Issue 83: 24 March to 30 March


Budget billions wasted as workers go backwards
Alison Pennington | The New Daily
The federal government’s budget would have us believe that the cost of living is a sudden problem because of higher oil prices. But the real reason people are feeling the pinch is because their real wages are going backwards.

Liberal MP’s ‘clumsy’ public housing comments expose Coalition’s broader view
Kate Shaw, Abdullahi Jama | SMHTheAge
The Coalition’s view on public housing: bringing rich people into poor areas is great – even if it means pushing poor people out to “improve the demographic” – but bringing poor people into rich areas is just not on.

Budget 2022: Josh Frydenberg’s disappearing cash trick
Ross Gittins | SMHTheAge
When you read the fine print, you discover that, for most people, most of the cost of the extra help they will soon be getting will later be recouped by an increase in the income tax they pay.

Frydenberg hides $30 a week tax increase for most Australians
Callum Foote | Michael West Media

John Quiggin: ‘The choice is between higher wages and welfare payments or tax cuts for people who don’t need them’
Peter Boyle | Green Left

Gender, violence and safety a priority, but unknowns remain
Josefine Ganko | Crikey
Women’s safety and health measures announced last year get additional funding, but women are yet to benefit from several currently unfulfilled commitments.

Budget papers show Morrison government plans to cut climate spending if it wins election
Adam Morton | The Guardian

As a young person, this budget feels pretty meh
Claudia Long | Triple J ABC

RISE’s last hurrah a rare budget positive
Richard Watts | ArtsHub
ArtsHub will publish a more detailed analysis of the Budget later today, but at first glance, it contains little in the way of good news for a sector that has been ravaged by COVID.

A Liveable Income Guarantee should support artists—and artists should support a UBI 
Jennifer Mills | Overland


The War in Ukraine and Imperial Decline
Timothy Erik Ström | Arena
It’s important to recognise that the war in Ukraine, far from revealing the scope of the United State’s power, points to the structural decline of the US and crucially, its global domination of cybernetic capitalism.

War crimes and the traps in sanctions
Brian Toohey | Pearls and Irritations
Although Putin’s vicious attack on Ukraine is clearly unjustified, the main sanctions supported by Australia are not “smart”. Instead, the West is conducting a brutal economic war on Russia that will render much of the population destitute, including Russians who have protested against the war. China shows scant sign of bailing Russia out.

Australian government accuses Russia of war crimes, buries its own atrocities in Afghanistan
Oscar Grenfell | World Socialist Web Site

Russian imperialism under Putin
Tom Bramble | Red Flag
There are many competing explanations for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But the decision can be understood only with reference to the imperialist competition that dominates the world system.


Australia’s Conservatives Are Cynically Courting the Far Right — and It’s Starting to Backfire
Lisbeth Latham | Jacobin
Just as John Howard pitched to the right to attract One Nation voters, Australia’s Scott Morrison is cravenly trying to win over far-right voters today. The danger is that the tactic will backfire, fracturing the Coalition and encouraging a far-right movement.

Huge turnout in Newcastle calls for action to end domestic violence
Niko Leka | Green Left

Australia’s anti-vaccine movement is collapsing
Cam Wilson | Crikey

A Light Shining in the Shire
Guy Rundle | Arena
The result of the last 20 years in Australia has been the same as in any resources fiefdom: the development of torpor on the part of the opposition, and, on the right, a self-hollowing by the dominant party of capital. 

Why vaping will be accepted as Australia’s response to tobacco
Alex Wodak | Pearls and Irritations
Vaping represents a historic opportunity to dramatically reduce Australia’s annual loss of 21,000 lives from smoking. But understandable intense hatred of tobacco companies and a strong preference to eliminate nicotine use has contributed to a hostility to vaping in Australia which is irrational and unsustainable.

First Nation history repeating: expecting injustice
Paul Wright | Pearls and Irritations
The police have made clear they won’t give up their weapons easily.

Australia: Major construction company Condev appoints liquidator
Terry Cook | World Socialist Web Site
The sudden collapse of Condev last week is the latest in a string of company failures across the Australian construction sector with indications of more to come.

NDIS reforms target children under nine
Rick Morton | The Saturday Paper

Neoliberalism, the Deluge and the Logic of Government Inaction
Paul Gardner | Arena