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Covid-19 - The call for ‘independent’ enquiry by Morrison/Payne deserves scrutiny itself…as does the rise of the pro – war hawks in Australia

by Brian Boyd, June 2020

The question of how the ‘call’ by Australia for an independent, international enquiry about the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic came about, back in April, is worth inquiring about itself. At first blush it is a reasonable proposition for the world to want to learn all about how this pandemic began. However ALL of the circumstances that led to its breakout need to be explored and evaluated, not just what happened at a specific location, in one country and in a short timeline.

The ever-growing, dangerous US conflict with China is making it very difficult to put such an important task in a proper context. Now that the world health assembly (WHA) has agreed that the world health organisation (WHO), with universal support, is to carry out an investigation, the role of Australia, in this issue deserves to be considered with a critical eye. Australia’s credibility globally is on the line, with many commentators subsequently coming out, saying it looks like our government was simply a surrogate for US foreign policy.

There is no doubt that one of the issues for the upcoming WHO co-ordinated enquiry would be the way the initial breakout was handled and came about.

But the core issue for the investigation is far more serious. It is the revelation that there has been long-term global negligence of pandemic scientific research over many decades.

There has not been a lot of coverage to date given to the fact that the world health organisation-WHO-had already established a group of public health experts back in 2015 (that included US and Chinese scientists) to investigate and draw up a list of dangerous viruses, specifically those with no vaccines or drugs available.

Surely this issue merits far more focus than the squabbling between the two economic superpowers.

Read more: Covid-19 - The call for ‘independent’ enquiry by Morrison/Payne deserves scrutiny itself…as does...

Parent Category: Spirit Content

United States - a repressive police state and Australia mimics its master

Murder of George FloydMillions of people around the world have come out in protest to support the Black Lives Matter cause after witnessing the enormous protests in the United States against the sinister murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by the city's police. These protests have now swelled into uprisings in at least 70 cities throughout the US after their violent suppression by the police.

Australia is no different. Whist the numbers may be smaller here, black deaths by militarised and racialised police are all too common occurrence in both countries. Since the 1990s Australia has seen 434 black deaths in custody and that is merely the ones that have been counted.

Read more: United States - a repressive police state and Australia mimics its master

Parent Category: Spirit Content

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

A concrete floor a cell door and John Pat

by Lindy Nolan

10 March 2019

Leetona DungayWhat sorry choices parliamentary elections offer. NSW has one on the boil and another to follow federally.

Parliament isn’t a democracy. Whatever the aspirations of a few well-meaning politicians, parliament manages capitalism for corporations.  ‘Governments’ come and go, but the system remains.

This doesn’t mean politicians can’t do any good, but that parliament is part of the deceptive apparatus of capitalism, just like Murdoch’s media empire. It’s a shadow democracy, which puts the demands of foreign-controlled corporations and their Australian collaborators, like Gina and Twiggy, above all else.

Always has been, even when the forces of the people were strong enough for Gough Whitlam, the superhero of corporate-aligned Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson, to ride into office on giant waves of struggle.

Read more: A concrete floor a cell door and John Pat

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