Latest News

Budget Blunders In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

by Binoy Kampmark

TreasuryHell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets.  The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets.  Even in their self-celebrated expertise, blunders will happen. 

Few errors are as magisterial as that of the Australian government’s on JobKeeper.  In funding its job preservation scheme to cushion the shock of losses occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, a miscalculation on the number of employees who should have been covered was revealed.  The initial coverage was ambitious: 6.5 million employees.  Treasury and the Australian Tax Office have now revised the figure, effectively halving it.  The “reporting error” occurred with respect to 1,000 business applications, a drop-in-the-ocean of 910,000 businesses who had put their names to the scheme.  A mind boggling $130 billion has been shaved and will now cost $70 billion.  Any comparisons on generosity – for instance, with the United Kingdom’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – were invalidated.

Read more: Budget Blunders In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Parent Category: Spirit Content

JACK MUNDEY TRIBUTE: It’s still right to rebel .... Only struggle availeth.

by Humphrey McQueen

Canberra, 14 May 2010.

Well known Green Ban activist Jack Mundey died recently. Humphrey McQueen pays his tribute.

Jack Mundey‘What’s the good news from Canberra?’ Jack Mundey always wanted to know when we visited him and Judy in their two-up and two-down brick unit in Croyden Park. We welcomed Jack’s unintended reprimand is a reminder to look further than the headlines, to see through the parliamentary circus. We could report how retired unionists combined in Vintage Reds to picket worksites and courthouses; and how the AEU’s latest EBA required school principals negotiate teaching loads with the Union sub-branches. Jack did not need us to be reminded of the crimes he had spent his life opposing.

Read more: JACK MUNDEY TRIBUTE: It’s still right to rebel .... Only struggle availeth.

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Green Bans in Australia

 
 

The history of Green Bans in Australia and beyond started 1970 in Melbourne by Victorian building workers.

The Green Bans movement was one of the most inspiring and powerful moments in working-class history in this country.

Today, as our planet’s very survival is threatened by the destructive nature of capitalism, we must remember the lessons of the Green Bans movement: that working people do have the power to preserve and build the future they want.

Artwork by Trades Hall artist in residence Sam Wallman, animation by Bailey Sharp, sound design by our much-missed Suzi Taylor and narration by union legend, Dave Kerin.

Parent Category: Spirit Content

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium: Lessons learnt from this powerful mobilisation of popular opposition to imperialist war

Adelaide VMC 18 September 1970This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of some of the biggest demonstrations and mass rallies ever seen in this country. On Friday 8 May 1970, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in various cities and regional centres across Australia in opposition to Australian involvement in the Vietnam War. The demonstrations, organised by many organisations, unions, community groups and political parties, under the banner of the Moratorium movement was followed by two other mass gatherings, which took place on 18 September 1970 and 30 June 1971. The Moratorium movement was not a spontaneous outburst of popular discontent; no, the coming together of so many people took years of organising.

The Vietnam War Moratorium mass movement was a united front of Australian people from many different walks of life, opposing military conscription and Australia’s involvement in US aggression against the people of Vietnam fighting for national liberation and self-determination.

It was an anti-imperialist movement.

Read more: 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium: Lessons learnt from this powerful mobilisation of...

Parent Category: Spirit Content

A Pandemic in the Era of Great Power Rivalry and Neoliberalism

by Oliver Villar

Covid US & ChinaThis article was first published at Open Forum

The Trump administration has blamed China, and now the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the pandemic, seeking to distract blame from the neoliberal model of capitalism adopted in much of the Western world since the 1980s. This is also a convenient excuse for the US to attack a rising power that is starting to encroach on its influence and control.

Ultimately, the Trump administration is using the Coronavirus to drive a wedge between the US’s allies and China. Australia is a good example of this, uncomfortably caught between its largest trading partner (China) and its security partner and long-term ally (the US). For the moment, Australia appears to be towing the US’s line. In other words, the Coronavirus crisis has not led to international co-operation, but has rather been used as a pretext to intensify existing rivalries and policies of territorial division.

Read more: A Pandemic in the Era of Great Power Rivalry and Neoliberalism

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Page 1 of 73