Issue 64 : 30 September to 6 October 2021

Why farmers should be wary of a National Party boondoggle on climate
Ross Gittins | AgeSMH
Farmers are, if you’ll forgive the expression, at the coal face of the damage climate change is doing and will keep doing to Australia. They’ll also be among the chief beneficiaries of successful international action to stop further increase in global warming.

Electrify everything and go renewable. Turns out it’s much cheaper than thought
Giles Parkinson | Renew Economy
Saul Griffith and The Australia Institute have launched a new discussion paper called “Castles and Cars”, that outlines how much Australian households can save if they electrified everything, including the cars, their household heating, their water heating and their cooking. No word on the BBQ, though.

Climate change: Australia’s worst corporate culprits
Bernard Keane | Crikey

Biden adviser: ‘I don’t know whether Angus Taylor is an ideologue or an idiot’
Mike Seccombe | The Saturday Paper
As Scott Morrison attempts to balance his weak climate policies with US ambitions, a key Biden adviser is returning to Australia to help revolutionise state responses.

Australia’s approval of gas projects lighting climate change fires
David Shearman | Independent Australia

The politics of vaccine passports
Guy Rundle | Arena
The age of the vaccine certificate and the vaccine mandate is here, and as a society—as a world—we are unprepared for it. Let’s not call it a vaccine passport.

Forget your post-Covid property hopes: crazy house prices are the only sure thing
Greg Jericho | The Guardian
The news that the value of housing loans in August fell 4.3% – the second-biggest fall in three years – might have people thinking some degree of sanity is about return to our housing market. Yeah, nah.

When lockdown is over, I’ll remember who – and how – I chose to love as I tried to survive it
Van Badham | The Guardian
Instead of a brutal civil war, I’m living through a Twitter conversation about a state government press conference that will never, ever, ever end. One longs for the train to be ambushed by avenging Bolsheviks, for relief.

Second class citizens: temporary visa holders remain stuck in Australia as borders reopen
Amber Schultz | Crikey

Australia’s most vulnerable ignored in plan to open up
Rick Morton | The Saturday Paper
A rush of government tenders to outsource Covid-19 responses shows who is most at risk as lockdowns end. The 20 per cent who will not be fully vaccinated when states begin to open are not anti-vaxxers but rather the most vulnerable.

Won’t somebody keep thinking of the children?
Jasmine Duff | Red Flag
Preventing people from interacting in large numbers is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19. Reopening schools forces kids into a situation in which they have no choice but to be in close proximity with lots of others. Given kids under 12 at this stage cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19, the risk they face from reopening the economy is particularly acute. 

Australia’s Welfare System Is Designed to Force the Unemployed Into Low-Wage Casual Work
Owen Bennett | Jacobin
Australia’s unemployment benefit is one of the lowest in the OECD. This isn’t just a by-product of austerity politics — it’s designed to force the unemployed into low-paid, casual work, undermining wages and conditions across the board.

ACOSS demands JobSeeker rise as disaster payment cut
Arie Huybregts | Green Left

Australia and New Zealand ruling elite demands population “live with” COVID-19
Oscar Grenfell | World Socialist Website

What is SAS Australia Trying to Prove?
Erin Stewart | Kill Your Darlings
The hit reality series effectively tortures contestants for our entertainment while framing suffering as personal growth. But what does it mean to valorise combat while war crimes by Australian Special Forces are being exposed? 

Gladys Berejiklian’s Resignation Shows That When Big Business Is in Charge, Corruption Is Inevitable
Zac Gillies-Palmer | Jacobin
On Friday, New South Wales’s Liberal premier Gladys Berejiklian resigned after the announcement of a new anti-corruption probe into her conduct. The news created a political crisis and exposed the corruption endemic in Australia’s most populous state.

Morrison government’s own dirty little Pandora secret
Michael Pascoe | The New Daily
The Morrison government’s reluctance to reduce and prevent corruption, to shine light in dark places, is not limited to its rejection of a genuine federal integrity commission – it’s also running dead on disclosing corrupt foreign money being invested and laundered here.

How remote hearings have changed the Family Court
Sarah Price | The Saturday Paper

Totalitarian China is not what you might think — and it is vital to understand that
Guy Rundle | Crikey
From the Cold War the CIA is famed for three things: running death squads, promoting modern jazz, and never foreseeing the collapse of communism. How did it get it so wrong? And why does one get the same impression of wrongheadedness reading the “China section” of foreign policy websites today?

German elections: Winners, losers, soul-searching for the left
Sibylle Kaczorek | Green Left

Exclusive interview: Solidarity Party of Afghanistan’s Selay Ghaffar speaks about the struggle against the Taliban
Marcel Cartier, Selay Ghaffar | Green Left

Brazil: Indigenous lands in danger due to capitalist exploitation
Davi Bertges | Green Left

Japan’s new Prime Minister – where will he take the country?
Contributor | Vanguard

The workplace deaths behind Australia’s mining riches
Alexis Vassiley | Red Flag
The mining industry’s super-profits are underpinned by deaths at work, to say nothing of the trashing of Aboriginal land rights and environmental destruction.

Beyond the Spin: workers’ share of wealth slumps to record low
Alan Austin | Michael West Media

NSW railway workers’ campaign heats up
RTBU Member | Red Flag
Chasing a pay rise and better safety, and to defend working conditions, NSW railway workers held a four-hour strike on 28 September, bringing the state’s passenger rail system to a halt. It was part of a Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) campaign against the state Liberal government’s austerity agenda. Eventually, police and management colluded to force the picket inside the station building under threat of public health order fines.

Australian Universities Are Finance Investors With a Side Hustle in Education
Ben Kunkler | Jacobin