WL Aus 36

Australia/Iraq Trade Union Solidarity

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:34

A Sydney group has been formed to raise money for and build links with Iraqi unions.

In July a meeting initiated by Workers Liberty held at the Irish Club led to the formation of the Australia/Iraq Trade Union Solidarity group (AUSIRAQ). Frustration with the refusal of most of the left to support the struggle of the workers' movement in Iraq gave rise to this development.

A fund raiser is planned for November. If you want to find out more, feel free to join the egroup: AUSIRAQ@yahoogroups.com

Draft charter

We, the members and supporters of Australia/Iraq Trade Union Solidarity (AUSIRAQ) wish


Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:30


Next time you play monopoly with the kids and you pick up the CHANCE card which says "pay tax on all your properties", spare a though for poor Denis O'Neil. Big Den used to own quarries and Hymix and is now into developing hotels in Sydney's Kings Cross. Recently he's reported to have paid $6 million for a Point Piper marina and ordered a 12 seater Lear Jet. Why does he need a Lear Jet? To fly to the Whitsundays of course: that's where he parks his $5 million motor yacht "Illusions".


After forking out $270,000 to cover legal costs paid by the

Social forces in Iraq

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:28

Review by Bryan Sketchley of Quarterly Essay, issue 14 Mission Impossible - the sheikhs, the US and the future of Iraq by Paul McGeough.
McGeough has written extensively for the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald on the build up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent events there. McGeough's reporting has been insightful, reflecting the considerable time spent in Iraq.

McGeough's essay provides some deeper understanding of the complex makeup and structure of Iraq, in particular the relationship between the sheiks, tribes and the governing powers in Iraq. The essay opens with a recounting of

Hard questions for the Left

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:26

Bryan Sketchley reviews "It's evident that the left is dead", by Nick Cohen, reprinted in the Age August 17, 2004 from the New Statesman
It's all too infrequent that one finds op-ed pieces in newspapers that you can even half agree with, but such an article appeared recently in the Age. While I can't agree with Nick Cohen on certain points especially "Fifty years ago, there were revolutionary socialist movements in dozens of countries ready to take power. Today there isn't one, and the world is a better place for that."

Probably none of the countries that he rates in those dozens, would I

Forward interviews Workers' Liberty

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:23

Abridged from an interview published in "Forward", international bulletin of the Worker Communist Party of Iraq. Contributors for Workers' Liberty are Janet Burstall, Clive Bradley, Lynn Smith.
FORWARD: After one year how do you assess the reasons presented by the USA for invading Iraq? What do you think was the real reason behind this war?

WL: The USA's ruling class sees the chance after the collapse of the Soviet empire for an integrated global capitalism, in which capital can readily and freely exploit labour and resources in any part of the world.

The bombing of the Twin Towers in New

Treaty of Waitangi

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:20

Issues surrounding the Treaty of Waitangi have been long debated in New Zealand. Supporters of Maori land claims have looked as the Treaty as a vehicle to fulfill past injustices. But has the treaty benefited all Maori or just a strata of Maori society? And should socialists continue to uncritically support all Maori claims under the Treaty?

For a generation now, many on the left have seen the politics of the Treaty of Waitangi as a vehicle for addressing the social inequalities Maori have faced. In no small measure, this dominant view, particularly popular amongst liberals, has been the

Carr crashes mid-term

Published on: Thu, 02/12/2004 - 22:17

The NSW Carr Labor government is approaching mid point of its historic third term. Observers of NSW state politics broadly acknowledge that the Carr government is on the nose with the electorate on key issues like public transport, health services and education. With a huge 17 seat majority in the Lower House Bob Carr appears to believe his government can weather the storm. But approval ratings have been falling and the Opposition has made up some ground.

NSW Labor has adopted such an uncompromising conservative agenda that it is finding itself increasingly outflanked by a populist Liberal led

Free Craig Johnston!

Published on: Thu, 25/11/2004 - 16:15

Earlier this year former Victorian State Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Craig Johnston pleaded guilty to charges of assault (verbal abuse), criminal damage and two counts of affray in a previous court case.

Craig Johnston has had his suspended sentence overturned in the appeal court. He was given a 2 year and 9 months jail sentence with the 9 months to be served immediately and the 2 years jail sentence to be suspended for 2.5 years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Craig has had an alliance of powerful enemies preparing the ground for such an outcome. The Office of

Vote Socialist Alliance! For a Labor Government and a union fightback!

Published on: Thu, 25/11/2004 - 16:13

Happier after Howard? Kicking Howard out, and saying "Not Happy, John" are words on many lips, placards, T-shirts and stickers.
Howard has undermined working class consciousness and working class solidarity, on many fronts - by legal penalties against unionism, by policies to promote profit-making and more intense competition, putting health and education squarely into the market, tax breaks for property owners, reducing taxes for the better off and reducing government spending, privatisations, etc.

This is in a global context with specific intense manifestations in Australia, of reduced

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