Mutual Obligation and Living Under the Poverty Line – Interview with Professor Kay Cook

As the Morrison government prepares to lower the assistance for Australia’s unemployed to a meagre $44-a-day the mutual obligations test will return. During COVID the unemployment benefit doubled and its now about to be scaled back to below the poverty line.

Jobseekers will now be required to fulfil a litany of obligatory tasks to receive Centrelink payment. But do these bureaucratic requirements help people into work? Or do they create barriers to meaningful employment?

To discuss this – I’m joined by Professor Kay Cook from the Department of Social Sciences at Swinburne University. Kay is one of the authors of a new report: Social security and time use during COVD-19.

Kay is co-author of an article in the Conversation.

What is fascism? – Interview with Professor John Broich

Throughout Donald Trump’s recent reign in the US, the word fascism was often peddled by media pundits and politicians alike.

But what is – and isn’t – Fascism anyway? Let’s find out.

RTRFM Indymedia’s Allan Boyd caught up with historian and fascism expert John Broich from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio for an in-depth discussion…



As the unrelenting and vociferous noise of former US president Donald Trump subsides – the desire to defeat socialism or liberalism remains.

In many corners of America and here in Australia the concept of fascism has been embraced. And the word has been bandied about ad nauseum.

But what is fascism? Trump often referred to protesters as: the Antifa – deeming them as terrorists – yet the term itself simply means “anti-fascist”.

Indeed, the antifa movement traces its heritage to radical left groups that resisted dictators such as Mussolini and Hitler in Europe in the 1930s.

To discuss the notion of fascism I’m joined by Professor JOHN BROICH from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio – who teaches British Empire and Second World War history.

His recent book was about the 1941 war in the Middle East: Blood, Oil, and the Axis: The Allied Resistance against a Fascist State in Iraq and the Levant, 1941.

His recent article “What is Fascism” can be found at the Conversation.

Facebook’s bullying tactics and Surveillance Capitalism – Interview with David Paris

Earlier this year, in protest of new legislation introduced by the Australian government, social-media giant Facebook killed news-sharing across its Australian platform. The move affected millions of users – effectively silencing thousands of grass-roots activist groups and small media outlets – including community radio.
To find out more about this, Indymedia’s Allan Boyd caught up with digital-rights campaigner David Paris to talk about Facebook’s bullying tactics and the culture of Surveillance Capitalism…

In February 2021, the Australian government passed its News Media Bargaining Code through the House of Representatives.

The new mandatory code promises to “help support the sustainability of public interest journalism in Australia” by addressing “bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and Australian news businesses.”

In retaliation, Facebook “with (as they put it) a heavy heart,” restricted Australian users from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on its platform. Facebook effectively blocked all ‘news’ on the Australian site.

Facebook’s ham-fisted tantrum was a blanket-bash for many small and independent media outlets caught up in the ban, including community radio stations and specialist publications – causing uproar across the internet.

To discuss this I’m joined by digital comms guru David Paris – who’s article Facebook lets the world burn was recently published in the Green Agenda Quarterly.

To find out more about this, Indymedia’s Allan Boyd caught up with digital-rights campaigner David Paris to talk about Facebook’s bullying tactics and the culture of Surveillance Capitalism…

David is a digital communications expert with over 20-years-experience in the field, having worked for Australian Greens Leaders Bob Brown, Christine Milne, and their parliamentary teams as well former WA Senator Scott Ludlam. He has worked on social, environmental, media and digital rights campaigns with NGOs in the UK, EU, USA, Canada and Australia. He is currently a freelance campaigner and writer and joins me now…

16 mins and 7 seconds (Station ID at 9 mins)

Digital-rights campaigner David Paris talking with Indymedia’s Allan Boyd.

You can read David’s article Facebook lets the world burn in Green Agenda Quarterly.

David Paris’ article:


Christian Porter Trial by Media? Interview with Denis Muller

In an emotionally-charged media conference in Perth last week, federal Attorney General Christian Porter owned up to being the Morrison cabinet minister accused of rape allegations.

Strenuously denying the claims, an often tearful Mr Porter portrayed himself as the victim of a media smear – referring to a “whispering campaign” which could “totally destroy the rule of law in Australia.”  Legal and business experts say there is no “rule of law” issue with the AG. University of Sydney’s Professor Ben Saul told the Guardian it was “par for the course” in the Australian legal system for non-criminal inquiries to investigate potential criminal matters – without threatening the rule of law.

But is this a case of Trial by Media? Despite many conservative publications arguing that it is (),  ABC’s Media Watch says no.

To discuss Trial By Media, I caught up with journalism guru Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Journalism, at The University of Melbourne…

You can find Denis’ article here: Has Christian Porter been subjected to a ‘trial by media’? No, the media did its job of being a watchdog at the Conversation.

Listen to the interview (which went to air on RTRFM on 9 March 2021) below.