Politics

The dirty secret of opponents of penalty rates

With thanks to Rob Corr Recently, there has been a rush of business lobby groups from the retail and hospitality sectors talking about the terrible evils of weekend penalty rates. Not, let’s be clear, the penalty rates received by paramedics, nurses or fire fighters. No, the dastardly culprit is penalty rates received by the lowest …

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Is this the future of unions?

There is a tide starting to rise in the world of progressive activism, and unions in Australia and globally may get caught in it. The tide is comprised of decentralised, leaderless, temporary movements, empowered by online organising platforms like MoveOn, Change.org, Avaaz, Twitter and Facebook. These platforms have given everyday people unprecedented power to come …

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Abbott’s corporate-change plans for Australia

Tony Abbott and his gang of extremist conservative ministers have wasted little time unpicking the century-old social compact in Australia. They’re targeting education, health care, penalty rates, our international obligations, antagonising our neighbours, trashing our natural heritage and violating long-standing Cabinet conventions. But the Abbott Gang’s actions are not random. They’re part of a well-established …

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Should Australian progressives pay attention to George Lakoff?

We live in a post-fact world. I assert this for two reasons. Firstly, because it crystallises the conservative approach to public discourse, which is largely exemplified by lying, lying loudly and lying often. Secondly, because increasing scientific research demonstrates that most people don’t use facts and evidence to form views and attitudes, or influence behaviour. …

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Abbott laughed at Australia’s hottest year on record

This is a mix of old and new. 2013 has been the hottest year on record for Australia, and the seventh hottest year on record. According a report from the Climate Council, we experienced the hottest January on record in 2013, the hottest summer and the hottest day ever recorded in Australia (also in January). …

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