Despite complaints from the Right, high levels of taxation are no
barrier to international competitiveness and rising real wages are the
biggest spur to growth in labour productivity. The biggest threats to
Australia’s prosperity are further cuts in the social wage to finance
tax cuts and rentiers who distort infrastructure priorities in favour
of private profit.
JUDE MCCULLOCH believes politics is under attack as
globalisation and the ‘war on terror’ are used as excuses to erode the
boundary between the role of police and military in maintaining
TIM MOORE examines the baby boomers and concludes that,
while they see themselves as the uncompromising generation supporting
women’s liberation and opposing the Vietnam War and racism, they also
embraced consumerism, the cult of permissiveness and instant
gratification. This created fertile ground for economic rationalism and
policies which discriminate against Xers, particularly in the area of
CHAS SAVAGE points out that the response of state and
federal governments to terrorism potentially offers a far greater
threat to civil liberties and democracy than acts of terrorism – unless
security agencies are required to act within laws protecting individual
PATRICK EMERTON explains why the anti-terrorism
legislation is a threat to democracy and the rule of law. ASIO’s powers
transform it into something closer to a secret police with the
discretion to determine whose political activity will be legitimate or
not and hence who will be subject to detention orders.
JOHN BRADFORD’s open letter to the Prime Minister on his
decision to invade Iraq accuses Howard of deceit. Howard’s shameful act
is incompetent to the point of stupidity because the terrorists have
been able to make him their agent.
ERIC AARONS says that, unlike classical liberalism or
traditional conservatism, neo-liberalism has replaced values concerning
the public good with an extended version of the market and
individualism. Environmental challenges mean there must be a new
alignment of political forces with a new sense of the common good.
BRIAN WALTERS argues that the old idea that protection of
the public interest in legal matters could be left to the
Attorney-General is redundant because of party discipline and cabinet
solidarity. If NGOs are to uphold the public interest they must have
access to the courts without having to give security for costs or
undertakings as to damages.
CAMPBELL reviews the facts about oil reserves in Saudi Arabia and
comes to the conclusion that the basic assumptions of the major western
democracies and China that there will be sufficient supplies for
decades to come are false. We need to support polices which promote
energy saving now to avoid a supply crisis within the next decade.
FERNANDES explains that the doctrine of Realism based on power
politics drove Australian’s recognition of the Indonesian takeover of
East Timor in 1975 and recent negotiations over maritime borders
affecting oil rights. The unequal treaty, like the brutal occupation,
may also become untenable if Australian public opinion sees it as
PATRICK TROY, DARREN HOLLOWAY and BILL RANDOLPH
present a detailed plan showing how Sydney households could be
encouraged to conserve and recycle water at a fraction of the cost of
desalination and cut demand for potable water from Sydney Water by 80
IAN MCCAULEY argues the Right has appropriated the
language of the Left in order to de-legitimate the values which were
once the property of the Left.
SID SPINDLER, former Democrat Senator, points out the
third party vote has increased from 10 to 20 per cent since 1990. He
argues the case for third parties holding the balance of power in the
Senate, making executive government more open and accountable to
Parliament and public opinion.
SHAUN CANNON from the Catholic Commission for Justice,
Development and Peace details how the Howard Government’s new workplace
relations legislation violates Catholic social teaching on the nature
and dignity of humanity and work.
recalls his time on the Victorian Prison Industries Commission, which
helped to create meaningful work within the prisons, training and jobs
on release, and savings from reduced recidivism and explains how the
Commission was downgraded to a Committee when prisons were privatised.