Adam Creighton is the Economics Editor for The Australian and has written for The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. For the past couple of months he's been highly critical of the Australian government's economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has called for the immediate easing of restrictions.
I asked Adam to sketch out his critique of the response and his concerns about its economic impact, as well as discussing the Swedish, economic "trade-offs", the "statistical value of life" (it's $4.4m, apparently), the joys of tax and what kind of changes he does (and doesn't) want to see once the pandemic passes.
Cause of the Week: Alcoholics Anonymous (aa.org.au)
Mark Humphries is a comedian who regularly makes satirical sketches for the ABC's 7:30 along with Evan Williams. He always makes me laugh and I've been lucky enough to become friends with him over the past few years.
Mark joined me via Zoom from deep in the heart of the ABC to discuss his politics, his (haphazard) journey into comedy (featuring some stories involving ME!!!), Mark Latham and the state of Australian right-wing media craziness and the limits of satirising it. We had a good ol' giggle and we barely talked about coronavirus at all.
Cause of the Week: Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (msra.org.au)
Nick McKim is a Tasmanian senator and the co-deputy leader of The Australian Greens.
He joined me via Zoom (sorry) from Tasmania to discuss the Morrison government's (sometimes okay but generally shitty) response to the COVID crisis, the neoliberal Labor Party, how this pandemic affects folks in immigration detention and the current Greens' plebiscite on the election of the federal leader.
Tash Heenan and Anna Sturman are ecosocialist academics who are writing about and organising around the possibilities of a Green New Deal for Australia.
They both joined me via Zoom (I AM VERY SICK OF ZOOM) to lay out what their vision for a GND entails, its "four Ds" (decarbonisation, decolonisation, decommodification, democratisation), how much currency it had as a political idea prior to the current COVID crisis, the possibilities these new conditions could bring and the dangers of eco-fascism.
Climate Justice Collective - @greennewdealau
Cause of the Week: Sisters Inside (sistersinside.com.au)
Caleb Bond is a 21-year-old political commentator who describes himself as "conservative with a splash of libertarianism". He writes a regular opinion column for the Adelaide Advertiser and regularly appears on Sky News.
Caleb kindly gave me his time a few weeks ago when I was in town for the Adelaide Fringe (before the PLAGUE HIT US ALL AND LOCKED US IN OUR HOUSES). We had a wide-ranging discussion about his experience of being a young conservative giving his opinions in public, the politicisation of youth, the Opinion Industrial Complex, Newscorp, the idea that people naturally become more conservative as they get older, socialism, free markets, FREEDOM and his stance on drugs.
Cause of the Week: Youth Insearch (youthinsearch.org.au)
Gian and Sam host a great podcast called Twink Revolution, which they describe as "cultural and political commentary on current events from a homo-leftist viewpoint".
They joined me from their isolated apartment in San Francisco to explain how they came to Marxism and queerness (via anarchism and libertarianism), the failures of identity politics, what happened to the Sanders campaign (and how sad we should feel about it) and what the COVID-19 pandemic could mean for the Left. It was all very interesting, very funny and very gay.
Sam's twitter is @RevTwinkComrade
Cause of the Week: The SF Queer Nightlife Fund (sfqueernightlifefund.org)