Public disgust at Bronwyn Bishop's $5000 helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong is entirely justified. However, Tony Abbott's “root and branch” review of politicians' “entitlements” is designed to whitewash, not solve, the problem.

After all, it is not as if we haven't had “root and branch” inquiries into politicians' entitlements before.

The last such review, in 2010, made 39 recommendations but only 17 were implemented — and some of those only in part.

The results of the recent Australian Labor Party (ALP) conference vote on boat turnbacks shows why building a progressive alternative to the left of the ALP in Australia today is urgently needed.

On the weekend of July 18 and 19 there was another round of right-wing Reclaim Australia (RA) protests. The stated aim of RA and its offshoot, the United Patriots Front (UPF), was to defend what they call “Australian values” from the threat of “Islamicisation”.

The Socialist Alliance condemns the effective imposition of colonial status on Greece by the ruling institutions of the European Union (EU), which represent the interests of the big banks whose speculative excesses contributed in great part to the accumulation of the “Greek debt” they are now seeking to recover.

When the Greek people voted “no” to creditor demands by 61.5%, the ECB tightened the screws even more. It is clear the Troika wants total surrender — to hammer home the message that “there is no alternative”. In reality, the only fair way out of the crisis is to write off the debt that is not just unpayable — as even the IMF admits behind closed doors — but illegitimate.

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the Syriza-led government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015 on whether to accept the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new course free from the debilitating stranglehold of the “troika” - the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.  

The Socialist Alliance is proud to support the rally in solidarity with the people of Greece on Sunday June 28, 12 noon, Martin Place, Sydney, organised by Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign.

If you suspect that neoliberal capitalist governments, including the Australian government, act as kleptocracies for the richest 1% and the large corporations, you have good reason to.

The Tony Abbott government’s illegal “Turn Back the Boats” policy is under further scrutiny, following media revelations that in late May, Australian customs officials paid $US30,000 to six crew members on a boat carrying 65 asylum-seekers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, which was heading to New Zealand, from Indonesia.

Marriage Equality has come to Ireland through a popular referendum. The result was hailed by the May 23 New York Times as placing Ireland “at the vanguard of social change”.

The campaign against racism and the far right needs needs a clear understanding of racism and fascism and how to fight these threats.

by Dr. Radut