Saturday’s socialist speak out
Up to 100,000 people on the single parent payment will lose between $60 to $110 a week from 1 January thanks to this Labor government. The Gillard government is moving them from the single parent payment to Newstart when their youngest child turns 8. It used to when their youngest turned 16.
The Age in Melbourne published an article by me on this and Jenny Macklin, living on the dole, poverty and fighting back against the agenda of the rich.
The Greens are proposing an increase of $50 a week in the dole, still leaving it over $50 below the poverty line.
The Liberals, yes the Liberals, are considering an increase but their rhetoric of the dole as short term support suggests they are aiming for a dole that will decrease the longer you are on it. Or perhaps, as Tony Abbott suggested, cut those under 30 off it altogether to force young people to move to the mines in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. That would also put downward pressure on wages.
Under Labor, according to its own Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the gender pay gap between male and female university graduates has increased. The gender pay gap more generally remains around 17% despite Labor being in power for the last 5 years.
In the US the Democrats continue to rule for the rich and averted the so-called fiscal cliff by cutting social welfare and postponing the deeper cuts for a few months.
The demonstrations in India against rape and rape culture continue unabated. The left must involve itself in these campaigns, raising the questions of state rape, rape of Dalits and other lower class women and oppose the death penalty and chemical castration. It is a difficult task but the left cannot abstain from these struggles against violence against women.
In Cuba, according to the Guardian, Hugo Chavez is fighting for his life and the ghouls of reaction there, apart from baying for his death, are anticipating the possibility of an election which I suspect they think they could win if Chavez is not the candidate of the left. As the radical reformist embodiment of the revolution if Chavez dies the revolution could die with him.
That would depend in part on the level of empowerment people have already won and how strong the Venezuelan working class is and how prepared to set up its own democratic institutions to challenge the rule of capital and the capitalist state in Venezuela.
Let’s hope he is OK to help protect the gains made so far and to enable workers to develop their own strength and then protect and extend those gains.
Bush fires rage across Australia as above average temperatures engulf city and town. The role of anthropogenic global warming in these above average temperatures appears beyond question. The relationship between increasing temperatures over time and bush fires is one I leave for others to speculate on but it would appear there may be some link. Of course El Nino and La Nina have their role but they have to be understood through the trend of the last decades for ever increasing temperatures globally.
Once the locked in 4 to 6 degrees increase hits then these bushfires may become even more commonplace and spread.
On a lighter note The Australian has been running a furious campaign saying spy agency ASIO believed former Hawke Labor Government minister Arthur Gietzelt was also a member of the Communist Party. I hope ASIO are also investigating whether all the current Labor Party ministers are secret members of the Liberal Party. What else could explain the dreary sameness of the two Parties’ neoliberal policies and practice?
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