The Guardian • Issue #2034


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2034

Scott Morrison’s secret multiple portfolios has nothing on the dual role of PM Albanese and Defence Minister Richard Marles as salesmen/lobbyists for the arms manufacturers. The couple have announced a new bundle of death to fuel the conflict in Ukraine, proudly from “Australian suppliers.” They include another thirty Bushmaster armoured vehicles to add to the sixty troop carriers, twenty-eight M113 armoured personnel carriers, anti-tank missiles, $32 million to buy drones and more, totalling $655 million thus far. Australian personnel are in Britain training 5000 Ukrainian soldiers “in basic warfighting.” As Marles put it, helping “our Ukrainian mates.”

“You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society. In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so: that is just what we intend” – Communist Manifesto.

In the case of national airline Qantas, under the Hawke-Keating Labor government public property was given over to the private profit vultures. Here’s one of them – Qantas chairman Richard Goyder – striking out against wage rises: “It’s often portrayed Qantas plays hardball in wage deals. It’s true we have threshold requirements and look for improvements in productivity.” Last week the major shareholders, the ones who get to vote, gave Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce a package of shares worth $4 million on top of his $2.17 million salary. And productivity? In 2020 Qantas outsourced its baggage handling, 1700 jobs wiped. The Federal Court found the outsourcing to be illegal: Qantas is challenging the decision in the High Court.

Following along the privatisation line, the Albanese government has begun an inquiry into Medicare “fraud.” It comes on the crest of a media wave of hyperbole with headlines such as “Revealed: $8b Medicare scandal.” Governments don’t initiate inquires unless they know the outcome and the outcome of this one will be funding sliced away and parts of the system outsourced. The trigger for this attack on the universal health provider is Dr Margaret Faux, whose PhD in Medicare revealed the aforementioned shock-horror $8 billion. That’s a hell of a PhD. I will simply note here the dictionary meaning of faux: made in imitation, artificial, not genuine, fake, false.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: The brutal clampdown by Israeli forces continues with more Palestinians killed in the occupied territories. Four were shot and killed by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank last week. Two others were shot dead by Israeli forces in Jenin, while four others suffered gunshot wounds, the Palestinian health ministry said. The deaths were announced as the Israeli army said it was carrying out a raid in the northern West Bank city. Another Palestinian was killed earlier after Israeli forces raided the town of Beit Duqu, north-west of Jerusalem. Deadly raids on Palestinian towns and refugee camps have been carried out by Israeli forces on a near-daily basis.

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