The Guardian • Issue #2065


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2065

Some readers might remember the Michael Moore show Sicko about the US for-profit health system, where he campaigned for a patient to have a life-saving pancreas operation after a health fund had refused to approve it. That public campaign was successful. How many US citizens are not so lucky? That’s what the Albanese government wants in Australia, bean-counters in a for-profit insurance company dictating treatment. Firstly, the government wants to completely privatise the health system, like everything else. The people whose interests the Albanese government represents – first and foremost the rapacious mining transnationals and arms manufacturers – are diametrically opposed to the provision of any service by government while at the same time eating up their corporate welfare of tax breaks and government handouts. The ALP has now openly joined with the Liberals who have always been philosophically opposed to the pillars of Medicare and our public hospital system: universal access, comprehensive cover, bulkbilling, and no-fee public hospitals. The way forward for a better health system is through the strengthening of Medicare with universal access to bulkbilling for medical and dental services, a greater focus on preventative health care and doctors on salaries rather than being paid per consultation.

The involvement of US, EU, and NATO in the coup that gave over control to fascist groupings in Ukraine exposes the drive to change the geopolitical balance in Europe in ways that threaten security and peace in Europe and the world. In addition, the coup has given encouragement to right-wing and fascist forces across Europe. The US would also like to see Russia lose its veto powers on the UN Security Council and, as a result, we have seen the “cold war” against Russia intensify. Any escalation by the West of the situation on the Crimean peninsula raises the prospect of war, which could spread well beyond the borders of Ukraine and Russia.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: is the Albanese government’s criminal treatment of asylum seekers. An Egyptian refugee, Sayed Abdellatif, long denied a permanent visa on dubious security grounds was finally been granted a security clearance by ASIO almost a month ago. The security clearance removed any obstacle to Sayed being freed, but, almost one month since being cleared, the Albanese Labor government is still holding Sayed in detention. No explanation for his continued detention has been given. After his numerous requests to be freed were ignored, Sayed began a hunger strike on 17th July. Sayed has been in detention more than eleven years since arriving by boat with his family in 2012. “It is absurd that Sayed has to resort to hunger striking for his freedom,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The only reason he was not granted a visa was because of the adverse ASIO security assessment. That reason is gone; the Minister has the power to grant the visa and free Sayed. Justice delayed is justice denied is an apt saying, and justice for Sayed is certainly being denied.” Sayed’s initial adverse security assessment was based on discredited information extracted under torture during a trial in Egypt in 1999.  “The government has been sitting on Sayed’s security clearance since 6th July. It needs to act immediately to release Sayed,” said Rintoul.

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