Issue 29 – 28 January to 3 February 2021

Far-right extremism: Trump fanatics are inclined to share misery around
Guy Rundle | Crikey
The ranks of the hard-core QAnon and Trump extremists may be dwindling, but it’s not time to relax. True believers won’t have given up the fight, and Charlie Hebdo-style retaliation is not inconceivable.

It’s not just the pandemic, stupid. Australia’s economy has been weak for years
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
One of the weird consequences of Covid-19 is that it has actually hidden the weakness of the economy. When things are going to hell due a pandemic, it gets all the blame, and yet, as the latest inflation figures show, Australia’s economy has been weak for many years now.

How economics could get better at solving real problems
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
The study of economics has lost its way because economists have laboured for decades to make their social science more mathematical and thus more like a physical science. They’ve failed to see that what they should have been doing is deepening their understanding of how the behaviour of “economic agents” (aka humans) is driven by them being social animals.

Political donations: the big banks lead the pack once again
Bernard Keane | Crikey
The finance sector has re-emerged as the dominant force in political donations, led by Australia’s biggest financial institutions.

The business of buying parties
Pip Hinman | Green Left Weekly
Australia’s corrupt system of political patronage is well and truly exposed whenever the Australian Electoral Commission reports on electoral donations. This year’s reports are not very different from previous years: the AEC report on 2019–20 donations on February 1 showed big fossil fuel capital donating to both major parties, either directly or indirectly.

Australia needs to stop thinking that setting a target of zero emissions by 2050 is good enough
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
Right now, the Morrison government remains wedded to a 26% cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and yet are on target for just 22%

More respectful Invasion Day coverage, but much work still to be done
Celeste Liddle | Eureka Street
One year a media outlet stated that there were 150 participants at the rally when the numbers were closer to five thousand. Not a single rally I have been to has been anything but peaceful and the only exception to this has been incidents where police have failed to intercept extreme right actors.

Reserve Bank continues to fret about looming fiscal cliff
Glenn Dyer, Bernard Keane | Crikey
The RBA is worried that the government’s cut-off will seriously affect demand, meaning the economy will need all the support it can be given, especially when the JobKeeper and JobSeeker subsidies end. 

Insecure work is a virus, and it’s making us all sick
Lauren Kelly | Arena
Genuine acknowledgment that care workers, cleaners, warehouse workers and food-production workers—among many others—produce significantly more social value through their labour than the average executive is a challenge to the classist hierarchies of work.

What do we mean by a Fairer NDIS for All? – Arena
Fairer NDIS for All | Arena Online
Disabled people are facing a major attack from the Morrison government with the introduction of so-called ‘independent assessments’ for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). While sold in terms of saving people time and money, independent assessments are designed to cut costs and will further restrict access to the NDIS.

Neo-Nazis in the Grampians: ‘Just white men on a bushwalk’
Tom Tanuki | Independent Australia
I don’t possess the apolitical “purity” of the Channel Seven Facebook comment section, which fills up on-call with comments like my whispered ones. But because I know what promotion Nazis are seeking with their stunts, I can predict what the comment sections are going to look like. 

Don’t change the date, change the attitude
Malarndirri McCarthy | Eureka Street
Given Australia’s first cricket team to travel overseas to England in 1868 was an all Aboriginal team, it is commendable that CA is following its Reconciliation Action Plan. It irritates and annoys Prime Minister Scott Morrison. 

Save public housing in Glebe
Peter Boyle | Green Left Weekly
More than 100 people protested against the New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian Coalition government’s plan to bulldoze 112 public housing dwellings in Glebe, in the inner west, on January 30. The buildings in question are sound, only 30 years old, and have even won design awards for their amenity.

Refugee releases are a victory, but the system of torture rolls on
Sarah Garnham | Red Flag

Smoking causing one in two Aboriginal deaths age 45 and over, new study finds
Hannah Cross | National Indigenous Times 

The Gamestop Affair Is Just the Latest Incarnation of the “People’s Capitalism” Delusion
Luke Savage | Jacobin

Michael West: ‘Independent media is the future’
Suzanne James | Green Left Weekly

WA shows solidarity with Indian farmers
Gauri Gandbhir, Alex Salmon | Green Left Weekly

Australia’s weak donation laws allowed $1bn in dark money to go to political parties over two decades
Christopher Knaus | The Guardian

The Pandemic Has Exposed Australia’s Mistreatment of International Students
Chris Dite | Jacobin

‘Intruders’ not welcome: Coalition to decide who is worthy of education funding
Lyndsay Connors | Michael West

Perth’s lockdown should not have been necessary
Ben Hillier | Red Flag

If Anthony Albanese Steps Down Now, His Replacement Will Be Even Worse
Harry Stratton | Jacobin

The left has to resist the new liberal authoritarianism
Corey Oakley | Red Flag

Morrison is offering more of the same: indefinite climate delay as time runs out
Ketan Joshi | Renew Economy

Society depends on science: we need to get serious about protecting it
Pearls and Irritations | Michael West