Category: Australia

Australia: peacemaker or warmonger? – Pearls and Irritations

Bullet and ammunition shell with a yellow flower of peace resting on a dusty dirty background. Copy space area for design text.

However, when global alliances are at stake, or global economies are deemed to be at risk, then sides are taken. A very good example is Yemen. The conflict here has absolutely nothing to do with Australia, or Europe, or the United States. Its antecedents are the Arab Spring of 2012. Disquiet about the leadership of President Saleh was the trigger. Continuing disquiet under the presidency of Hadi, the alignment of Saleh with Houthi rebels, all led finally to international intervention and side taking. Because the Houthi rebels are perceived to be aligned with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s enemy, the US and its allies which include Australia has provided Saudi Arabia with armaments. Unleashed from the air these have caused almost unprecedented misery on a people and nation that at one time was a jewel in the Arab world. A Yemeni civilian has nowhere to hide; prevention of humanitarian aid is a weapon of war.

Source: Australia: peacemaker or warmonger? – Pearls and Irritations

Voice vote may demand blood in the water – Pearls and Irritations

Uluru Statement from the Heart

Andrew Bolt clings to the IPA like a leech for their intellectual narratives

For the IPA, the history of settlement and dispossession, however lamentable, forms no part of the referendum proposition on the table. For them, the present disadvantage of Indigenous Australians, again however lamentable, owes more to the way that Indigenous Australians have allowed themselves to become pauperised and impoverished by welfare systems, and encouraged to think of themselves as helpless victims rather than actors in their own personal advancement. They want to persuade people that rights and assistance should be stripped away, arguing, that “woke” policies and government interventions, however well intentioned, have not improved their situation and generally have made it worse. For them, only policies based on personal responsibility, providing individual rather than collective rights and rewards for work, will create the wealth, human, social and economic capital, and incentives to lift people from their misery. The inequality, and material and spiritual poverty of the US is a testament to the truth of their gospel. Depriving the IPA and their sponsors of their special privileges and advantages, and their access to the power they enjoy should be one of the more com

Source: Voice vote may demand blood in the water – Pearls and Irritations

Is Adani the next Enron? What’s the scam? – Michael West

Gautam Adani

A research report published in the US this week cites numerous concerns with Adani’s business structure, accounting practices and its lofty valuation. Echoing Enron – one of the most spectacular corporate failures in recent history – the report even questions how Adani makes money, if at all. What’s the scam?

Source: Is Adani the next Enron? What’s the scam? – Michael West

Fall Guys: a generation of film-makers gutted by Australia bowing as Hollywood’s backlot – Michael West

The Fall Guy

Hollywood blockbusters Fall Guy and Planet of the Apes are filming in Sydney, and sci-fi remake Metropolis in Melbourne – all at high public expense, subsidised by state and federal governments. Is it worth paying for Americans telling American stories? Or would the money be better spent on Australians telling Australian stories? Michael West follows the money.

Source: Fall Guys: a generation of film-makers gutted by Australia bowing as Hollywood’s backlot – Michael West

US-Australia ‘Force Posture Agreement’ undermines sovereignty, must be terminated – Pearls and Irritations

DARWIN, ACT, Australia (Dec. 3, 2018) - A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, assigned to the 96th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron

The US-Australia Force Posture Agreement has opened the gate for the US to set up Australia as a launching pad for its next war against China. The Albanese government must invoke Article XXI to terminate it and reclaim sovereignty.

Source: US-Australia ‘Force Posture Agreement’ undermines sovereignty, must be terminated – Pearls and Irritations

Australia has a habit of divining global political shifts. So, what’s coming?

What is in the Australian, and possibly the world’s, political tea leaves?

Australia has developed a habit over the years of offering a glimpse into the political future for other Western nations. Bob Hawke and Paul Keating served up a governing blueprint for Tony Blair’s New Labour. John Howard’s focus at the start of the century on border security foreshadowed how the politics of fear and the “othering” of immigrants would become a dominant theme of the populist right, as evidenced by the Brexit referendum and the victory of Donald Trump.

Source: Australia has a habit of divining global political shifts. So, what’s coming?

Dumb Ways to Buy: Defence “shambles” unveiled – former submariner and senator Rex Patrick – Michael West

ADF, defence spending

“The AUKUS nuclear submarine project will bleed the Australian Defence Force white”, on top of the billions in annual Defence spending waste

Costly failure after failure

Defence procurement is a shambles and national expenditure disgrace. Project after project blows out in cost and schedule, with some projects being cancelled all together.

Every year the Auditor-General releases a Major Projects Report into Defence’s major projects. The most recent report covered 21 projects worth $58 billion dollars. Across those 21 projects, there had been $18.5 billion in cost increases – that’s 18,500 million dollars for those that can’t easily grapple with the large amounts of money with which Defence plays.

Across those 21 projects the schedule slippage was 405 months – 34 years. A number of projects, excluding the future submarine project for the moment, have either been binned or did not meet capability requirements. They are:

  • The Multiple-Role Helicopter program – $3.8 billion wasted.
  • The Sky Guardian medium altitude long endurance attack drone program – $1.3 billion
    wasted.
  • The Army’s Battle Management system – a billion wasted.
  • The Spartan battlefield airlift aircraft – $1.4 billion wasted.
  • The Tiger helicopter program – another billion wasted.

That’s eight and a half billion dollars of taxpayers’ money just thrown away. That’s eight billion dollars of new capability our brave front-line Defence Force members don’t have.

Source: Dumb Ways to Buy: Defence “shambles” unveiled – former submariner and senator Rex Patrick – Michael West

Australia as Frontline State in New Cold War

From the day Abbott came to power Murdoch and Abbott played China with a two-faced and double hand. Abbott took credit for the ALP’s economic gains which he could ill afford to let slip by. While Murdoch bad-mouthed China with a well-intended Culture war for his own personal revenge for having been kicked out. What was once a solid relationship between two, we saw wither for politics, and an individual’s personal hate which exacerbated and amplified after 2016 when Trump entered the scene.

During the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told journalists on Nov. 15 his country “seeks a stable relationship with China.”

This is because, as Albanese pointed out, China is “Australia’s largest trading partner … worth more than Japan, the United States, and the Republic of Korea… combined.” Since 2009, China has been Australia’s largest destination for exports as well as the largest single source of Australia’s imports.

For the past six years, China has largely ignored Australia’s requests for meetings due to the latter’s close military alignment with the U.S. But in Bali, China’s President Xi Jinping made it clear that the Chinese-Australian relationship is one to be “cherished.”

Source: Australia as Frontline State in New Cold War

We are useful idiots for the US war industry and its followers in Australia – Pearls and Irritations

Two flags. 3D. United States and Australia.

America believes that it should run the world unchallenged in all dimensions of statehood.

Known as AUSMIN, the high-level talks between the United States and Australia are now underway in Washington on foreign policy and defence. Held annually since 1985 they are the cement which binds this habit of our being allies.

It is time to talk frankly about the big picture behind these talks and understand that our independence is no longer welcome within them. Friends need to be candid.

 

Source: We are useful idiots for the US war industry and its followers in Australia – Pearls and Irritations

Australia not fit for future of ‘unnatural disasters’: Report

Flooding, cyclones and even a Japanese encephalitis outbreak are among the risks facing Australians this summer as a leading climate body warns of a rise in “unnatural disasters”.

Source: Australia not fit for future of ‘unnatural disasters’: Report

Australia’s debt to the world greater given our ‘real’ carbon emissions

New data revealing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are much higher than reported means pressure is on the Federal Government to go beyond current commitments toward global climate action, writes professor Jeremy Moss.

Source: Australia’s debt to the world greater given our ‘real’ carbon emissions

Victorian Elections: Liberals under siege from extremist religious groups – Pearls and Irritations

A Row of Voting Booths Ready for Election Day in Australia.

The Liberal Party in Victoria is caught in a trap. It pitches itself as the moderate old party of its forebears. Unfortunately, too many of the moderates who ran it or voted for it are disenchanted both by shambolic efforts in the state, and by its damaged federal reflection.

Around the state, branches are under siege by extremist religious groups, mostly Pentecostal but also Mormon. The state’s governing body is also gradually filling with these members.

Source: Victorian Elections: Liberals under siege from extremist religious groups – Pearls and Irritations

Australia’s still heating up dangerously – Michael West

Meanwhile Murdoch Media remains in denial

Longer fire seasons, more intense tropical cyclones and oceans riddled with acidity are all signs of rising global temperatures, a new report has found.

Source: Australia’s still heating up dangerously – Michael West

Report details Australia’s hotter, rainier and more dramatic climate

Australia has experienced its hottest year on record, its most intense flooding and an unprecedented coral bleaching — all in the last few years — as the climate warms, says a new report.

Source: Report details Australia’s hotter, rainier and more dramatic climate

Part-Time Faculty at New York’s New School Are on Strike

Why aren’t the backbone of the 50k untenured lowly-paid university lecturers, tutors and researchers striking here in Australia? Universities in Australia are paying administrators millions to turn our Universities into Corporate businesses for profit on the backs of false promises while fleecing and driving the next generations into debt for certificates of little or no use. One degree no longer guarantees anything. Two are a risk. MBAs are now commonplace and we now have the most educated but too few tradies on the planet.

Doing courses in introduction to the right people clubs and social networks would lead to greater opportunity than any degree. Apprenticeships guaranteeing the right match, far better than any degree, when it comes to social mobility. Assistance in crossing social barriers would be far more useful than the current promise of education that leads to Uber driving.

Part-time faculty at the New School and Parsons School of Design in New York City went on strike last week. Jacobin spoke with striking workers about their demands for job security and wage increases to keep up with the cost of living.

Source: Part-Time Faculty at New York’s New School Are on Strike

After decades putting the brakes on global action, does Australia deserve to host UN Climate Talks with Pacific nations? – Pearls and Irritations

Fijian girl walks over flooded land in Fiji.

Climate and energy minister Chris Bowen announced Australia will bid to co-host the UN climate summit with Pacific island nations in 2026.

Source: After decades putting the brakes on global action, does Australia deserve to host UN Climate Talks with Pacific nations? – Pearls and Irritations

Nobel prize winner warns Australia can’t continue to ‘drag its feet’ on AUKUS nuclear submarine deal – ABC News

Australia is warned the AUKUS submarine deal will be a huge undertaking that will involve “one of the biggest training and workforce development challenges Australia has faced”.

Source: Nobel prize winner warns Australia can’t continue to ‘drag its feet’ on AUKUS nuclear submarine deal – ABC News

In Australia, a Republic Is Back on the Agenda

Cutting the umbilical cord doesn’t mean we want to be American or French. We want a Head of State not obliged to a King but obliged to the Australian people.

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Australia is once again considering the republican question. For a country that saw its last reforming prime minister thrown out of office by the queen’s representative, breaking with the royal family is a necessary task.

Source: In Australia, a Republic Is Back on the Agenda

Australian voters were betrayed on energy prices, but not by Labor’s budget | Katharine Murphy | The Guardian

Leader of the opposition Peter Dutton during question time

Before things get totally hysterical over the next few days, let’s talk about what betrayal really looks like

Source: Australian voters were betrayed on energy prices, but not by Labor’s budget | Katharine Murphy | The Guardian

The joys of capitalism ! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Households will be hit by a 56 per cent surge in energy bills in the coming two years according to our Treasurer – this cost impact does not include the petrol or diesel for our vehicles but relates solely to the energy used in our homes and businesses. On most of mainland Australia we still…

Source: The joys of capitalism ! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

What about Australia?

Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have similarly ransacked our national wealth for nine years. They have weakened Medicare, lowered taxes on the rich, stolen taxpayers’ funds to fund obscenely rich private schools at the expense of public schools, and gutted our universities.

They also spent billions adding to the fossil fuel companies’ ill-gotten gains, hamstrung climate change mitigation for a decade, and attacked our national cohesion with deliberate trashing of our international treaty obligations, especially regarding refugees, dog-whistling attacks on minorities, started an unnecessary war of words with China, and essentially destroyed our biodiversity so that land clearing can proceed.

But, I hear you say, we threw them out on their ear. We elected a reformist government, in whose DNA flows liberty, equality and fraternity.

We did change governments, but we are still on track to lower taxes to our richest minority. We still subsidise fossil fuel companies. We will not tax them for their ill-gotten gains, and we won’t even consider increasing the welfare payments of the poor.

Even though we know that it causes Australian children to go to bed hungry, and a recent finding that the average rent increase for the last year was $3000. That is, on average, $60 a week in rent alone. Then factor in energy cost rises, higher food costs due to shortages caused by floods, and you have a perfect recipe for a human disaster.

So there have been changes for the better, but this government is seemingly intent on ‘doing a Truss’, and going ahead with stage 3 tax cuts. Spare me from inhumane governments. They need to wake up as to why they exist, at all.

Source: Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australians will miss a once in a century opportunity if we shirk a referendum on an Indigenous Voice – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is possible. So this is not just the “time to listen to the Voice and act”. It is the time to tell the powers-that-be what sort of Australia we want. We all have a lot to lose if we shirk this referendum and politicians and dissenters should be held to account if they intercede to prevent the emergence of a constitutionally enshrined Voice.

Australians will miss a once in a century opportunity if we shirk a referendum on an Indigenous Voice – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The 60 millionaires who paid no tax and the richest and poorest postcodes revealed – ABC News

Key points:

  • ATO data shows 60 Australians who earned more than $1 million in 2019-20 did not pay a cent of income tax
  • Eight of the nation’s highest-earning postcodes were in Sydney, while five of the lowest-earning postcodes were in regional NSW
  • Doctors continue to dominate in terms of highest incomes, while apprentices and food workers struggle

The 60 millionaires who paid no tax and the richest and poorest postcodes revealed – ABC News

AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is the paying receiver of product that will not be delivered. The cost will be substandard subs not delivered on time, cash, in the form of capital and rent and the forgoing of sovereignty.

From the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to the US Studies Centre, we are meant to celebrate the prospect of Australia as a military annexe to US power in the Asia-Pacific, its sovereignty status subsumed under the ghastly guff of freedom lovers supposedly facing oriental barbarians. The analysis is then crowned by the praise of former US defence and security officials who ingratiatingly speak of Australian potential as they would mineral deposits. The lie, packaged and ribboned, is duly sold for public consumption. Australian sovereign capability becomes the supreme fiction, while its subservience is hidden, only to be exposed by heretics.

Source: AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Research reveals fire is pushing 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals closer to extinction

About 100 of Australia’s unique land mammals face extinction. Of the many threats contributing to the crisis, certain fire regimes are among the most pervasive.

In a new paper, we reveal how “inappropriate” fire patterns put 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals at greater risk of extinction – from ground-dwelling bandicoots to tree-climbing possums and high-flying microbats.

Our research also identifies what type of fires are most damaging to threatened mammals, and shows some mammals are suffering due to a lack of fire.

Source: Research reveals fire is pushing 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals closer to extinction

Australia needs a Bill of Rights – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is at a crossroads. The decade of Coalition government showed how vulnerable our rights and freedoms could be in the face of a political party radicalised by anti-democratic and illiberal ideas. The Republican Party in America is displaying how quickly rights can be destroyed, even after it was removed from government; we need to protect vulnerable groups within our nation from copycat attacks.

Source: Australia needs a Bill of Rights – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Freezing indoors? That’s because Australian homes are closer to tents than insulated eco-buildings | Philip Oldfield | The Guardian

Freezing young woman in warm clothes sitting on couch and hugging cushion

Compared with other OECD countries Australia has been a free for all when it comes to housing. Architects aren’t required. So, hit with climate change the reality of our low standards of housing compared with other nations is staring us in the face, and revealing why we are pp the world’s biggest domestic emitters of CO2.

Our national building standards need to be overhauled to fight climate change and energy poverty – and improve our lives

Source: Freezing indoors? That’s because Australian homes are closer to tents than insulated eco-buildings | Philip Oldfield | The Guardian

Requiem for a lost country | The Shot

Scott Morrison is gone. Although he isn’t dead, something is gone all the same.

He’s alive, but he is gone. Gone from our television screens. Gone to pack the barbecued barramundi lifestyle of Kirribilli House he lived in at our expense. Gone from our news cycle. Gone from the front pages of his fawning tabloids. Gone from our mouths.

Gone from the Australian government. Gone from the Prime Minister’s plane that will never carry his swindling, lying, masquerading bulk again. Gone from our conscience. Gone from our lives, from our daily grind. Gone from our souls. Gone.

A greater fraud and malcontent never disgraced the mantle of Prime Minister. That he was disliked throughout Australia goes without saying. That he was despised as well is truly extraordinary.

Source: Requiem for a lost country | The Shot

Climate, deportations on Aust-NZ agenda

New Zealand Australia agenda

Watch Dutton keep the divide he and Morrison created between Aus and NZ

International and regional concerns will be on the agenda as NZ’s Jacinda Ardern becomes the first world leader to visit Anthony Albanese as Australian PM.

Should the Australian government cede ground, they can expect a fiery pushback from Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, who as immigration and home affairs minister oversaw increased deportations.

“It was right to deport them and we’re safer because of having done so,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB on Thursday.

“I don’t want to see the Albanese government walk it back.”

Another major shift is that climate change is back on the agenda, with senior NZ government figures telling AAP the issue was declared a no-go zone under the previous coalition government.

“It’s a huge relief,” one source said. “It hasn’t caused problems in the relationship per se, but it’s just been such an anomaly in that Australia hasn’t been interested.”

Source: Climate, deportations on Aust-NZ agenda

How the rest of the world has followed Australia’s election campaign

The rest of the world has been watching Australia's election.

Observers as far away as Europe and the US have their eyes on seats like Kooyong and Wentworth. But unlike Australia’s two prime ministerial candidates, the world also has its eye on our role in addressing climate change. Here are the key takeaways from what the rest of the world thinks about our election.

Source: How the rest of the world has followed Australia’s election campaign

Why controversy continues to follow the Australia Day honours

Australia Day honours

Australia Day honours will be announced this week, and, if recent announcements are any indication, they are likely to generate considerable public debate. In 2014, there was the re-establishment of knighthoods and damehoods in the Order of Australia under then prime minister Tony Abbott. The next year, Prince Philip was infamously awarded one of the revived titles. The past decade has seen increasing scrutiny of the gender balance in the awards, while individual honours, such as those given to writer Bettina Arndt and tennis champion Margaret Court, have also drawn criticism. This is not necessarily out of keeping with the longer history of the honours system.

Source: Why controversy continues to follow the Australia Day honours

There are three approaches to climate, Australia is choosing the wrong one

climate change

There are three ways to approach climate change – one, do nothing and hope; two, dig in, and go slow, because it’s ‘the economy, stupid’; or three, step into the change and maximise the opportunities it presents.

Source: There are three approaches to climate, Australia is choosing the wrong one

Today’s Evangelicalism Was Forged in the Fight Against Communism and Feminism

To some, it seemed hypocritical for evangelicals to support Donald Trump — not exactly a Christian-family-values figure. But his strong evangelical support was the culmination of the embattled cultural politics that gave rise to the modern evangelical movement.

THE ELECT

Evangelicals’ identities are rooted in their calling, their task, which is to return America to its Christian origins, because only then will God give this nation his blessing. Evangelicalism, remember, has been this way since World War II. They’ve always had this special mission.

Of course, they will never achieve their task, because their version of America was never real to begin with. But it is an incredibly powerful way to rally the troops, mobilize conservatives, and make them feel like they have lost something that is rightfully theirs — that this is our country, we were once at the center of things, and what needs to happen is that we need to be back in charge because then we can Make America Great Again.

 

Source: Today’s Evangelicalism Was Forged in the Fight Against Communism and Feminism

Australia and France international relations: ‘It’s embarrassing to be an Australian in France right now’

France in 2022 may not be so welcoming to Australians.

Scott Morrison Change the world and asked “Where the bloody hell are you?”

When we lived in Paris, the French always loved us once they realised we weren’t British. “Kangoooroo!” they’d exclaim, and it was a compliment. I can’t even imagine what they’re calling us now.

Source: Australia and France international relations: ‘It’s embarrassing to be an Australian in France right now’

Zoe Daniel: How Australia squandered its world-leading pandemic position

Scott Morrison and Zoe Daniel

Australia was in a world-leading position on managing COVID last year and squandered it.

And now continues to do so with small-minded, inward-looking debate while the world moves forward.

Fortress Australia is not just physical, in the form of all but closed borders, but mental and emotional, as we and our leaders choose to reinvent processes and debate that have already been had elsewhere.

Instead of taking advantage of international advances and knowledge that may allow us to accelerate towards normality, we choose to argue among ourselves.

Source: Zoe Daniel: How Australia squandered its world-leading pandemic position

Australia: To where are we advancing? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Morrison’s Evacuation

This is far too good not to share, and a big hearty thank you to Jaqueline for giving us the opportunity to do so. Let’s help this go viral. PS: Play video with sound turned on.

Source: Australia: To where are we advancing? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Covid Australia vaccine rollout tracker: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress | Australia news | The Guardian

Covid-19 in Australia

Active cases *

increasing
decreasing
NSW 2562 QLD 42 WA 16
VIC 205 NT 7 SA 25
TAS 0 ACT 0

Vaccinations

14.1% fully vaccinated
17.8% only one dose
37/38 ranked in OECD

How does Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout and schedule compare with other countries, when will Australia be fully vaccinated and when will you be eligible to get your dose? We bring together the latest numbers on daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as stats and live data on total vaccination figures in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and other states Follow our Covid live blog for the latest updates Restrictions: NSW; Vic; Qld; SA; border restrictions Hotspots: NSW map; Vic list; Qld; SA Get our free news app; try our weekend edition app; get our morning email briefing

Source: Covid Australia vaccine rollout tracker: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress | Australia news | The Guardian

‘Corruption’ can thrive in a space where weak regulation is parked

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant on Friday.

Depending on who the key stakeholders are, who makes donations to your political party, the decisions follow. In Victoria, it is unions that keep ALP Premier Dan Andrews in power and were therefore top of the list for consultation and action. In NSW, business interests keep the Liberals in power and it was business consulted first and whose needs were prioritised. This is not corruption. It is politics. You reward your backers, but maintain good relationships with diverse interests. It is simply pragmatic. Corruption involves the acquiring of a personal benefit. Corruption was how an eminent retired judge described the carpark and sports rorts that will follow Scott Morrison all the way to the next election. Although no individual minister or MP was personally pocketing a direct financial benefit, using public money to improve prospects with the voters and to try to hold on to power is a form of corruption of the electoral process.

Source: ‘Corruption’ can thrive in a space where weak regulation is parked

Gerry Harvey Is an Emblem of Australia’s Corrupt Economic System

Australian retail billionaire Gerry Harvey has rightly been vilified for describing COVID-19 as an opportunity for profitmaking. But Harvey was just stating the facts: the pandemic has enabled his class to get even richer off the backs of the working class.

Source: Gerry Harvey Is an Emblem of Australia’s Corrupt Economic System

WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Today, councillors in Perth’s City of Stirling will vote to decide whether to change their city’s name. This follows a residents’ motion arguing a new name would better “reflect the long standing and relevant history of this land in such a way that is inclusive and in recognition of the Nyoongar community”. This is not about erasing history, said Whadjuk Noongar Elder Len Collard. It is about extending history, “so that all experiences are reflected”.

Source: WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Entry Into Australia Is Only for the Rich

Australia stood absolutely alone among democratic nations with its ban on citizens returning from India. It is notable, too, that at the time of Australia’s ban, India had fewer COVID-19 cases per capita than either the United States or UK at their peaks — countries against which travel bans were never implemented. Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his part rebuffed accusations that the policy, which was lifted in mid-May following the backlash, was racist, claiming that “it’s got nothing to do with politics, this is a virus” and that “there’s no politics or ideology in a pandemic.” Amid all this, Australian elites like Nicole Kidman and Lachlan Murdoch, as well noncitizens like Natalie Portman and Viggo Mortensen, have reentered the country at whim, bypassing quarantine altogether. This at a time when tens of thousands of Australians remain stranded abroad due to strict quotas on reentry, which have in turn produced a hyperinflated market for the scarce commodity of airfare, with tickets prices often soaring into five-digit figures.

Source: Entry Into Australia Is Only for the Rich

Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

In 1975, an Australian constitutional coup brought down Gough Whitlam’s reforming Labor government, with the Queen’s governor-general delivering the fatal blow. Whitlam’s fate was a crucial lesson for left-wing movements everywhere: capitalists will only allow so much democracy before pushing back.

Source: Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

Bigotry, racism and the power of the Israel lobby

Bigotry is bad and no one form of bigotry is any worse or more justified than another. This attitude should taken by all levels of government. To treat one form of bigotry as more important than another is, in itself, a form of bigotry.

Bigotry, racism and the power of the Israel lobby