Issue 25 – 31 December to 6 January 2021

American unity, power and authority collapses before our very eyes. What comes next?
Guy Rundle | Crikey

Trump played with fire and American democracy got burnt
Matthew Knott | Nine

The environment movement we have, and the one we need
James Plested | Red Flag
Varieties of an apocalyptic vision are shared by many who regard themselves as part of the environment movement. What isn’t widely shared is the identification of capitalism as being the root of the problem. This is a major barrier to winning the radical change we need.

2020 was dismal in many respects but it was a landmark year for renewables in Australia
Simon Holmes a Court | The Guardian
As we kick off 2021, state governments are embracing decarbonisation to popular acclaim

Christmas: a time for taking
Chris McCoomb | Green Left Weekly
Backpackers and seasonal workers are seen as cash cows for the hostels and the farmers who enter backpacker labour hire arrangements with the Innisfail district’s farms. Unscrupulous accommodation providers often confiscate the passports of the international “guests” and will only offer work to those who are staying at their hostels.

Who should pick up the tab for the costs of climate change in north Queensland?
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
While economists have got nothing to say about fairness, we do have something very simple and very important to say about risks: someone has to pay for them. Should young renters who don’t own homes subsidise the cost of home insurance for those fortunate enough to own their own home up in north Queensland

Assange extradition blocked as UK gamesmanship halts US persecution
Guy Rundle | Crikey
Jesus Christ on a 10-speed, Julian Assange held back from US extradition — not on free speech grounds, but because of the inherently torturous nature of the US prison system! Way to start the publishing year with a bang!

Detainees have set fire to the Christmas Island Detention Centre. They deserve our full support.
Simone White | Red Flag
The riot broke out on Tuesday afternoon around 3pm local time. The men who started it are among the roughly 240 people recently transported to Christmas Island from the Australian mainland—people facing up to the possibility of indefinite detention within a labyrinthine system specifically designed by the Australian government as a mechanism of torture.

Standing up Straighter against COVID-19? 
Pamela Maddock, Warrick Anderson | Arena Quarterly
Why did calling in the military—mobilising the Australian Defence Force (ADF)—become the obvious solution to preventing disease outbreaks in this country? 

Home of the fair go? The divide between rich and poor is about to get even more obvious
Benjamin Clark | Crikey
Government assistance to the poor is drying up, as is the sense of uncertainty and restraint among the wealthy. New Year’s celebrations were thus tainted with a Gatsby-like hue.

The death of democracy in Brazil
Michael Fox | Green Left Weekly
In 2016, a conservative congress had impeached then-president Dilma Rousseff, in what was clearly a congressional coup. Former president Lula, representing hope was jailed by the supreme court in 2018

NSW’s COVID-19 response is a disaster
Harsha Kadkol | Red Flag
The Berejiklian government’s response to the Sydney COVID-19 outbreak has been a total disaster, with cases emerging across the city after weeks of inaction. Avoiding a lockdown and refusing to mandate mask wearing is criminal—and working-class people could pay with their lives for the Liberal Party’s callousness.

The powerful names behind the decision to go ahead with the Test at the SCG
Georgia Wilkins | Crikey
The board may be new but the faces pulling the strings at the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust are same old, same old.

A Different Hope
Alison Croggon | The Saturday Paper
The problems that plague Australian arts and culture long predate 2020, but last year’s crises have thrown them into vivid relief.

Victoria: A Health System Exposed
Neela Janakiramanan | The Saturday Paper

Backlash over ‘appalling’ apology from Sunrise over 2018 Stolen Generations comments
Hannah Cross | National Indigenous TImes

The Morrison Government and the biggest withdrawal of spending since World War 2
Tarric Brooker | Independent Australia

Australia on bottom rung of Reconciliation ladder
Rachel Stringfellow | National Indigenous Times

John Howard 2000 cabinet papers: climate wars and the conservative re-engineering of Australia
Anne Davies | The Guardian

New report shows Australia’s post-COVID carbon boom has already begun
Ketan Joshi | Renew Economy

Trump’s Impunity Reflects the Impunity of the Entire Class of American Elites
David Sirota | Jacobin

Australia’s ‘slow’ vaccine rollout: suitable caution or face-saving cover-up?
Kishor Napier-Raman | Crikey

Government and companies must do more to protect delivery drivers
Patrick Lukins | Independent Australia

Extinction Rebellion has much to learn from Angus Taylor, Australia’s “worst” minister
Giles Parkinson | Renew Economy

Governments urged to ditch ‘band-aids’ to facilitate renewables transition
Matt Johnson | The New Daily

Michael Pascoe: The graph that explains this century
Michael Pascoe | The New Daily

Marxism Shows Us How Our Problems Are Connected
Alan Maass | Jacobin