The Guardian • Issue #2101


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2101

Following on from last week’s target of US wars of aggression and intervention beginning from the end of WW2, Italy, this week, Greece 1947-49: The US intervened in the civil war, taking the side of the fascists against the Greek left which had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists instituted a brutal regime, for which the CIA created a new internal security agency, KYP. Before long, KYP was carrying out all the practices of the secret police, including systematic torture.

A few thoughts sparked by Anna Pha’s excellent report on the federal budget in last week’s Guardian. The headline “More for war in a class budget” brings its class component-parts into focus. The budget advances the interests of the corporations, and serves the international political and economic objectives of those corporations and their preparations for war.

The process of reducing taxes on companies and high-income earners has been going on for a long time: It took a giant step forward when the Goods and Services Tax was introduced on July 1, 2000, increasing workers’ cost of living. The introduction of the GST was associated with the decision to reduce company tax from 36 cents in the dollar to 30 cents.

Not that companies pay this amount of tax anyway. By smart accounting methods and the many loopholes deliberately provided by governments in tax laws, big corporations are able to substantially reduce their tax payments or to avoid paying tax at all.

In addition to tax freebies, governments make many direct handouts to businesses, and give concessions in their charges for various service – rail freight, electricity tariffs, water supply, the special provision of roads, subsidy payments, allowances for depreciation and R&D, to name but a few.

Billions of dollars were funnelled to private insurance companies during the Howard government to promote the private health sector and to undermine Medicare. It’s still happening.

On the other hand, the services to wage and salary earners, which were won in struggle over a period of many years, are being slashed. The introduction of ‘user pays’ and the reduction of funding to public education and public health services are other measures being used to boost private enterprise (private schools, private hospitals, private TAFE schools and the introduction of university fees) while forcing working people to pay for what was previously provided by governments out of tax revenue.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: is the NSW Labor government. The construction union has hit out at NSW Premier Chris Minns’ decision to sack Labor MP Anthony D’Adam from his role as a parliamentary secretary. D’Adam stood up for civil liberties when raising concerns about the approach of NSW Police’s Public Order and Riot Squad at a peaceful pro-Palestine protest he attended.

The Construction Forestry and Maritime Employees Union (CFMEU) has written to Minns, asking him to reverse his decision in the interest of upholding democratic principles around the right to protest.

CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith stated: “This is a matter of principle. Punishing someone for simply standing up for the right to peaceful protest is an affront to every person who believes in democracy. Whether it’s on our streets or in our public universities, the growing opposition to peaceful protests standing up against a genocide is outrageous.

“The same so-called free speech warriors from Australia’s political right are nothing but hypocrites obsessed with censoring any criticism of the Israeli government’s war, which has killed tens of thousands of innocent people. The CFMEU fiercely rejects NSW protest laws designed to trample free speech by threatening to throw peaceful activists in jail.”

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