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It's No Surprise

It's no surprise inequality, in Australia, has been rising gradually since 1982, "Inequality warning on budget", Sunday Age (11/5). The growth of the internationally recognised Gini index (an index that measures inequality) from .27 in the early years of the Hawke government to .33 today is directly linked to the deregulation, privatisation, globalisation and corporatisation revolution launched by the Hawke led Labor government in 1982 and carried forward by every Federal government during the last 32 years.

War!

The Abbott led government has declared war on every social security beneficiary, every wage earner and every small business in Australia in its 2014 budget. No budget since Federation, not even during World War One and World War Two, has been so draconian. The 2014 budget has placed the burden of a very questionable deficit on the shoulders of the individual while sparing a corporate sector that pays voluntary taxation and the country's richest people (who have the assets to legally minimise their tax liability) any significant pain.

To the Honourable Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition:

Dear Mr Shorten,

You will have no doubt seen the most recent opinion polls which show the Abbott government is quite unpopular at the moment. They show that people are angry at being ripped off by a budget that amounts to little more than the pillaging of public assets by corporate lobbyists and donors.

No copyright for Marx-Engels collected works!

It is immensely ironic that a private publishing company is claiming the copyright of the collected works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the philosophers who wrote against the monopoly of capitalism and its origin, private property, all their lives.

USA Children in Prison

In the USA there are 100,000 children in adult prisons. Children as young as 8 are being tried as adults at the discresion of prosecuting attorneys meaning children are targeted on the basis of race and socio-economic status.

The US Supreme Court has decided that children do not have the same level of responsibility as adults in criminal cases. This has not stopped some states sentencing children as young as 13 to life without parole.

Sacrifice

ANZAC Day has become one of the saddest days in the Australian calendar. It's a desperately sad day because it highlights how far governments will go to deny the truth to suit their political objectives in 2014. It's one thing remembering and honouring sacrifice, it's another thing examining why so many Australians were sacrificed during World War One.

Anniversary of the Rana Plaza

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Sohel Rana, the plaza's owner, ignored warnings from safety inspectors that the building was about to collapse and forced around 5,000 garment workers to return to work. The collapse of the Rana Plaza resulted in 1,129 deaths and over 2,500 injured.

Power of Recall

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's unwillingness to keep his election promises, "No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC and SBS" (Sunday Age 13/4), highlights parliamentary democracy, like religion, is essentially an act of faith. Every parliamentary election electors give a signed blank cheque to a parliamentary representative to make decisions for them for the next three to four years.

And Yet Still They Fight

The 2014 Tasmanian elections were a disaster for the Greens and for the ALP. The ALP lost 9.55% of their vote (36.88% to 27.33%), falling from 10 seats to 7, whereas the Greens lost 7.78% of the vote (21.61% to 13.83%), falling from 5 seats to 3. Only in Denison did Labor and the Greens make up the majority of the vote.

For Labor this follows a 12.39% loss in the previous 2010 election under the the anti-Greens leader David Bartlett. In eight years, Labor has dropped from 49.27% of the primary vote to 27.33%.

Surprising

It's surprising to see the almost universal praise that has been heaped on Australia's "free trade" agreements with Japan and South Korea. Considering the Abbott led government gained its parliamentary majority as a result of a campaign based on protecting Australia's sovereignty from asylum seekers, it's ironical the same government is willing to give up this hard won sovereignty for thirty pieces of silver.

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