By John Braddock - WSWS
Two reports published in New Zealand last month showed that the gap between rich and poor widened in 2010-11, taking inequality to its highest-ever level. Middle and lower paid workers saw their incomes fall sharply, while those of the rich increased. Child poverty...remains entrenched at 25 percent.
By Mike Head - 21 August 2012
Previous reviews of the anti-terror laws conducted by the Labor government since it took office in 2007 have retained the police powers intact, while boosting key aspects and broadening their scope beyond “terrorism” to deal with anticipated political and social unrest...The latest review is designed to serve a similar function.
By Richard Phillips - 18 August 2012
By steadfastly refusing to lift a finger in his defence, the Australian Labor government is maintaining its support for the US-led vendetta against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, who was granted diplomatic sanctuary on Thursday by the Ecuadorian government.
By John Pilger - August 09, 2012
Unlike those original Australians forced to defend their basic human rights and apologize for their distinctiveness, [non-Aboriginal Australian Olympic athletes] have enjoyed every advantage and privilege. Their “indiscretions” and victimhood are accompanied by a sense of entitlement that has shredded the national myth of “fair go”, not to mention an Olympic prowess of which we all were once proud.
By Dave Zirin - August 05, 2012
Today, it’s still the third rail of Australian politics to claim pride and solidarity with the nation’s indigenous people. Damien Hooper is finding this out the hard way. Hooper is an Olympic boxer making major waves both in and out of the ring. The light heavyweight is...a threat to win gold...He’s also a threat to be sent home by the Australian Olympic Committee. Before fighting...the 20-year-old’s ring attire included a black T-shirt emblazoned with the Aboriginal Flag. Hooper...knew that he was breaking the Olympics “no politics” rule, which states that you can represent only your country or approved corporate sponsors.
By James Cogan - 25 July 2012
Over the past two weeks, American military commanders and strategic analysts...have publicly criticised the size of Australia’s defence budget...The criticisms amount to an open intervention into Australian politics, seeking to pressure the minority Labor government to boost military spending in order to ensure that Australian forces can serve as a credible partner in the US preparations for a confrontation with China in the Asia-Pacific region.
By Oliver Campbell - 23 June 2012
A refugee boat, thought to be carrying more than 200 people, and attempting to sail from Indonesia to Australia, was found capsized on Thursday, about 110 nautical miles north of Australia’s Christmas Island. Though reports remain unclear, it appears that between 90 and 100 people are missing, feared dead.
By DAVE LINDORFF - June 21, 2012
I...envied Australia over the years for having something totally lacking in the US: a major labor-based party advocating democratic-socialist policies...But of late, that party...has been a shameless and uncritical apologist for US policies, including the so-called “Global War on Terror”...Most recently, Australia and its Prime Minister Gillard have been strangely passive in allowing the US to attack Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, an Australian citizen.
By Tom Peters - 1 June 2012
The budget handed down on May 24 by the conservative National Party government of Prime Minister John Key includes a raft of cutbacks that deepen the austerity program that has been imposed on the working class since the 2008 financial crisis...Since New Zealand’s economy first went into recession in 2008, the Key government has slashed public spending on welfare, health and education, increased the regressive goods and services tax (GST) and sacked more than 2,500 public sector workers.
1 June 2012 - WSWS
“I’m just outraged and can’t believe we still have to protest against this kind of thing...WikiLeaks has exposed that the US is absolutely ruthless and I’m very afraid of what they will do next...The [Australian] government just wants to shut Assange up...They aren’t prepared to support this man and the mainstream media is not properly reporting on Assange’s situation. They are scared of the consequences.”
By Robert Morgan - 29 May 2012
Over 50 refugees currently being held by the Australian Labor government face the prospect of indefinite detention, potentially for life, due to secret and effectively unchallengeable “adverse security assessments” issued by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)...[T]housands of men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia...are essentially imprisoned. As many refugee advocates and legal experts have explained, Australia’s mandatory detention regime openly violates international law.
By Patrick O’Connor - WSWS
The budget brought down yesterday by the Australian Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard has cut real government spending by 4.3 percent, the most significant reduction in the last 25 years...Labor has promised big business and finance capital that it will deliver no more budget deficits, regardless of economic shocks internationally and in Australia. Austerity is now firmly entrenched as the central principle of government economic policy.
By Patrick O’Connor - 5 May 2012
An extraordinary speech delivered last month by Liberal Party shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, “The End of the Age of Entitlement”, outlined the program that finance capital is demanding be implemented in Australia, in line with the savage austerity measures imposed against the working class in Europe and the US...Hockey bluntly elaborated what has...largely been the subject of behind closed door discussion in ruling circles — that all welfare programs, pensions, universal public health and education systems, and the public provision of services ranging from transportation to housing have to be abolished.
By Jay Fletcher - Green Left Weekly
About eight of the group are under 12. Some are siblings and cousins, others are completely alone. They live in cramped motel-style rooms where some have to sleep on a mattress on the floor, with a tiny bathroom, one desk and a mini-fridge. Meals are shared in a huge mess hall and Serco guards are stationed around every corner.
By John Braddock - 25 April 2012
The National Party-led government, which was re-elected last November, has intensified its assault on the New Zealand working class. The administration is imposing a sweeping program of privatization, job cuts and attacks on welfare and education that was concealed throughout the election and for which nobody voted...The government is warning that without harsh austerity measures, New Zealand faces the “Greek road” of potential bankruptcy.