Editorial: Unpopularity contest as Labor embraces Abbott’s policies

The Morgan Poll in early July, taken during ALP leader Bill Shorten’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Trade Unions, showed the lowest two-party preferred rating for Labor in a year—51 to 49. Still ahead of the Liberals, but only just.

Editorial: Labor’s silence lets Abbott’s fear campaign run rampant

Abbott is determined to use racism and Islamophobia to revive his electoral support. The results can be seen in the opinion polls over the last few months. Although Labor would still win an election, Abbott has crept up in the leadership satisfaction ratings.

Doing the maths: Hockey’s ‘fair budget’ hurts the poor

Joe Hockey’s claim that the budget is “fair” has unraveled, with detailed analysis showing that the poorest will suffer the most from the changes.

Editorial: Abbott’s cuts and lies still coming, time to hit back

Abbott’s response to the standoff that left at least 8000 Rohingya asylum seekers stranded on the high seas, without adequate food or medical supplies, was obscene.

Budget smoke and mirrors, but Abbott keeps his cuts

Tony Abbott is desperately praying that this year’s budget will save his skin. But the budget cuts from last year remain in place, and even his new spending on childcare relies on taking money allocated elsewhere for families and new mothers.

Childcare changes entrench unfair market system

The Liberals’ changes to childcare will only entrench a market approach that is expensive and has failed to provide places where they are needed.

Public servants strike against Abbott’s cuts

Public servants are staging one-hour rolling strikes in a dozen agencies this month, as their union, the CPSU, ramps up what it says is the largest campaign of industrial action in 30 years.

Abbott keeps his cuts amid budget smoke and mirrors

Tony Abbott is desperately praying that this year’s budget will save his skin. But the budget cuts from last year remain in place, and even his new spending on childcare relies on taking money allocated elsewhere for families and new mothers.

Abbott still dangerous every day he hangs on

The Liberal victory in the NSW election was a reprieve for Abbott after Liberal defeats in Victoria and Queensland.

Abbott’s community cuts draw wave of protest

Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” gaffe has drawn attention to the federal policy of defunding Aboriginal communities—and succeeded in sparking lively and large demonstrations around the country.

Liberal win in NSW election means fight against privatisation and WestConnex needed

After swings against the Liberals in the recent Victorian and Queensland elections, Liberal Premier Mike Baird managed to hold on in NSW.

Budget measures finished, but Liberals still want cuts

Tony Abbott and Education Minister Christopher Pyne suffered another humiliation when their university deregulation plans were defeated in the Senate for a second time in March. Abbott’s budget agenda is now in tatters.

Dumping Abbott no guarantee of Liberal recovery

After facing down the leadership spill Abbott gushed to Channel Nine’s Karl Stefanovic of feeling “young and vigorous and at the height of your powers.”

March 4 rally shows appetite to fight Coalition’s cuts

Thousands of unionists took strike action against the Abbott government as part of the Australian Council of Trade Unions March 4 day of protest.

Co-payment victory, but Medicare war goes on

In early March, Health Minister Sussan Ley announced that she was scrapping the $5 optional GP co-payment announced in December 2014. This is the Coalition’s third backdown in three months on the GP co-payment. It is a victory—but the Coalition is still at war on Medicare.

Abbott’s terminal: resistance can kill off his agenda

The Liberals are tearing themselves to pieces after just 18 months in power. It is a joy to watch. Tony Abbott has survived for now, but it’s hard to see him holding on much longer.

Liberals’ inquiry prepares attack on rights at work

The vicious overreach of the Coalition government is on display in the recently-announced Productivity Commission inquiry into workplace relations.

Muslims pay the price of Abbott’s desperation

After narrowly surviving a leadership spill on the first day of parliament for 2015, Tony Abbott reached for one of his most trusted political cards: racist fear-mongering in the name of the war on terror.

Political chaos as out of touch parties govern for the elite

Australian politics is in turmoil. Labor under Rudd then Gillard tore itself to pieces and lost all credibility within six years. Now the Liberals are repeating the experience. What’s going on?

As Abbott threatens more cuts, it’s time to revive the fightback

Abbott’s new year has got off to a bad start. His “plan B” to attack Medicare is already in tatters after the government was forced to dump a key plank that could have seen doctor’s visits cost $20.

Abbott not giving up on co-payment plan

The year has opened with a deeply humiliating defeat for Abbott’s health agenda. On 15 January brand new Health Minister Sussan Ley was forced to stop sunning herself on a cruise ship and front the media to announce that the $20 rebate cut for short GP visits was now “off the table”.

Editorial: War and terror—desperate moves from a desperate government

Abbott’s terrorism scare is a desperate ploy from a deeply unpopular government.

Wave of Islamophobia stirred up from above

Tony Abbott’s terror scare has led to a vicious wave of racism against the Muslim community. Abbott has taken every opportunity to stoke division.

New terror laws will let ASIO off the leash

The government is using hysteria about terrorism to deliver a major boost to ASIO and police powers. They’ve devised an enormous number of new and modified anti-terror laws to make it easier to conduct surveillance and charge people with terrorism-related offences.

ACTU plans another marginal seats campaign

The ACTU’S recently produced “Campaign Operational Plan: defending the living standards of working Australians” confims what we already knew. Firstly that the ACTU has given up campaigning to Bust the Budget; and secondly, that its campaign to defeat Abbott is overwhelmingly focussed on campaigning in marginal seats.

Don’t wind down the fight against Abbott’s budget

Tony Abbott has signally failed to win support for his budget—either from the public or from the Senate. Yet far too many of Abbott’s opponents seem prepared to let the fight against the budget peter out.

ACTU industrial strategy won’t stop budget measures

The ACTU has announced what is says is an industrial strategy to fight the budget. The recognition that unions have the power to fight the budget through strike action to make bosses pay is welcome.

Abbott’s opportunism over M17 stokes imperialist tensions

The shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines MH17 over rebel held territory in eastern Ukraine is a terrible tragedy. It has cost 289 lives, including 37 Australian citizens and permanent...

Are the unions too weak to beat Abbott?

In the face of Abbott’s budget attacks on workers’ living standards, James Supple looks at whether union decline prevents the movement fighting back

Keep pushing for strike action as unions start to move

The fight to “bust the budget” took a step forward on 6 July, with the first day of action called by the unions. The opening of the new Senate has shown the difficulties Tony Abbott faces.

Bust the Budget rallies can mark the beginning of the fightback we need

Up to 20,000 marched across the country on Sunday 6 July to bust Abbott’s budget, as part of a national coordinated union day of protest.

Welfare review signals more attacks on disabled and poor

Abbott wasn’t satisfied with the welfare cuts meted out in the Budget. The interim report of the government’s welfare review signals that more cuts and changes to welfare are on the cards.

As budget anger grows: It’s time to strike back at Abbott

Abbott’s budget is the most unpopular in a generation, with greater public opposition even than the horror budget John Howard delivered straight after his election in 1996. The Liberals...

Melbourne unions stop work to stop Abbott

Melbourne got a taste of the power that could stop Abbott when over 20,000 workers joined a weekday stopwork rally to bust the budget on 12 June.

It’s time to fight and strike Abbott out

Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget has produced widespread outrage and anger right across the community. It is the most savage attack on welfare and workers since former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard’s “horror budget” in 1996.

Abbott’s budget: Ruling for corporations and the rich

Treasurer Joe Hockey is in no urgent rush to slash the deficit, with cutbacks contributing just $1 billion in savings over the next year. What he wants to do is entrench fundamental, neo-liberal changes to the health system, universities and welfare over the long term.

Abbott out to force health costs onto workers and the poor

The Liberals’ $7 GP fee is designed to undermine Medicare as a universal health system and entrench the principle of user-pays in health.

Editorial: Abbott targets us for cuts so rich can keep their loot

Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey are lining up an ever-growing list of possible cuts for the May budget. Hockey says that “Every Australian is going to be asked to contribute to the Budget repair”—but the budget cuts are not aimed at the rich.

Abbott and Labor both punished in WA election

Both major parties received a kicking from voters in the WA Senate election re-run in March.

Fight Abbott’s attack on unions and CFMEU

Tony Abbott's Royal Commission witch hunt into the unions has begun, with its first hearing held in early April. Abbott’s “concern” about union corruption is a thinly-veiled attack the right to strike and routine union activity.

Nurses delegate: ‘The $6 Medicare fee is just the beginning’

Frances Usherwood works as a clinical nurse educator in a Paediatric hospital, and is a NSW Nurses and Midwives Association delegate and branch assistant secretary. Below is part of her speech to a Solidarity meeting in Sydney recently.

Liberals’ aim to boost racism, not free speech

The Liberals’ moves to water down the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) will give confidence to racists everywhere. Attorney General George Brandis has cited the court finding against notorious right-wing media celebrity Andrew Bolt in 2011 as the trigger for the changes.

March in March shows: Abbott can be beaten

The phenomenal turnout at the March in March rallies shows the possibilities for a fightback against Tony Abbott. Organisers estimate 115,000 people took part across the country.

Axe flies at Qantas—but where’s the fight for jobs?

Tony Abbott has cheered on the announcement of 5000 job cuts at Qantas, salivating at the prospect of a company prepared to take on the unions. But neither Labor nor the union leaders are prepared to back the fight to save the jobs that is sorely needed.

Public sector facing Abbott’s job cuts, pay freeze

Abbott came to power promising 12,000 job cuts in the public service. Already this has risen to 14,500 over four years, after discovering Labor had already factored these cuts into the budget before it left office.

The myth of soaring welfare costs

The Liberals’ claims that welfare spending is unaffordable and must be reined in don’t stack up, argues Daisy Farnham

After March: Grassroots resistance and union action can drive out Abbott

Every week Tony Abbott’s government unveils new horror plans. To get him out, we need to build ongoing grassroots resistance.

As Abbott lines up attacks, prepare to fight

More of Tony Abbott’s real plan for Australia has been revealed—and it’s ugly.

Softening up for cuts to jobs and services at Australia Post begins

As the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit prepares its war path against public services and public sector workers, Australia Post looks to be squarely in the firing line.

Liberals have always dreamed of killing Medicare

The plan for a $6 co-payment fee for every bulk-billed visit to a GP has generated anger across the country. Health Minister Peter Dutton is on the attack claiming that health spending is “unsustainable”.

Hands off Medicare, stop Abbott’s cuts: United action can beat the Liberals

OVER 1000 people joined a demonstration in Sydney today to demand Tony Abbott keep his hands off Medicare and stop his planned wave of cuts to services and jobs....

Outrage and anger shows Abbott can be fought

Incredibly, just months after he came to power, both Newspoll and Nielsen polls revealed in December that Abbott has slumped to a position where he would now lose an election. The government has over-reached on a whole number of issues.

Same-sex marriage anger turning on Abbott

Abbott and the Coalition should have been celebrating a victory when the High Court overturned the ACT’s same-sex marriage legislation. But their attempt to stick with a minority position against same-sex marriage is not doing the Coalition any favours.

The Liberals lie: we can afford Medicare

The Liberals claim that healthcare costs are rising so fast that they will be “unsustainable” without cutbacks. But this is only because they want to reduce taxes on corporations and the rich.

Abbott has the unions in his sights

Tony Abbott deliberately portrayed himself as an industrial relations moderate before the election. But he is no moderate. On the second day of the new parliament he passed laws re-establishing the Howard-era anti-union Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Abbott’s corporate agenda means Aboriginal assimilation

Not content with the devastation of six years of the NT intervention, Tony Abbott went to the election insisting he would be the “Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. He has wasted no time in launching a new wave of attacks on Aboriginal communities.

Turn back Abbott – not the boats

In its desperation to “stop the boats” the Abbott government has secretly resorted to intercepting and towing boats back to Indonesian waters. After Indonesia denied entry to two Australian navy ships carrying asylum seekers in November last year, it seems that there have been at least five asylum boats turned back by the Australian navy since Abbott was elected.

Christmas Island protests rock Morrison

The protest that has erupted inside the Christmas Island detention centres is the largest to confront the government since the protest and fire that destroyed the Nauru detention camp on 19 July 2013.

Outpouring of protest after visa denied to gay Pakistani man Ali Choudry

A petition campaign to support the visa application of Ali Choudry generated huge support in a matter of hours in January.

Nationalise Holden: fight for every job

After 64 years manufacturing in Australia, and taking billions in government subsidies, General Motors Holden has announced its Australian factories will close in 2017. At least 3000 workers face the sack and up to 45,000 jobs in the auto component industry are at risk.

Nationalise Holden — we need a fight to save every job

After 64 years manufacturing cars in Australia, making billions in profit, and taking billions in government subsidies, General Motors Holden has announced its Australian factories will close in 2017....

Liberals slash while Australia burns

The bushfire season began shockingly early this year. This is exactly what climate scientists are telling us to expect as the climate warms. And now in another devastating climate tragedy, 10,000 people have been killed by Tyhphon Haiyan in the Phillipines.

Liberals’ arrogance and lies already on show

The Liberals’ lies and rule for the rich agenda are now on full display.

Homophobic Abbott exposed by ACT same-sex marriage challenge

The ACT has become the first state or territory in Australia to recognise same-sex marriage, in a move that increases the pressure on Tony Abbott and is an important blow against homophobia. Darlene Cox, who is making plans to marry her partner in the ACT, told ABC, “It’s fantastic, it feels great. This is about enhancing my rights.”

No mandate: Abbott can be beaten

Tony Abbott, a right-wing neo-liberal infamous for his misogyny and social conservatism, is moving into The Lodge. Millions are horrified about what his government will do. But Abbott won’t...

Abbott’s plan of attack: what can we expect?

Tony Abbott outlined precious few plans for government before the election. His immediate plan is to implement new punitive refugee policies. He wants to introduce legislation to repeal the...

TPV refugee speaks: ‘it was a psychological battle’

Tony Abbott is planning on reintroducing Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs), a Howard government policy initially proposed by Pauline Hanson. TPVs mean that those granted refugee status will be denied...

Don’t bomb Syria: no Australian support

US air strikes on Syria have been delayed to allow President Bashar Al-Assad the chance to surrender his stockpiles of chemical weapons. But US President Barack Obama is still...

First term fightback: How struggle nearly buried Howard

As Abbott takes the reins, James Supple looks at the mass anger against Howard’s cuts and racism that nearly toppled his government in its first term John Howard's election in...

No mandate: Abbott can be beaten

Tony Abbott, a right-wing neo-liberal infamous for his misogyny and social conservatism, is moving into The Lodge. Millions are horrified about what this government will do. But Abbott won't...

Hall Greenland: “The best opposition to Abbott is The Greens”

Hall Greenland, a longtime left-wing activist, is The Greens candidate for the seat of Grayndler in Sydney’s inner west. Hall participated in the Freedom Ride for Aboriginal rights and...

Labor’s budget cuts begin Abbott’s work early

Rather than use their last budget to provide real change, Labor have imposed sweeping cuts that Abbott will be happy to keep when he more than likely comes to...

Abbott: WorkChoices wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Keep quiet on industrial relations—until now, that was the Coalition’s plan for sweeping to power come 14 September. But after coming under serious pressure from business groups and the...

Inside the system

MP Kate Ellis says starving single parents to work is ‘fantastic’ Employment Participation Minister Kate Ellis has crawled into a moral sewer, describing the Gillard government’s success in starving 4000...

Climate, jobs, single parents: put the heat on Gillard

Fires and record heat waves have once again driven the reality of climate change back into focus. The record temperatures across Australia have made headlines around the world. Any...

Catastrophic fires—pathetic climate policies the elephant in the room

With a new record-breaking heat wave producing catastrophic fires across the country, why is there so little discussion about climate change? The severity of the heatwave has set off alarm...

Ramp up the fight against state Liberals

The 10,000 workers that marched through Brisbane against Campbell Newman in September showed the anger at state Liberal government cuts. In NSW, thousands of public servants joined a PSA...

Gillard’s anti-sexism hypocrisy

Was it the “real Julia” on display or was it a politician desperately trying to cover up an inglorious political history and her own hypocrisy? But, then, that is...

Turn the axe around on the state Liberals

If elections were held in Queensland tomorrow, Premier Campbell Newman would lose his own seat. After trouncing Labor only a few months ago, millions of Queenslanders are now realising that...

Stop the refugee bashing, no offshore processing

The Gillard-appointed expert panel on asylum seekers panel is set to bring down its report. The Labor Cabinet will consider the report on Monday August 13. Sydney Morning Herald...

Labor’s carbon tax is good for nothing, except Abbott

The introduction of the carbon tax has proven what was obvious from the beginning—that ordinary people, not big business, will be paying for a useless carbon tax. Far from making...

Class war? Not from Labor

As opinion polls for Labor keep falling, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan are trying to recast the government as the friend of working people. But their timidity and mixed...

After Malaysia: smash Labor’s pro-business model

Labor has hit rock bottom. Julia Gillard has thrown human rights overboard in her bid to outflank Abbott from the right over refugees. Incredibly, her efforts have allowed Tony Abbott...

Debate: should we defend the carbon tax?

The carbon tax has been a subject of much debate on the left and in the trade union movement. We asked NSW Greens MP John Kaye why he thinks...

Howard’s Pacific Solution didn’t stop the boats

Throughout the 2010 federal election, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison proclaimed that, “We stopped the boats before, we can stop the boats again.” But a closer look at...

Backing tax on workers no way to stop Abbott

Tony Abbott, backed by radio shock jocks, climate deniers and the big polluters lobby, has called for a “people’s revolt” against a carbon tax. About 1500 even turned out...

Labor’s more detention policy: they’re not getting children out of detention

Despite it being a blatant lie, since 2007, successive Labor Immigration ministers have publicly declared that no children were in detention. They hid behind the technicality that detention facilities were not...

Gillard holds on: Now Greens must shift Labor to the left

By securing the support of Greens MP Adam Bandt and key ex-National independents Julia Gillard has held on to power—but only just. The fact that we have come so...

Mistake to treat Labor and Liberal the same

It is a mistake to condemn both Labor and Liberal as just as bad as each other, as many on the left did during the election campaign.

Union power could strike Abbott out

IN 2007, the mass union mobilisations through the Your Rights at Work campaign were the central force driving John Howard from office. It beggars belief that only three years...

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