Tom Bramble is co-author, with Mick Armstrong, of the book 'The Fight for Workers’ Power: Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the 20th Century', published by Interventions.
Israel’s bloody war in Gaza is soon to enter its third month. Three months of horror. Three months of mass killing and destruction. Fourteen thousand Palestinians dead, including at least five thousand children. The destruction of hundreds of thousands of homes, schools, hospitals, mosques and vital, life-sustaining infrastructure.
The royal commission into robodebt, which handed down its final report in early July, has confirmed that our country is run by ghouls—politicians, senior bureaucrats and high-paid lawyers characterised, in the words of Commissioner Catherine Holmes, by “venality, incompetence and cowardice”.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated a series of underlying trends in world politics that are leading us into a dangerous new world order. This new order is not arriving already formed, and there will be interruptions and reverses along the way, but four key features are coming into view:
Union coverage, in steady decline since the early 1980s, took another sharp turn for the worse in 2022. The latest figures, released by the Bureau of Statistics in mid-December, show that membership has fallen by 76,000 in two years, to 1.4 million, even as the workforce has grown. The outcome is that just one in eight workers in Australia are now union members, down from one in two 40 years ago.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm that real wages are falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, possibly even the 1890s, both period of massive unemployment.
The revelation by ABC’s Four Corners program on 31 October that the US Air Force will base six B-52 bombers in the Northern Territory is the latest signal that the United States is preparing for war with China and confirms Australia’s bipartisan commitment to these murderous plans.