I watched the royal wedding. And I loved it.

Ben Hillier I’m supposed to write about the wedding of prince Harry and Meghan Markle being a disgusting display of opulence by a bludging waste-of-space family whose titles are both affronting and anachronistic. It was. They are. Yet I am caught up in it. For a brief escape from the small agonies of...CONTINUE READING

Using money to strangle debtors

Ben Hillier The Hayne royal commission into the finance sector continues to uncover aspects of a toxic corporate culture. Lying, cheating, fraud, cover-ups – you name it, someone did it, was paid good money for it and left some customer worse off as a result. Yet, as disgraceful as the exposed schemes...CONTINUE READING

Banking inquiry shows how capitalism sucks

Ben Hillier Not even the dead are safe from the predatory practices of big capital. Scarcely a month into a year-long (now possibly longer, given the scale of the crimes being uncovered) banking royal commission, we have a steady stream of revelations about bribery, deception and conning customers. AM...CONTINUE READING

A family snatched at dawn, fighting for their lives

Ben Hillier It’s the stuff of nightmares. A family with two infant daughters, their house raided by 20 or more armed strangers, bundled into vans, flown half a continent away, imprisoned for a week before again being put into vans, flown thousands of kilometres and placed on another aircraft bound for...CONTINUE READING

What do we mean by socialism?

Ben Hillier What the hell is socialism, anyway? Over the last decade, it has been one of the most frequently looked up words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. And it’s easy to see why so many people feel the need for clarification. Right wing politicians and commentators call anything they are agains...CONTINUE READING

Fascists frolic on the foreshore

Ben Hillier Nothing says Australia Day like army trucks towing cannon down St Kilda Road and a few haggard RAAF Roulettes manoeuvring over the CBD. After all, colonisation began with a small military garrison asserting itself in Port Jackson. It’s always a curious event, in part because confusion surr...CONTINUE READING

New Year in detention

Ben Hillier It’s New Year’s Day, and the Broadmeadows detention centre is in lockdown. We’re told to wait. Eventually, a guard comes to the car park to tell us that all visits are off. She won’t say why. But after a few calls at our end, word has it that a couple of visa overstayers awaiting deportati...CONTINUE READING

World peace ‘could get us killed’

Ben Hillier When news broke that an Australian had won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, my first thought was whether the Nobel Committee had found a mass murderer or a genuine aspirant for world peace. After all, previous winners include David Trimble, sectarian former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party i...CONTINUE READING

When the right comes to a worker’s defence

Ben Hillier An 18-year-old children’s entertainer, Madeline, last week was sacked by Capital Kids Parties in the ACT after putting a “vote no” filter on her Facebook profile picture. Her employer, Madlin Sims, informed her of her dismissal on 17 September before writing on her own Facebook page: “Toda...CONTINUE READING