NUMBER 8 AUTUMN / WINTER 2002
EDITORIAL: Federal Labor led the charge for
privatisation of government business enterprises in the 80s. Are state
and territory Labor governments now going to lead the charge to Public
Private Partnerships in social infrastructure, even though this will
add 40 per cent to the cost of construction and maintenance of public
assets such as schools and hospitals?
JOHN LEGGE says the New Right has paralysed the
Left by changing the objectives of politics from justice to rights.
Equality is impossible without redistribution and redistribution is
impossible without some limitation on property rights.
DAVID HAYWARD reports
on an Australia-wide survey conducted by the Institute of Social
Research at Swinburne University which reinforces earlier surveys
showing very little support for privatisation, despite twenty years of
promotion by both major political parties.
JOHN QUIGGIN reviews
the history of private infrastructure provision in the UK and
Australia. He says the claim that this can avoid the creation of
additional public debt is a delusion often leading to a reduction in
the net worth of the public sector.
JIM JOSE says the
history of the past twenty years bears out the observation that lack of
political will explains rising unemployment. Post WW11 full employment
entailed such significant adjustment in the institutions and practices
of capitalism that it was unlikely capitalists would be able to
tolerate full employment for long.
PAUL MEES describes how
City Link's operator, Transurban, was able to keep multi-million dollar
tax breaks after ten separate hearings in the AAT, the Federal Court
and the High Court – hearings which never got around to dealing with
the substantive issue because in the end the citizen who litigated the
issue was found not to have standing, even though the amenity of his
house was affected by the construction of the road.
ANN MORROW shows the
difficulties facing independent candidates in federal elections by
reference to the 2001 experience of government schools advocate,
Kristin Stegley, who ran against then Education Minister, David Kemp,
in the seat of Goldstein.
JENNIFER CURTIN discusses
the history of the split in NZ Labour leading to the Labour/Alliance
government and – despite the lack of success there – suggests that this
may be what is required by parties of the Left to capture core and new
DEREK WOOLNER argues
that the Coalition’s slavish attachment to ANZUS creates the danger of
ignoring Australia’s long-term regional interests, which are not the
same as US global interests – especially as defined by the Bush
ALICE DE JONGE describes
how over the last two years the Coalition has constructed a legislative
anti-asylum seeker fortress where asylum seekers will be either
deported immediately or detained, mostly in Australian-financed Pacific
TIM LINDSEY explains
why Indonesia is the preferred route for 85 per cent of the asylum
seekers attempting to come to Australia by boat and why the Indonesian
Government can’t be expected to do much to stop the traffic, being far
more concerned about their own estimated 1.2 million internal refugees.
LESLEY McCULLOCH investigates
Aceh’s struggle for independence and describes how the military has a
vested interest in prolonging the conflict, as it profits from
plundering local resources and selling protection to local business.
DAVE CORLETT says
because the old racism – based on notions of biological superiority –
is no longer scientifically tenable, it has been replaced by a new form
of xenophobic exclusion based on cultural difference.
IAN MANNING reviews a
book about the future of the Welfare State and JAMES GRIFFIN discusses
Ray Whitrod's autobiography.
JOHN WHITELEGG looks at
the way various European cities have addressed the challenge of
creating a healthy, efficient public transport system and the social,
environmental and health costs of failure.
CATHERINE BLAKERS examines the power of words in political discourse.
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