Issue 34 – 4 March – 10 March 2021

Australia’s economy is recovering but remains very much in need of government stimulus
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
Just because of a strong recent performance we should not forget that overall 2020 was the worst calendar year of the past 60 years

Aged care giants extort government for funding hike, threaten campaign in marginal seats
Elizabeth Minter, Dr Sarah Russell | Michael West Media
The peak providers of aged care, on whose watch has occurred repeated appalling neglect of thousands of elderly Australians over many years, have issued a not-so-veiled threat to all MPs, especially those in marginal seats, that they had better get on board and support another $20 billion a year going into aged care.

We’re stuck with crappy aged care because Morrison won’t ask the young or the old to pay to fix it
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
Scott Morrison and his Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, made it known they had “little appetite” for the royal commission’s plan to use an “aged care improvement levy” of 1 per cent of taxable income to cover the considerable cost of the reforms it proposed. Sorry to be pessimistic, but…

The Sexual Abuse Scandal Rocking Australia’s Parliament Is the Tip of the Iceberg
Carina Garland | Jacobin
The scandals suggest that the elite’s sense of entitlement to wealth goes hand in hand with a sense of entitlement to women’s bodies. Today, talk of “choice” and “empowerment” conceals the lack of real progress since the ‘70s. This amounts to the calculated undoing of the gains of second-wave feminism.

Julia Gillard faced an inquiry over her past. Christian Porter should too
Bernard Keane | Crikey
Lurking online is a neat demonstration of the profound misogyny of Australian politics, and the rank double standards of both the Coalition and much of the press gallery in Canberra. A 2014 article is accompanied by a screen grab from the proceedings of the trade union royal commission. There’s commissioner Dyson Heydon and former prime minister Julia Gillard, the latter being interrogated by counsel assisting.

The Conviction of Protest: Sedition and the Farmers Protest
Simona Sawnhey | Arena Online
Climate activist Disha Ravi’s statement, ‘If highlighting farmers’ protest globally is sedition, I’m better in jail’, courageously challenges the way her actions have been criminalised by the Delhi police acting on behalf of the Indian state. While Ravi’s words are, of course, meant to convince us that acts such as hers, undertaken with a view to the public good and the future of human life on earth, should not be categorised as seditious, they also perhaps imply that other acts, entirely unlike hers, may in fact be considered properly seditious.

Indian Farmers Resist Neoliberalism
Vikas Rawal | Arena Online
Hundreds of thousands of farmers have been protesting in India for the last several months. Since the last week of November, the largest of these protests have been on the borders of the national capital. Massive protests have also been held in many other cities, towns and villages. What are these farmers protesting against and why are these protests significant?

The End of Austerity?
Dan Murphy | Red Tape
In a year that demanded reflection, economics had its lightbulb moment: If all this debt and deficit can be taken on without the sky falling, maybe the conventional wisdom is built on a myth.

QE is a lobster pot: easy to get in, hard to get out unscathed
Ross Gittins | Nine Newspapers
Since the global financial crisis and more so since the coronacession, the normal way things work in financial markets has been turned on its head.

A freedom fighter to celebrate on International Women’s Day
Ben Hillier | Red Flag
The movement to free Priya, Nades and their two daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa—who have endured three years of neglect and several deportation attempts—is perhaps the most prominent individual campaign for refugee rights since mandatory detention was first introduced by the Labor Party in the 1990s.

Australia has shown you can take on big companies – and win
Richard Denniss | The Guardian
It’s true that Facebook’s last-minute tantrum solicited them some minor amendments, but the underlying architecture of the news media bargaining code designed by the ACCC is not just intact – it is now in force.

Porter shredded the rule of law. He shouldn’t hide behind what’s left of it
Bernard Keane | Crikey
Christian Porter, in strongly denying allegations of a 1988 rape, is the last figure in this government who can seriously rely on the rule of law in his defence. His actions as attorney-general have trashed it.

John Anderson: From quiet conservative to YouTube radical
Georgia Wilkins | Crikey

Union women celebate International Working Women’s Day
Sarah Hathway | Green Left Weekly

Two deaths in custody revealed in NSW Estimates
Rachael Knowles | National Indigenous Times

WA Aboriginal Affairs must not be marred by competing interests
Hannah Cross | National Indigenous Times

Apprenticeships: Billion-dollar scheme will boost jobs but is open to rorts
Alison Pennington | The New Daily

On economics, America has moved left
John Quiggin | Inside Story

Lula Is Back — And He Can Save Brazil From Bolsonaro
Benjamin Fogel | Jacobin

Clive Hamilton on China: Why is the ‘anti-racist left’ siding with the persecutors?
Clive Hamilton | Green Left Weekly

For anti-racism and international solidarity: a response to Clive Hamilton on China
David Brophy | Green Left Weekly

Beyond apocalypse fatigue
Ian McAuley | Inside Story

EnergyAustralia to close Yallourn coal plant in 2028, to build world’s biggest battery
Michael Mazengarb, Giles Parkinson | Renew Economy

China’s Five Year Plan disappoints with “baby steps” on climate policy
James Fernyhough | Renew Economy

Worldwide revolution is possible and necessary
Luca Tavan | Red Flag