Category Archives: Just how stuffed the world is today

The Red and the Black – more than being in the red or the black

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Like many younger siblings, I never really had a choice about which footy club to support. My older brother told me that we were the Bombers and from the age of three that’s what I was; a Bomber. Choice and footy clubs aren’t concepts that usually meet – you have a tribe, you are told you are part of the tribe and it remains that way until you die through career changes and relationship break-ups. My tribe is Essendon FC. I’ve never been one to hate. I don’t hate other clubs or tribes. For me hatred is a foreign country I’ve never felt comfortable in – whenever I’ve accidentially wandered there I’ve always wanted to get out quickly. When I encounter the emotion in others, pending their relationship to me and what their hate is directed towards, it’s either likely to make me feel confused and hurt, diminish my respect for someone or sense a weakness in an opponent.
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Abbott and Hockey are killing people

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Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey are killing people. Fellow humans and citizens are dying because of the decisions they are making and the deliberate policies they are pursuing. I cannot see into the future. I don’t know what the final death toll we will let them get away with is. I don’t know exactly whose children, whose brother, whose sister or whose parents will die because of their decisions. I only know that there will be a death toll and that each of us knows someone who will die.
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Australia’s Kleenex workers – used for dirty jobs then thrown away

My union, the National Union of Workers, held a demonstration this morning at Southern Cross Station called the Fluro Fightback. Here’s the corresponding article in The Guardian about it, “Australia’s Kleenex workers – used for dirty jobs then thrown away”.

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Coalition’s job security campaign contradictions

Just what are the Coalition promising to do to increase job security? The answer is very little and there is an important reason why, writes Charlie Donnelly.

“If you want to hang on to your job and have job security you will not be guaranteed that job security under Labor because everything they say and do is pointing the economy in the wrong direction. It is only the Coalition that is going to make the decisions that get the economy back on track.” – Joe Hockey Continue reading

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PRISM and Hannah Arendt

My latest article is up at Overland. It’s a piece on the wider implications of PRISM against a reading of Hannah Arendt’s essay, Lying in Politics.

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The Dangers of Abbott & Abetz

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After Rudd’s announcement of his PNG option, you may be thinking with Labor governments like these, who needs Tories right? This is, however, a discussion we still need to have to form the basis of coherent Left strategy for the next Coalition government. If you’re in Melbourne, I hope to see you down at Trades Hall on Thursday 25 July at 7pm.

 

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A Direct Response to the Coalition’s Policy to Stuff Workers

On Wednesday, the LNP announced their IR policy to Improve your employer’s ability to exploit you. Well that wasn’t exactly the name but it is the strategy, and that’s what I’ll expand on in this post. If you want to feel the cold hand of Voldemort on your soul then you can read the original policy document here and make up your own mind. Continue reading

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VB get your hands off #AnzacDay

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5 reasons for the great disconnect

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No, I’m not talking about broadband vs. #fraudband policy making in Australia (as much as I theoretically appreciate the concept of fast internet).

But rather the disconnect between two parallel conversations – our political/business elites talking to each other and talking over the top of the rest of us, while the rest of us aren’t listening. What we have are two discourses – distinct and foreign to each other. In Australia, we have a solidly social democratic majority. It is a majority who believes most of the benefits of economic reforms from the 1980s and onwards have flowed to corporations. It is a majority who believe in substantial government economic intervention, and who still don’t support (nearly 20 years later) the privatisation of Qantas, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra. It is a majority who support increasing taxes for big corporations. Check out Pollytics for the polling data. Continue reading

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Italians deliver a big F–k you to the political establishment

People react as Five Star Movement leader and comedian Beppe Grillo arrive during a rally in Rome

Is Beppe Grillo the messiah,  or just a very naughty boy? His 5 Star Movement (5SM) swept the Italian elections earlier in the week taking 25% of the vote. This result is a stunning rebuke to the once mighty Italian left – 5SM is not really born of the Left – rather it is the intellectual property of one man – Grillo. These articles from writers far more knowledgeable on the political situation in Italy are useful contextual reading (Dr Tad here and Giovanni Tiso here). Rather, what I want to delve into is 5SM’s support base, how it is organised and what the implications are for the industrial-political situation in Australia. Continue reading

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