Profits up, wages down: happy New Year

Tom Bramble Households across Australia are feeling the squeeze while the bosses continue to rake it in. For the first time since the deep recession of the early 1990s, when unemployment topped 10 percent, most household incomes have fallen. In September, household incomes were 2 percent lower than th...CONTINUE READING

Romper stomped

Rick Kuhn With all the analytical insight of a two-minute news report, but with less artistic finesse, the new streaming series Romper Stomper hams up fascists and anarchists in contemporary Melbourne. The series opens with its fundamental premise: both fascists and anti-fascists are violent thugs....CONTINUE READING

Government goes Grinch on higher education

Con Karavias Even Christmas couldn’t keep the Liberals from attacking higher education. In the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, the government announced $2.2 billion in university funding cuts over the next two years. The cuts will take the form of a freeze in Commonwealth grants for teaching and...CONTINUE READING

Manus Island: Australia’s neo-colonial gulag

Sam Pietsch The Manus Island concentration camp is not only the culmination of Australia’s increasingly brutal treatment of refugees over many years. It also epitomises the neo-colonial relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea. Colonial powers have long favoured “offshore processing” for un...CONTINUE READING

How we won marriage equality

Louise O’Shea On 27 May 2004, then prime minister John Howard announced his intention to amend the Marriage Act to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. The act was amended the following August. Two key events had precipitated this action. One was then US president George W. Bush’s vocal s...CONTINUE READING

The moral depravity at the heart of Australia’s refugee policy

Omar Hassan At a rally early last month in Sydney, the crowd heard from a refugee on Manus Island, Walid Zazai, who repeated a painfully simple refrain: “We are human beings”. The words have refused to be forgotten, reverberating and cascading as the conditions on Manus worsened. The significance of t...CONTINUE READING

Is public housing a thing of the past?

Steph Price Most public housing in Australia is a monument to a different era, a time when governments built houses, just as they would schools and hospitals. Inconceivable to anyone born in the last 40 years, there was a period when the government was hungry for land to build things people could live...CONTINUE READING

We have to stop Adani, but that’s just the start

James Plested The battle to stop the construction of Adani’s proposed new mega coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin is a defining environmental struggle of our time. If the mine goes ahead, it will be a catastrophe – not just for Australia, but for the entire planet. Once fully operational, the mine...CONTINUE READING

Australian conservatism’s intellectual impasse

Justen Bellingham The politically shrewd US novelist Norman Mailer once suggested that “the natural disease” of conservatism, “since it does hold so many fixed positions”, is oedema (a swelling caused by too much fluid retention in body tissue). Against this ever present mortal danger, Mailer continued, “th...CONTINUE READING