The Guardian • Issue #2011


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2011

A historical perspective brings into sharper focus US imperialism’s strategies in the Asia-Pacific since WW2. The victory over fascism – German Nazism and Japanese militarism, first and foremost by the Soviet Union – gave a greater impetus to national liberation movements around the world accelerating the end of colonialism. UN General Assembly resolution 2758, passed on 25th October 1971, recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as “the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations” and removed “the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek” – Taiwan – from the United Nations. US wars “against communism” in the region, with participation from compliant Australian governments, against Korea and Vietnam, were both defeats for the big power.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) sent a warning to be vigilant about aged care, that lack of government action to fix aged care has led to hundreds and hundreds of preventable deaths in privately-run nursing homes across the country. The Department of Health’s “COVID-19 outbreaks in Australian residential aged care facilities” update reports there have been 2,335 COVID deaths in aged care, more than 30 per cent of all deaths from COVID in Australia, with 1,418 COVID deaths reported in 2022 alone. Alarmingly, the data reveals that COVID continues to claim the lives of more than 60 elderly residents living in nursing homes every week. Over the past decade, consecutive Coalition governments have treated the aged care system with absolute disdain – and which is why aged care in this country is in such crisis and elderly Australians continue to die and suffer, says the union. After two and a half years of dealing with the pandemic, then Prime Minster Morrison and the Minister responsible for aged care, Richard Colbeck, instead of increasing protection for older Australians against COVID, allowed the situation to get worse. These deaths came on top of the Aged Care Royal Commission’s report which outlined a system where the extent of substandard care is “deeply concerning and unacceptable by any measure.” A system where more than fifty per cent of nursing home residents are malnourished, where less than thirty per cent always have their care needs met and a disproportionate number have been allowed to die from COVID-19. “The ANMF and our members have a duty of care to tell Australians that the Morrison government’s inaction has resulted in too many preventable deaths in privately-run nursing homes – and we must warn that the neglect and abuse in nursing homes will continue unless we vote for real solutions to fix aged care.”

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Shell oil’s floating LNG plant Prelude, off the WA coast, is a prelude to a disaster with crew forced to work under oppressive, dangerous conditions, including 200 smoke and fire alarms out of action. Industrial action by the Offshore Alliance (Maritime Union and Australian Workers’ Union) began last week. Last December the gas ship was shut down in a complete power failure. The Alliance stated: “The actions of Shell are putting the health, safety and lives of all crew members at risk.” A statement by Shell assured shareholders that the alarm issue did not affect production.

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