How Australia’s mining barons stole the boom

Tom Bramble The resources boom has been the most spectacular of its kind in 150 years, surpassed only by the gold rush of the 1850s. It has created enormous fortunes in the hands of a few, impoverished some and left many isolated from its benefits. Now that we are coming out of the construction phase,...CONTINUE READING

Why the fight for equality matters

Coral Teague Last year at a rally I met Chris, a young guy who was in his first gay relationship. He couldn’t march because he was scared he might be seen. Nothing new so far – fear of being “outed” is all too real because the consequences range from loss of former friends to being rejected by family,...CONTINUE READING

Orwell on Manus Island

Ben Hillier In the opening scenes of George Orwell’s 1984, the protagonist, Winston Smith, sits down to write a diary entry. Hands trembling, unable to be sure of the date, he is overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness, in part brought on by the sheer scale of state propaganda that he has witnessed in...CONTINUE READING

How did politics get to this?

Corey Oakley When the USSR collapsed more than 20 years ago, right wing academic Francis Fukuyama wrote a notorious article announcing “the end of history”. What he meant was that all the great ideological battles of human history had been settled, free market capitalism had triumphed, and there was no...CONTINUE READING

Labor paves the way for Abbott

Editors When the bosses say jump, Tony Abbott asks “How high?” His address to the New South Wales Business Chamber on 19 August gave a taste of things to come under a Coalition government: “You’ve asked for lower taxes and we’ll give you lower taxes. We’ll abolish the carbon tax, we’ll abolish the...CONTINUE READING

Refugees are a union issue

Jerome Small Every unionist knows that “an injury to one is an injury to all”. This applies to refugees as much as the rest of us. If it is seen as “normal” that people are detained by the Australian government without charge or trial – or simply deported at a government’s whim – this makes it seem “no...CONTINUE READING

Fight for equality, fight for liberation

Kat Henderson The same-sex marriage campaign has been exceptional in recent Australian politics, giving rise to sustained mobilisations involving tens of thousands of people in spirited protest. It has repeatedly forced the question of LGBTI equality into the public spotlight, despite the wishes of the...CONTINUE READING

Supplements scandal shows Hird unfit to coach

Ben Hillier Imagine for a moment the following scenario. Employees at a medium sized company are brought before a group of their managers and asked to participate in a trial to increase work productivity. The pressure to participate is immense: the employees are all on contracts, and it is very diffic...CONTINUE READING

Too posh for prison

Louisa Bassini Charges of intentionally causing injury were heard last month in the Melbourne Magistrates Court against 27-year-old Liam Danial Sweeney. During sentencing, the magistrate made some unusually frank statements about his assessment of the matter. In doing so, for a moment he exposed a realit...CONTINUE READING