The odious spectre of Hansonism is reborn

Jerome Small It’s a shock, but no surprise, that Australia’s most well-known racist politician is back in the national parliament: Pauline Hanson looks certain to become a senator for Queensland following the 2 July election. Hanson was first voted into parliament 20 years ago, as voters dumped the dis...CONTINUE READING

The origins of the Liberal Party

Jerome Small The official version of the Liberal Party’s origins is all about “personal freedom”, “choice” and “enlightened liberal policies”. However, history shows that for the Liberals, freedom for ordinary people is a disposable commodity. The Liberal Party was formed in 1944 from the remnants of p...CONTINUE READING

7-Eleven magnate doubles his fortune

Jerome Small “What 7-Eleven is doing is a truly criminal act.” It’s six months since Ehsan Kabir quit his job at a 7-Eleven store in suburban Melbourne. He is working interstate now, and hasn’t been following every development in the enormous scandal over wage rip-offs that engulfed the convenience sto...CONTINUE READING

The resilience of Flint, a city poisoned

Jerome Small Saginaw Street runs south to north through the city of Flint, Michigan, USA. Saginaw is, or should be, one of the most famous streets in the history of the workers’ movement. In the space of an hour you can trace our movement’s course – from our most famous victories, through to seemingly...CONTINUE READING

Chicago teachers show us how

Jerome Small Downtown Chicago was a sea of red on the evening of Friday, 1 April, as members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and their supporters struck and rallied against contract violations and lack of funding for public schools. The teachers’ strike largely set the political agenda in Chicago f...CONTINUE READING

In search of Bernie Sanders

Jerome Small I was determined to beat any queues at the Bernie Sanders meeting on 4 April, so I caught the early train to Milwaukee. But still, it felt like I was running late. Partly this was because, fresh off the train and glancing at the map, I stomped off – with great certainty and at a decent spe...CONTINUE READING

“We didn’t cross the border – the border crossed us!”

Jerome Small On 1 May 2006, the United States was shaken by the biggest strikes and demonstrations in the history of the country. The US Congress was debating a law that would criminalise a key section of the working class – 11 million undocumented, mostly Spanish-speaking, migrants. In response, immig...CONTINUE READING

Fair go for pensioners, fair go for all

Jerome Small “Are we going to accept unemployment? Are we going to accept this ‘dole bludger’ terminology?” It’s a startling series of questions, and not only because they’re coming through a sound system at around 100 decibels. They’re startling because they almost never get asked. In this neoliberal...CONTINUE READING

How Coles rips off its workers

Jerome Small We’re at the Fair Work Commission in Melbourne. The wages and conditions of 77,000 workers are on the line. Coles Supermarkets has deployed a small platoon of the best lawyers and “expert” witnesses that money can buy. Their task? To fend off a legal challenge from a Coles worker – trolley...CONTINUE READING