A client state


This issue of New Matilda is posted as the US polls close. Pointless to speculate further on this contest which has looked like Spiderman 2. Who should be the next leader of the Free World seems like a no brainer from the outside, but whether spiderwebs or brute force can stop a runaway train remains to be seen.

Andrew West wants to believe that John Kerry will win a spectacular victory. Chris Gilbert describes a US country-city divide that feels familiar. Whatever the final outcome, our client status will remain while John Howard is Australia’s Prime Minister with power unprecedented since Federation. Don Russell, Paul Keating’s Chief of Staff, analyses the almost complete erosion of checks and balances and his conclusion is chilling.

So is Arnold Zable on the collective amnesia around the tragedy of SIEV X and Jessica Perini on the suffering of eleven Sri Lankan men still being held in Baxter.

Gillian Bouras writes from her own experience of suicide and ponders the kind of society we need to be if we are to start changing the statistics. Eva Cox argues for abandoning the outdated rhetoric of disadvantage where women’s policy is concerned. Hannah Stone dismisses the Buy Australia campaigns as self-serving and short-sighted.

John Menadue believes that now is the time to start developing a radical health policy and Stephen Duckett wants the Labor Party to stick to its guns on Medicare Gold.

It’s an issue with not a lot of laughs.

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