Hanson supporters sook over mural

Azlan McLennan, Ben Hillier The side exterior wall of Newtone Betta Home Living in Footscray is well muraled. One orange-faced character, shown in four stages of life, could be straight out of Motörhead. He goes from moustache to goatee to pencil mo then full angular styling, with a constant full black mullet as his...CONTINUE READING

Comedy Company at the Magistrates’ Court as fascists wait for hearing

Ben Hillier “It’s no different to what was on the Paul Hogan show or the Comedy Company.” Steven Joyce is standing on the footpath outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. He’s here to support far right United Patriots Front (UPF) members Blair Cottrell, Chris Shortis and Neil Erikson. The trio have...CONTINUE READING

Rental crisis shows need for public housing

A rent crisis is pushing thousands of people into poverty and to the suburban fringes of the east coast capitals, particularly Sydney and Melbourne. According to SGS Economics and Planning, a consultancy firm, pretty much every suburb in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane is “extremely unaffor...CONTINUE READING

Gonski 2.0 an attack on teachers and students

Tim Arnot Days after announcing that they want to gut university funding by $2.8 billion a year, Malcolm Turnbull and education minister Simon Birmingham unveiled their plan for school funding. Dubbed “Gonski 2.0”, the new school funding plan, according to the Liberals, will mean an “extra” $18.6 bi...CONTINUE READING

Bank fat cats have nothing to complain about

Tom Bramble For sheer bloody nerve, it’s hard to go past Australia’s banks. The big four – ANZ, NAB, Westpac and the CBA – last year made $33 billion in profits, but they are raising a hue and cry about treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget proposal to impose a levy on their businesses. The amount involve...CONTINUE READING

Constructing the ‘undeserving poor’

Diane Fieldes This year’s federal budget trotted out a new round of attacks on the unemployed, most notably the trialling of drug-testing for people on the dole. Emphasising the moral inadequacy of the unemployed, Social Services minister Christian Porter said the trial would “ensure taxpayers’ money is...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

A political shift masking an economic assault

Ben Hillier Two weeks after the federal budget, we need to separate the political narrative from the economic reality. On one hand, we have what seems a profound shift. A Liberal Party that originally came to office with histrionics about a “fiscal emergency” and a debt and deficit “disaster”, which r...CONTINUE READING

Student protest can turn the tide against education attacks

Eleanor Morley Australia tails the US in everything from culture to war. Think of reality TV, fast fashion and the Middle East. Over the past few years, the Coalition government has been trying to import another well-known (and much hated) aspect of US society – its debt-fuelled, class-divided higher edu...CONTINUE READING