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”.
Category Archives: Just how stuffed the world is today
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
This song is great. That Thrift Shop was recently voted number 1 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 shows how it has tapped into a collective mood. It taps into a space that a lot of people in Australia share. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have created a pretty accurate snapshot of a generation coming into a world with no security, an unsettled future and a lot of debt. With only $20 in your pocket and an uncertain tomorrow what else are you going to do but find some kick arse clothes from the op shop and party? Revel tonight because the present is all we have. When a new day is due to bring pain, it might as well be self-inflicted. Continue reading
It looks like the IR nut-jobs in the Coalition are refining their political strategy to keep working people down. Peter Reith has called for a broad-based inquiry into union behaviour and governance. The IR nut-jobs have clearly learned from the WorkChoices but it was clearly not the message that a majority of Australians were attempting to teach (you know the one about taking rights at work seriously). Instead, the idea is to use an inquiry of some description such as a Royal Commission to fundamentally weaken the independent organising capacity of the union movement. All with the added sweetener of ensuring complete corporate dominance of the hundreds of billions of dollars of workers’ capital in industry superannuation funds. Continue reading