Chinese influence peddling is amateur hour compared to the US

Mick Armstrong Would you believe it? Wealthy Chinese businesspeople and the Chinese government bribe Australian politicians, try to influence community leaders, solicit favourable media coverage, intimidate Chinese international students and democratic rights advocates and engage in spying. A special Fai...CONTINUE READING

The bankruptcy of Merkel’s liberal cheer squad

Mick Armstrong The liberal press are hailing German chancellor Angela Merkel as the champion of the “free world”, a defender of civilisation against the barbarian hordes led by Donald Trump. In a paean for Merkel, the Guardian ’s Suzanne Moore wrote, “Theatrics don’t interest her but there is a vision, a...CONTINUE READING

The Catholic Church has done more damage than ISIS

Mick Armstrong Cardinal George Pell and his supporters, such as Tony Abbott, claim that the latest police investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse are part of an ongoing witch-hunt against him. It is true that the Catholic church, and in particular Pell, have received a bucketing in sections...CONTINUE READING

Corbyn’s UK Labour must take the fight to Tories

Mick Armstrong Britain’s Conservative prime minister Theresa May has called a snap election for 8 June to capitalise on the Tories’ decisive lead in the opinion polls and a severely divided and demoralised Labour opposition. May hopes that an overwhelming victory will strengthen her hand to push through...CONTINUE READING

How workers won penalty rates

Mick Armstrong The Turnbull government’s backing of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash penalty rates for Sunday and public holiday work is the latest round in a long battle over a key working condition. The struggle for decent penalty rates in Australia goes back at least as far as the campaign...CONTINUE READING

In Trump’s USA, socialism is in the air

Mick Armstrong It is very dangerous times in the USA, with Trump and his coterie of alt-right reactionaries, headed by Steve Bannon, ensconced in the White House. But it is not all doom and despair. The US is not simply an appalling sea of reaction. It is an increasingly polarised society in which increa...CONTINUE READING

How the Liberals fell in love with ‘sophisticated’ One Nation

Mick Armstrong The Liberals are going all out to court One Nation. In a desperate attempt to save the deeply unpopular Barnett government, the Western Australian branch has struck a preference deal with Pauline Hanson’s far right racist party for the 11 March state election. One Nation, which is currentl...CONTINUE READING

When workers turned the world upside down

Mick Armstrong The 1917 Russian Revolution transformed world politics. For the first time ever, the mass of workers took control of society and began democratically and collectively to reshape every aspect of life for the benefit of the great majority. They created a new form of mass democracy – workers’...CONTINUE READING

Anti-Irish racism in Australian history

Mick Armstrong Anti-Irish racism was brought to Australia on the First Fleet and remained a core element of Australian politics for almost 200 years. It was undoubtedly the main racial/communal division in the working class for much of this period. The divisions were so entrenched that they persisted for...CONTINUE READING