Labor in a tizz over how to save apartheid Israel

Rick Kuhn There’s a fight going on inside the Labor Party over the cosmetics of its position on Israel and Palestine. Currently, party leader Bill Shorten, who wants to shake the hand of Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu while he’s visiting Australia, is sticking with the ALP’s long standing...CONTINUE READING

The far right advances in Germany

Rick Kuhn The far right, racist Alternative for Germany (AfD) came second in elections in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on 4 September. With 22 percent of the vote, it outpolled the Christian Democrats of conservative federal chancellor Angela Merkel, behind only the Social Democrats on 29 per...CONTINUE READING

Turning public servants into silent slaves

Rick Kuhn The Labor-Green coalition government in the ACT wants to control how its employees behave outside work hours. Under legislation it has prepared, public servants who say or do things in a private capacity that the government doesn’t like will be disciplined or sacked. It will also punish th...CONTINUE READING

Fascism and anti-fascism in Europe

Rick Kuhn Fascists are advancing in many countries at once for the first time since World War II. Economic stagnation and uncertainty, the willingness of governments to promote racism and the complacency of most of their opponents have aided fascist groups and parties. In Greece and Hungary, the neo...CONTINUE READING

Staring into the void of Australian politics

Rick Kuhn Five prime ministers in five years. None serving out a full term. Each more right wing than the last. First term governments defeated in Victoria (for the first time in 60 years) and Queensland. Official politics in Australia has been in a state of turmoil. Malcolm Turnbull was supposed to...CONTINUE READING

Don’t get Bernt

Rick Kuhn The enthusiasm generated by the US presidential campaign of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders indicates that there are many people, particularly young people, who live “in the heart of the beast” and reject its beastliness. Among other desirable objectives, Sanders supports universa...CONTINUE READING

Malcolm with murder on his mind

Rick Kuhn Malcolm Turnbull is trying to kill me. It’s not a longstanding vendetta dating back to when he was head prefect and I was a year behind him at Sydney Grammar. We got on okay then. Actually, it’s nothing personal. Like Liberals back to Bob Menzies, Malcolm has it in for public health care....CONTINUE READING

Clinical trials and capitalist tribulations

Rick Kuhn At Canberra Hospital, I am undergoing a well-established treatment for the bone marrow cancer Multiple Myeloma. Like other public hospitals in Australia, Canberra Hospital is staffed by workers who are, in general, very dedicated and very exploited (therefore alienated). They endure low pa...CONTINUE READING

Labor’s long goodbye to the working class

Rick Kuhn Liberating top politicians from external constraints is the goal of Bill Shorten’s proposals for minor organisational changes in the ALP. The issue is not union bureaucrats versus rank and file party members. Since the mid-1890s, the ALP has been a workers’ party committed to managing the...CONTINUE READING