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

What we need to revive our union movement

Jerome Small “I believe in the rule of law where the law is fair and the law is right. But when the law is unjust, I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.” This unexpected and forthright declaration by the new secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, points to one i...CONTINUE READING

When even the scientists are marching

Liz Ross Brandishing pieces of coal during parliamentary sessions passes for evidence these days, according to climate change sceptics. In this age of alternative facts, filing lawsuits against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the denial of human agency in global warming are key qua...CONTINUE READING

The murky world of the alt-right

Vashti Kenway Donald Trump’s tweets offered us an insight into the megalomaniacal playground that is his psyche. But his retweets revealed something even more sinister: his connections to the white nationalist far right. During the presidential primaries, Trump retweeted @WhiteGenocideTM and another use...CONTINUE READING

There’s nothing better about a ‘presidential’ Trump

Corey Oakley In the weeks after Trump’s inauguration, the US liberal establishment had its fighting face on. Media outlets were speaking truth to power. Democratic politicians linked arms with protesters in the streets and ended all their tweets with #resistance. Then it happened. It didn’t last long,...CONTINUE READING

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

From social justice champion to huckster for the banks

Tom Bramble Australia’s big banks stink to high heaven. Their mega-profits and sky-high CEO salaries have been funded by every kind of corrupt practice – ripping off the elderly and vulnerable, forcing people out of their homes, foreclosing on farms and small businesses, and denying the dying vital li...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

Hate speech as free speech

Ben Hillier “I can’t stand Muslims … They’re not all bad – they do chuck pillow-biters off buildings.” Larry Pickering is a cartoonist. He was the VIP guest at a February Q Society meeting in Sydney. To help with the fundraising, he donated one of his own sketches for auction – a depiction of a veiled...CONTINUE READING