Community membership

communitylogoThis week the National Union of Workers (disclaimer: where I work) launched a new form of Union membership – a community membership. From a personal perspective, in this post I would like to outline what I think this means for the union movement in Australia and the prospect of building for progressive change.

Continue reading “Community membership”

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Calling a General Strike

Calling a General Strike

Each day we wake up to the reality of the past feeding off the future. As each day is ushered into the present, corporate vultures repeatedly feast on the organs of the future. We rip off shreds of our national wealth and feed them to the vultures. Their hunger remains. We push more and more student and housing debt onto the next generation struggling to make its stand in the world. Still the vultures want more. We push the costs of ecological clean up to a future we imagine will never arrive. Still the vultures hunger. They will never be satisfied. The seemingly perpetual present of the Prometheus cannot continue. It is a cycle that dooms us to oblivion. Continue reading “Calling a General Strike”

6 Reasons why Social Funding can effectively end political corruption

Shit is about to get real...ugly
Shit is about to get real…ugly for the political class.

While ICAC has temporarily suspended its inquiry into the soliciting and concealment of political payments, we have a chance to reflect on the systemic implications of what we we’ve found out. The roll call of resignations, suspensions and those broadly implicated in the last few weeks runs deep – former NSW resources Minister Chris Hartcher, former Federal Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos, Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey, former NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher, Central Coast MPs Darren Webber and Chris Spence, and former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. It feels like a George RR Martin novel where the body count is extensive, the web of intrigue intricate and there are thousands of pages of plot still to come where the axe will continue to swing. O’Farrell’s unexpected beheading certainly signals the unfolding of chaos for the political class in the capital and the rest of the seven kingdoms. Continue reading “6 Reasons why Social Funding can effectively end political corruption”

The Blog is Back

Need before Greed

The Blog of Claims is back people. I’ll resume posting on topics designed to get us to a world which is based on fulfilling the needs of the many as opposed to meeting the greed of the few. I’ve been on extended hiatus between getting married, going on honeymoon and getting in the swing of a new role at work. However, I’m now in a position to begin regular posting again so here’s the rules:

  1. The usual posting cycle will be once per fortnight – every second Sunday.
  2. Topics will generally be a mix of unionism with a hack effort at politics and economics thrown in.
  3. Individual posts will be between 700-1000 words (give or take 10 per cent).
  4. I’ll attempt to throw in a dash of humour where possible.
  5. All of the above may be broken where I judge necessary (for instance it would be pretty boring if I turned this post into 1000 words).

For for some extended reading here’s a dialogue I engaged in with ACTU economists Matt Cowgill on housing policy. Enjoy.

I’m also open to taking suggestions re updating my blog roll, so please let me know what you think I should add or delete.

 

 

We’re no longer beholden to Detroit

To lament the death of the Australian car industry is to grieve for something which never existed. Australia has never been anything more than a branch office for the global players of Detroit and Tokyo. An industrial reflection, perhaps, of Australia’s subservient foreign policy. Our political class has never really had the courage or strength to take matters into their own hands. And so it continues with General Motors (GM) announcing the cessation of Australian manufacturing from 2017. The mainstream political debate is stuck between lamenting that this was an inevitable but natural result of market dynamics and that further public subsidies could have kept GM manufacturing in Australia. Continue reading “We’re no longer beholden to Detroit”

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 “Coalition’s job security campaign contradictions”