harm or threatened ha...CONTINUE READING

Despite the bluster, election reveals parliamentary consensus

Louise O’Shea In the barbecue of Australian political life, this federal election would have to be the vegetarian sausage: obligatory, but inevitably failing to arouse much interest and afterwards leaving you wondering why you even bothered. Even the apparently neck and neck polling of the Labor and Lib...CONTINUE READING