What’s Hot and What’s Not: the Australian Options online digest Issue 9 July 2014

The Australian Options online digest - July 2014 - What’s Hot and What’s NotPreview Be Sociable, Share! ...

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Unravelling universalism in the Budget; Plus vote for the world’s worst boss.

The importance of being earnest By Frank Barbaro Treasurer Joe Hockey’s 2014 Budget delivery on Tuesday 12 May was an earnest public display befitting a solemn and grave task. When announcing government decisions, that widen and deepen misery, anything else would have been unfitting. The privileged are always good at expressing feeling about the pain they cause for others. Budget night’s mood...

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On-line Digest May 2014

Issue 8 May  2014 What’s Hot and What’s Not: the Australian Options online digest The  May edition of the Australian Options Magazine will be  published in the second week of May  2014 with the theme of  Organising for Fairness and the Environment. Articles include Cam Walker on the grassroots success of Lock the Gate, Andrew Dittmer on union strategy, Valerie Cooms on Aboriginal disadvantage, John Buchnan on fairness in...

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Remembering September 11: AMWU against Chile’s military coup

Remembering September 11: Metalworkers ground a LAN Chile jet against Chile’s military coup © Don Sutherland, August 2013 (Based on a memoir by the late Jim Baird, an interview with Steve Cooper, Steve Cooper’s personal papers, AMWU archival material, and discussions with Chilean political refugees and exiles.)   The other September 11 – We Shouldn’t Forget The September 11 terrorist attack on the New York Twin Towers in 2001 is...

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Independence for West Papua and the Freedom Flotilla

Supporting Independence for West Papua There have been many reports about the heavy hand of the Indonesian military in West Papua. There are massive industrial and environmental issues at the Freeport operated Grasberg mine which is the largest gold mine in the world. The official line in both Papua New Guinea and Australia treats West Papua as an integral part of Indonesia. There are chinks in this within the O'Neill Government.The Papua...

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Why so little music by women

Music by and for white males? An earlier edition of Options On-line recommended Michael Kieran-Harvey's Peggy Glanville-Hicks lecture. He says "Australian music makes up less than seven per cent of concert programs in this country (and even less for Opera)". And, "My tax is funding all this Dead White European Male Music for the diverting entertainment of the well-heeled – with inflated ticket prices excluding the poor – and so little of...

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Queensland Government out to control unions

Meanwhile in Australia's sugar state The Queensland Government has legislated to require unions and employer associations to take a vote of all members before spending $10,000 on 'political activities'. This goes well beyond donations to candidates and political and defines political activity to extend to include any activity that might (i) influence a person’s opinion about a political matter; or   (ii) ascertain a person’s opinion...

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Sugar Workers in Fiji

The situation for unionised workers in Fiji continues to deteriorate. Workers at Luatoka sugar mill have balloted to take strike action over wages and conditions. In response, troops were deployed to the mill in August which the Army says troops are there simply there to protect the mill and equipment in the event of a strike. According to the Fiji Sugar and General Workers Union, the management has also advised workers that it will get...

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Strike in Singapore

Strike in Singapore A strike in Singapore is very rare occurrence. The Wall Street Journal says that Singapore’s last legal strike occurred in 1986 when workers at U.S. oilfield-equipment company Hydril picketed their factory for two days to protest the dismissal of several union leaders. Government officials had approved the strike in advance.   In a series of five articles the WSJ documents a strike by mainland Chinese bus drivers...

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With Abbott we join the anglosphere

With Abbott we join the anglosphere Influential Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan tweeted that Abbott’s election heralded a “golden age” in Australia, adding that the Coalition victory was an endorsement of the “Anglosphere alliance”, which Hannan said the outgoing Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, had mocked.   The Anglosphere is a notion of right wing British Conservatives. According to James Meek, "It’s a white...

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High Speed Rail – but slowly

High Speed Rail - but slowly Most of the left likes trains - and for old and young alike very fast ones are part of nation building, positive examples of public infrastructure and environmentally friendly. But, as the Warren Centre says, Australia is still no closer to HSR implementation than 30 years ago. And, High Speed Rail in Australia has a tortured history characterised by ‘hands-off’ government involvement and unsubstantiated private...

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Australian Options On-line Digest No 3 May 2013

Display problems? View this newsletter in your browser. Issue 3 May 2013 What’s Hot and What’s Not: the Australian Options online digest This is the third edition of the Option on-line digest. We are still learning the layout and format tools though hopefully becoming more confident. Please help by forwarding this on to other likely readers. The best way to support Options is to suscribe to the...

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On-line Digest 2 April 2013

    Issue 2 April 2013 What’s Hot and What’s Not: the Australian Options online digest   Job Creation and Renewable Energy     As far as job creation goes, investing in renewable energy is around 300 per cent more effective than investing in fossil fuel or nuclear jobs – at least, that’s what the below infographic tells us. Sourced via Solar Love and...

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Michael Kieran Harvey: What Would Peggy Do?

  In October 2012, Michael Kieran Harvey gave the New Music Network Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. An audio and video of the address are available on the ABC website. There is a transcript here.Michael is a major Australian pianist, especially of current and new Australian music. This lecture is a provocative review of how conservative thinking and markets are damaging the development and enjoyment of...

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The clamour for flexibility

Business groups, right-wing politicians, the neo-liberal think tanks and their media supporters complain incessantly that the Fair Work Act has shifted the balance in industrial relations towards unions. In November 2012, Peter Reith sought the headlines saying ‘Business is worried. They have reason to be worried. Strikes are rising, unfair dismissals and “go away money” are back, and productivity is poor.’ He quotes Rio Tinto:...

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The Robin Hood Tax gets closer – can Australia have one like this?

In late January, the European Union Finance Ministers endorsed the introduction of a financial transactions tax by 11 member countries. It will apply in Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia. This includes four of the largest EU economies. The tax is expected to commence from the beginning of 2014 and will be applied to stock and bond trades and derivatives. At this stage the tax will...

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Who has the energy to care about misogyny anymore?

The day after Julia Gillard’s famous ‘misogyny speech’, there was a lively conversation in my workplace – like those around Australia. The views ranged from: “She sounds like a whinger…“Huge mistake. She’s shown weakness, they’ll eat her alive”, to “Women will love it…no-one rates a victim.  She’s shown real backbone, best thing she’s ever done.” And so the conversations went. Julia’s ratings turned skyward. The...

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America’s election and the Tea Party

A series of voting setbacks in November 2012 means the conservative Tea Party movement is now facing a difficult and divisive period. What a difference two years make. After the congressional elections in November 2010, the Tea Party was the talk of the town. Both left-wing and right-wing media pundits declared ‘the" Tea Party to be the (only) winner’, and all focus was on the right's new stars such as Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio...

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