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The GOP Reshaped America to Hold Onto Power—Can the Dems Do the Same Thing to Save It?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 25/09/2020 - 1:00am in

Photo Credit: 3000ad / Shutterstock.com In the power grab to fill the Supreme Court seat announced the same evening as...

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The Future of Work

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 21/09/2020 - 7:53am in

“I can’t remember — do I work at home or do I live at work?“ See below insightful books on various aspects of the phenomenon reflected in the cartoon. The point is, although they were written in the pre-COVID-19 world, … Continue reading →

Joe Allen’s ‘Package King’ Delivers a Modern History of the Essential Worker

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/09/2020 - 7:48am in

Tags 

Labor

Danny Katch reviews Joe Allen's "The Package King: A Rank-And-File History of UPS," on the century-long fight of UPS workers to wrest a livable job out of a company that treats them as machinery and to organize within a union that too often has treated them as a dues-paying cash machine.

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The post Joe Allen’s ‘Package King’ Delivers a Modern History of the Essential Worker appeared first on New Politics.

Barilaro Demands That Gladys Let Him Kill A Koala Or He’ll Piss On The Floor Of Parliament

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 16/09/2020 - 7:00am in

NSW’s deputy Premier John Barilaro has threatened to piss all over the floor of NSW Parliament unless the Premier, who he is allegedly a part of a coalition Government still in coalition government with, allows him and his Nationals colleagues to kill a koala (or 20).

”I don’t think it’s too much to ask – to be allowed to strangle a koala or five after a hard day out on the farm,” said the Deputy Premier. ”The Inner City latte-sipping elites wouldn’t understand what it’s like to have to work hard for a living. We need our stress relief!”

”So, I say to the Premier – give me what I want, or I will piss all over the floor.”

When asked why he and his colleagues wished to kill koalas, the Deputy Premier said: ”Gotta kill something!”

”But seriously, why shouldn’t I be allowed to kill what’s on my land?”

”Koalas, snakes, weeds, vegans … if they step on my land, I should be allowed to shoot them.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s morning tea time and I need to let Gladys know that I want all the Tim Tams, otherwise I’ll blow up the Government.”

Premier Berejiklian could not be reached for comment as she was busy doing her actual job of dealing with a pandemic.

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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Legacy of Labor leaders Scullin and Curtin no model for today

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:02am in

Tags 

reviews, Labor

Today, ALP conferences are largely stage-managed media events, MPs speak to sound bites supplied by the party machine, and a pitifully small number of members participate in the life of the party.

That wasn’t always the case. There was a time when the party was riven by debates on big issues, when MPs staked out positions and fought for them, and when the party grappled with how to achieve socialism.

This new book by Liam Byrne, the ACTU historian, covers the making of Labor from 1876 to 1921. It does so by following the careers of two men later to become Prime Minister—James Scullin and John Curtin.

Both were born to Irish Catholic migrant families in the goldfields of Victoria, worked as journalists, were deeply involved with the union movement and devoted their adult lives to the ALP.

Byrne weaves their stories through some of the key debates in the movement, including the fight against conscription in World War One and the resulting expulsion of Prime Minister Billy “the rat” Hughes from the ALP, and the debate over the party’s adoption of a socialist objective in the aftermath of the war.

Scullin was on the right of the party and deeply religious. But a century ago that still put him well to the left of most Labor MPs today.

In his first tilt at parliament, in 1906, he put the case for the nationalisation of monopolies, the abolition of state parliaments and for union members to have preference when seeking state employment. In the 1916 conscription debate, he campaigned through the paper he edited, the Ballarat Echo, for a No vote.

Curtin was very much on the left. While Scullin’s socialism was something to be achieved in a long-distant future (he played a key role in ensuring that Labor’s socialisation objective, adopted in 1921, was similarly vague), Curtin cut his political teeth arguing that Labor should be taking immediate steps towards socialism through nationalising the means of production, distribution and exchange.

He imbibed much of his outlook from Tom Mann, the British union leader who arrived in Melbourne in 1902 and quickly became both Labor’s organiser and the dynamic element behind the Victorian Socialist Party.

Byrne has done valuable work in trawling through personal archives and the newspapers of the day. The detail brings the book to life and makes it a lively and accessible read.

Yet there remain some serious political gaps. Because the book is closely focused on the careers of two Labor men, it fails to place them in a broader context.

So the 1917 NSW general strike merits a scant paragraph, as does the Russian revolution. The Industrial Workers of the World and the Communist Party rate a passing mention. And then there are the questions that are simply left untouched.

Curtin and Scullin were from Irish Catholic families, but Byrne doesn’t discuss their views on Irish independence or how that intersected with their opposition to conscription at a time when Cardinal Mannix was leading mass protests through Melbourne.

Union leaders feature in the book in relation to party matters. But there’s no sense of the disputes taking place at the time, such as the 1903 Victorian railway strike or the 1919 seafarers’ strike.

Byrne notes that Curtin supported the concept of international socialism while defending the White Australia policy. How could Curtin reconcile these two opposing concepts? We’re not told.

The final chapter skates through the time both men spent as PM, noting Scullin’s prosecution of massive austerity during the Depression and Curtin’s adoption of conscription in World War Two.

Yet in an interview for his publisher’s blog, Byrne argues that both men, “never ceased to try to make Australia a fairer and more equal place. Their legacy, ultimately, is the era of full employment, economic growth, and expanded opportunity that they helped bring into being”.

What explains the gaps in the book and Byrne’s bizarre words of praise?

Curtin and Scullin came from competing traditions, but they were united in the belief that parliamentary politics was the only game in town. If winning elections was the way to create change, the party had to adapt to the prejudices of the majority of voters— condemning workers’ militancy and defending White Australia.

Byrne ends his book with a call for Labor to offer a genuine alternative, calling upon the spirit of Scullin and Curtin.

But from the Depression of the 1930s to the looming Depression today, the answers to the problems facing workers are not found in parliamentary manoeuvres but in workplace struggles and in the streets.

By David Glanz

Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin, By Liam Byrne, Melbourne University Press

The post Legacy of Labor leaders Scullin and Curtin no model for today appeared first on Solidarity Online.

MintPress Is Recognizing Our Essential Workers: Independent Journalists

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 30/08/2020 - 1:04am in

Tags 

News, Labor

Dear friends of MintPress News,

For the next week, MintPress News will be offline and enjoying Staff Appreciation Week to recognize one of the most underappreciated Essential Workers working tirelessly and selflessly to keep us informed about stories the mainstream establishment media ignore or under look: Independent Journalists. 

From August 31st – September 7th, we will not be accepting submissions or filings, nor will we be editing. MintPress will be offline. I have provided this week to all of our staff as a bonus paid time off for self care and vacation. 

2020 has been an extraordinary year for all working Americans because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects on us all have created significant challenges that have led to higher amounts of stress and anxiety. As a single working mom of two boys working full time as an editor, producer and host with MintPress, I know first hand the challenges and strain COVID-19 has had on families and on our work. We often hear about the clerks at grocery stores, the nurses and doctors and the teachers, but we rarely hear about independent journalists upholding our first amendment in keeping us informed. 

It’s us, independent journalists, that are acting as a watchdog to the war machine, police and national security state, special interest groups and the billionaire 1%while the mainstream corporate media cheer them on and act as their lap dogs. Independent journalists are in a David and Goliath battle for truth and justice in a world bombarded with fake news and propaganda spewed by PR agents of the state. And in the time of COVID, social media giants are using this pandemic as yet another reason to expand censorship in it’s crackdown of alternative voices making us a target.

MintPress recognizes how exhausting this has been to all of us. And while we are exhausted, we are more determined than ever. While the world continues to spin, it’s time for us to turn off our devices and take a break for self care. 

This is why I provided our journalists and editors with Staff Appreciation Week from August 31st – September 6th. It’s the least MintPress can do to show our appreciation and gratitude for the tireless efforts our independent journalists do to shed light on the most important issues facing our world.

I think you can agree. 

We’ll see you when we’re back September 8th! 

 

In solidarity, 

 

Mnar Muhawesh Adley 

Founder, Editor in chief 

MintPress News

Feature photo | Canva | Creative Commons

The post MintPress Is Recognizing Our Essential Workers: Independent Journalists appeared first on MintPress News.

An Open Letter of a Part-Time Instructor from PUP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 6:28pm in

image/jpeg iconpexels-pixabay-356065.jpg

A disgruntled worker formally employed at a state university writes an open letter detailing the absurdity of unpaid labor they were forced to do.

When it comes to salaries, benefits and privileges, we contractuals are excluded, but when it comes to other added tasks and extra labor — which has no compensation nor allowances, why the hell we are included?

Jose Mario De Vega

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Cartoon: Immunity impunity

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 9:50pm in

According to Ian Millhiser on Vox, the Republican bill places a “wide array of obstacles before workers and consumers who allege that they were infected due to a business’s negligence — or even against plaintiffs who allege they were infected because of truly reckless behavior by a business.” It also, breathtakingly, “allows businesses to sue — and collect damages and attorney’s fees from — anyone who so much as writes a letter to a business demanding compensation for certain Covid-19-related legal violations, if the allegations in that letter are later deemed ‘meritless.’ And it allows the United States attorney general to sue law firms, unions, and other entities that are ‘engaged in a pattern or practice’ of seeking compensation for similar violations.” So if you merely try to hold a business accountable, they can sue your pants off. Brilliant!

Now for the kicker: Do you know what this bill is called? The SAFE TO WORK Act! You can’t make this stuff up! (Actually, you can, and George Orwell did.)

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Herman Benson (1915-2020): No Socialism Without Democracy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 7:06am in

Herman Benson, veteran socialist activist and fighter for rank-and-file democracy in the labour movement, died on 2 July, aged 104. Herman was the second-to-last survivor, at least to my knowledge, of the “first generation” of “third camp” socialists.

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The post Herman Benson (1915-2020): No Socialism Without Democracy appeared first on New Politics.

Scomo Spends $270 Billion To Fortify Defence Of Eden-Monaro

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 7:53am in

Tags 

Politics, ABC, Labor

morrison

The Prime Minister has announced a $270 billion dollar spending spree on the defence of Eden-Monaro against an unnamed enemy, hinted at as a regional political party linked to the interests of the union movement and the advancement of the working class.

“We are going to install a long range missile system capable of reaching Trades Hall or Sussex Street if you point it towards Sydney,” said Mr Morrison. “These times remind me of the horrifying events of the 1930s, just before the Fadden government was kicked out by John Curtin.”

Mr Morrison has also picked this week to be seen going hard on kiddy fiddlers, based on the findings of the Royal Commision into Institutional Child Abuse and the findings of polling on what’s likely to push the buttons of swinging voters in Queanbeyan.

Meanwhile the Labor Party has based its campaign for Eden-Monaro on public sympathy for the ABC, based on extensive polling of inner city voters located 500 kilometers from the closest polling booth.

Peter Green

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