It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

Who downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17? #100daysofblogging #day46

MH17My first thought this morning was “Fuck. This can’t be real”.

But it was. Almost 300 civilian lives lost after Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 was shot out of the sky as in eastern Ukraine. Who shot the plane down remains unclear.

Immediately, I could hear Tony Abbott beating the war drums in my head.

I knew he would blame Russia. I knew the media circus would come out accusing Russia before long too. Fear sells, and what’s more scary than a Russian aggressor?

Who cares about establishing the facts first, right?

Strategically, it makes no sense for the separatists in Eastern Ukraine to shoot down this plane. There is no ‘strategic win’ for them in this situation. It also makes no sense for Russia, what could they possibly have won by blowing up this civilian aircraft?

Continue reading Who downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17? #100daysofblogging #day46

Israel, Gaza and the occupation of Palestine #100daysofblogging #Day41

Balfour Declaration in 1917, a letter from the British Foreign Minister to Baron Walter Rothschild of the Jewish banking dynasty, declaring British support for the establishment of a Zionist state on Palestinian lands.

A look at the LONG LIST of UN Resolutions will reveal the history of Israeli aggression in Palestine, and the role the UK, France and more recently the US have played in it. The UK and France even helped Israel seize the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956.

The Israel ‘Defence’ Force have been an aggressor since establishment and in recent years have been forcing a long term ‘State of Siege’ on the people of Palestine. In the West Bank, Israel even decides who gets water, when and how much.

Continue reading Israel, Gaza and the occupation of Palestine #100daysofblogging #Day41

USA, Maliki, ISIS and Iraq’s Sunni – It’s a long story. #100daysofblogging #Day15

ISIS - Made in the USASince I posted about the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Shams (ISIS) ‘seizing’ Mosul a few days ago, my understanding of the situation has progressed.

While it is true Mosul has fallen out of control of the Iraqi government and that ISIS flags have been raised, it is not clear that a Jihadist element is “in control’ of Mosul.

I have had conversations with Iraqi friends and they all certainly confirm the ‘fall’ of Mosul.

However, suggestions about who is ‘in control’ of Mosul vary. There are rumours of “Saddam’s men” being involved. Equally there are reports of foreign Jihadi’s and local sectarian militias. The reality is likely to be all three are involved.

They have been since the early days of the occupation of Iraq in 2003.

When I see reports suggesting Jihadist ISIS has $2.5bn worth of assets after ‘taking’ Mosul, I’m sceptical. There are a lot of things I’m sceptical about with the reporting of the situation, actually (read Juan Cole’s 7 myths).

I do not believe Baghdad is under any ‘threat’ of being captured by ISIS. They have no support base there. There is no way they could hold it. Continue reading USA, Maliki, ISIS and Iraq’s Sunni – It’s a long story. #100daysofblogging #Day15