Mark Seymour is one of the best singer-songwriters Australia has ever produced. He's the former frontman of Hunters & Collectors and now writes and performs with Mark Seymour & The Undertow. The new Undertow record is called Slow Dawn and comes out today.
Mark has regularly been outspoken about his politics through his music and public appearances, particularly when it comes to Australia's refugee policies. Here he tells me about how he approaches tackling social issues in his music (without being sanctimonious), why he's left-wing, wearing an "Asylum Seeker" t-shirt at the AFL Grand Final, his experiences in South Africa and how the tides of history weigh on us all today.
Cause of the Week: The Frankston Life Church (frankston.life)
Tim Wilson is the Liberal MP for the Victorian seat of Goldstein and the Chair of the House Economics Committee. He last joined me on the podcast back in July 2015.
I wanted to talk to Tim about how he's found dealing with the COVID-19 crisis as a local member and his thoughts on the Morrison's government's economic response thus far as a well as a bit old-fashioned ideological argy bargy. We discuss the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, neoliberalism, government debt and why being a democratic socialist makes me an evil idiot.
Cause of the Week: Bayside Community Information & Support Service Inc (bayciss.org.au)
Rick Morton is an award-winning journalist and writer. He reported on Social Affairs for The Australian for years and is now the Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper. His memoir 100 Years Of Dirt - about surviving his poverty- and trauma-ridden childhood - has been a critical and commercial success.
Here I ask Rick about issues he's been writing about of late - the conspiracy theories that have thrived amid COVID-19 and the new aged-care "Uber app" that's been given a multi-million dollar government contract - as well as his broader approach to journalism, the realities of poverty, how class works in Australia and the privatisation of the welfare state.
Cause of the Week: Brotherhood of St. Laurence (bsl.org.au)
Rachel Siewert has been a Greens Senator for WA since 2005. She's the whip for the Greens in the Senate and her portfolios include First Nations Affairs, Family, Ageing and Community Services, Gambling and Mental Health. She recently chaired a Senate Committee into the adequacy of the Newstart/JobSeeker payment and has been fighting hard for the government to #RetainTheRate after the COVID crisis has passed.
In this conversation, Rachel explains how her politics are founded on concern for both people and the planet, the realities of our punitive welfare system, just how shitty JobSeeker is and why the Greens' "Invest To Recover" policy proposal - including a jobs, income and education guarantee - is the kind of bold response Australia needs right now.
Cause of the Week: The Australian Greens (greens.org.au)
Dave Anthony is a stand up comedian, writer, activist and co-host of the history comedy podcast The Dollop. In May 2016 he correctly predicted that Hillary Clinton was going to lose to Trump in the presidential election. So yeah - he knows stuff.
Dave joined me from LA in the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD to talk about the death of American empire, what he's learned from history, his journey to socialism, the right-wing Democratic Party and why Joe Biden is really really bad. We laugh and also talk about the end of hope.
Cause of the Week: Extinction Rebellion (rebellion.earth)
Jon Kudelka is a Walkley Award-winning political cartoonist who's been drawing for over 20 years. He drew thousands of cartoons for The Australian until 2019 and his work now regularly appears in The Hobart Mercury and The Saturday Paper.
Jon kindly joined me from Tasmania via Zoom to reflect on his journey to cartooning, the (minimal) influence that satire has on things, what he learnt from John Clarke, the deterioration and stasis of Australian politics, punching down, how compromised the ALP has become and how COVID-19 might wake people up to shitty free-market ideology.
Cause of the Week: StreetSmart Australia (streetsmartaustralia.org)
Celeste Liddle is an Arrente woman, a trade unionist and Leftist who's written for Eureka Street, The Guardian and SBS.
Celeste Zoom'ed me from her couch to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting First Nations people, over-policing and deaths in custody, culture warring about Captain Cook and the "Indigenous alt-right".
Cause of the Week: Djirra (djirra.org.au)