Saturday’s socialist speak out
Right wing columnist Andrew Bolt has called me one of ‘Breivik’s useful idiots’ for writing in an article in July last year on my blog that ‘There is little in the political concerns of right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik that would be out of place in Coalition Party meetings or the mainstream media and especially on the shock jock radio shows.’ It comes from an article I wrote last year which asked Is Anders Breivik just John Howard with a gun?
Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey has signalled a Coalition crackdown on welfare currently going to the poor and working class. No mention of business welfare.
Julia Gillard has decided to cut and run from Afghanistan as the Taliban continues its war against the invaders.
The nationalist hype around ANZAC day grows ever louder as reports indicate that, surprise surprise, the Australian government and Defence leadership abandon returning soldiers.
Julia Gillard unveiled an aged care package which at first blush looks half way decent, with for example pay rises for workers in the sector but which also appears as if it is based on a user pays philosophy to some extent and so will suffer from all the restrictions on satisfying human need such an approach entails. I’ll give this more thought and hopefully write something on it later in the week.
I gave a talk on neoliberalism and Universities and one question that came up has got me thinking. If education is so important to helping train the next generation of educated workers and thus lay the groundwork for continuing profits, why is capitalism not spending more on education rather than dumbing it down? I hope too to come back to this later in the week.
In the US the Republican freak show is coming to an end with the slightly less freaky but trying hard Mitt Romney set to win the nomination. I was going to write that Romney makes Obama look good but the fact that the Republican nomination process couldn’t produce a half way decent candidate to challenge the President (although some polls show Romney neck and neck with Obama) might save this fake progressive.
In France Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the Left Front has set the Presidential campaign alight with promises to increase the minimum wage by 20%, tax all income over 360,000 euros at 100%, return the pension age to 60, withdraw from Afghanistan and NATO and nationalise some of the major companies (to name a few).
Once he got a bit of publicity and people understood his anti-capitalist stance he shot up in the polls from 6% to 15% support and recently held rallies of over 100,000 in Paris and Marseilles.
There is no Australian Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
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