Posted: November 18, 2015 by Admin in At the coalface, Class Matters, Commodification, Economics, John Key, Labour Party NZ, Limits of capitalism, National Party NZ, New Zealand history, New Zealand politics, Pike River disaster, Political & economic power, Unions - NZ, Workers history, Workers' rights, Workplace injuries and deaths
Tomorrow, November 19, marks the 5th aniversary of the deaths of 29 mine workers at Pike River.
These workers didn’t die in one of those freak tragic accidents that just happens and nothing much could have stopped it.
Their deaths were the result of a combination of dangerous conditions and poor safety. Neither National (who were the government at the time) nor Labour (who were in power when the mine was created and who gave it the go ahead) nor the EPMU (whose leader was current Labour Party leader Andrew Little, who supported the mine and OKed its safety) come out of this well.
National would rather the whole thing was brushed under the carpet, while Labour and the EPMU leadership would prefer all the blame was placed on National.
There should have been a major, national campaign around the Pike River deaths. There wasn’t because Key moved adroitly to defuse the issue and kill it with sympathy, while both Labour and the CTU had no interest in such a public campaign because it would lead to awkward questions about their own duplicity.
What happened at Pike River indicates the urgent need for workers to take control of on-the-job safety. It also indicates the wider need for a new working class movement. One based on the actual needs of workers, rather than career politicians and company profits. And that means, too, no union links with or support for capitalist parties like Labour. And it means the election and right of recall in relation to all union officials.
Please circulate the links to the articles below as widely as possible.
And, if you’re interested in the idea of building a working class current across the labour movement and the wider working class – most workers not being unionised – please get in touch with us.
Posted: November 16, 2015 by Admin in Lebanon, Middle East, Terrorism
Emergency personnel gather at the site of a twin suicide bombing in Burj al-Barajneh, in the southern suburbs of the capital Beirut on November 12, 2015 (AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO)
While the Western media has focused on the bombings in Paris, dozens were killed and hundreds injured the previous night by bombings in Beirut. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombings, having targeted Shi’a areas (IS sees Shi’a Muslims as being apostates). Below is a PFLP statement put out just after the bombings, before IS claimed them; the PFLP, understandably but incorrectly, attributes them to the Israeli ‘intelligence’ – ie Israeli state-terrorist outfit – Mossad.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) writes:
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine denounced the horrific criminal bombings in Bourj al-Barajneh, in southern Beirut on Thursday evening, which killed dozens and injured hundreds in a working-class neighborhood that has always been a home of dignity and resistance. Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, the Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP, sent his sincere condolences to the Lebanese people and to the Lebanese resistance in the face of this crime.
In an interview on Al-Mayadeen TV, Fuad said that the massacre bears the hallmarks of the Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 16, 2015 by Admin in At the coalface, Banking and financial services, capitalist crisis, Capitalist ideology, Commodification, Economics, Limits of capitalism, Marxism, Political & economic power, Poverty & Inequality, World economy
by Michael Roberts
Most years I attend the London conference of the Historical Materialism journal. This brings together academics and others to present papers and discuss issues from a generally Marxist viewpoint. This year I presented a paper on whether rising inequality causes crises under capitalism (Does inequality causes crises). My session was well attended and the audience included many of the small band of Marxist economist s around at the moment.
The gist of what I said was this. Rising inequality of income and wealth in the major economies has become a popular thesis among both mainstream and heterodox economists. The thesis is founded on the arguments that wages as a share of GDP have been falling in the major economies. This creates a gap between demand and supply, or a tendency to underconsumption. That gap was filled by an explosion of debt, particularly household debt. It is also encouraged financial institutions to engage in riskier financial investments that exposed them to eventual disaster. The credit boom fuelled a housing bubble but eventually that burst and the house of cards came tumbling down. QED?
My paper attempted to refute this theory of crisis with the following simple Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 13, 2015 by Admin in At the coalface, Australian politics, Capitalist ideology, Class Matters, Community organising, Cover ups, Democracy movements, Greens, Human rights, Imperialism and anti-imperialism, Internationalism, John Key, Labour Party NZ, Limits of capitalism, Morbid symptoms, National Party NZ, New Zealand politics, Political & economic power, Political prisoners, Poverty & Inequality, State capitalism, State repression, Unions - NZ
Protest called by Global Peace and Justice (Auckland) and supported by Unite trade union, Australian Consulate, Auckland, Wednesday, Nov 11
by Philip Ferguson
As a major article we put up on this blog a few days noted in some detail, the detention of people on Christmas Island is a horrendous breach of human rights (see here). Even usually bland NZ TV reporters and commentators have felt compelled to criticise the treatment of asylum-seekers, refugees and NZ citizens facing deportation from ‘The Lucky Country’. Finally having had enough of the mistreatment a section of those being held in what is effectively a concentration camp on the island, led it seems by NZ deportees, staged a revolt on Sunday night/Monday morning (see here). The revolt has been put down by the authorities and some of those sick of being treated liked abused animals have been removed to prison in Perth and potentially face serious charges.
There is no indication so far from the Australian government that any changes will be made to the regime and conditions at the concentration camp, let alone any rethink around asylum and refugee issues or around the deportation of what are really Australians – but happen to hold NZ citizenship – back to this side of the ditch.
The terrible situation and conditions of the detainees on Christmas Island – desperate asylum-seekers and NZers facing deportation back here, to a country they may not have lived in for decades – is, however, being lost in the stage performances being put on by very comfortable $150,000-a-year-plus-benefits-and-allowances middle class politicians who seem to think it’s all about them. (And that’s just the salary of a ‘lowly’ MP.)
Key clearly Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 10, 2015 by Admin in Alienation, At the coalface, Australian Labor Party, Australian politics, Class Matters, Imperialism and anti-imperialism, Internationalism, John Key, Labour Party NZ, Limits of capitalism, Migration, National Party NZ, New Zealand history, New Zealand politics, Open Borders/Immigration Controls, Police, Political & economic power, State repression, Uprisings/insurrections/rebellions
The detention centre on Christmnas Island is really a concentration camp
Press release earlier today by Refugee Action Coalition in Australia:
Around 50 people have spent the night on the oval (green zone) of Christmas Island detention centre, as more police and Serco guards gather on the perimeter of the centre.
As of 2.30am Christmas Island time, no attempt had been made by police or guards to re-enter the detention centre. Late yesterday, television had been cut off to the centre. Some food had been left at the gate of the centre and detainees told to collect it. Armed police and others in full riot gear can be seen outside the detention fences. Detainees report that drones have been circulating over the centre and the Federal police have been issuing instructions through a megaphone to ‘dump any weapons and return to your rooms.’
Most detainees have remained in the accommodation blocks in any case. “The government talks about ‘restoring order’ in the centre, but restoring order to the riot police and Serco’s Emergency Response Team will only mean a return of the brutal rule of force inside the detention centre, that led to the explosion on Christmas Island.
“The ‘behavioural management’ regime inside Christmas Island is reminiscent of the behaviour familiar in Read the rest of this entry »