Saturday’s socialist speak out
A spectre is haunting Australia – the spectre of unemployment.
Jobs went backwards in 2011, and if disillusioned job seekers hadn’t dropped out of the search, unemployment would have been 5.5% instead of 5.2%.
Job figures are headed south, with Treasury estimates of 5.5% without work by June looking very optimistic. One bank says it will be 6% by then.
And what does Gillard Labor do in light of worsening unemployment? Reaffirm its commitment to a Budget surplus. Not to jobs, but to a budget surplus.
Remember, this is the Party that at its December conference specifically rejected a proposal from the Left to put job creation before a Budget surplus. Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.
Opposition leader and likely next Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, said on radio yesterday that the Costa Concordia was one boat that did get stopped.
I think Abbott is trying to divert attention away from his Costa Concordia ‘stop the boats’ revelation by being a little more nuanced but with the same message. Page one of today’s Australian has an article about how turning back the boats will be Australia’s asylum seeker policy. My take is he wasn’t joking on air yesterday because the end result will be lots of Concordias in our waters.
In the US the Republican primaries are shaping up as a fight between Romney and the anti-Romney forces and it looks as if those forces are coalescing behind ‘bunga bunga’ Newt Gingrich.
Some on the left are mistakenly supporting Ron Paul whose brand of economic libertarianism would destroy the living standards of US workers overnight.
It shows the lack of a genuine mass left wing in the US that some on the left support this anti-working class zealot. His rhetoric has appealed to some on the left because there is no genuine mass left wing working class movement.
The task is not to create illusions in the politicians of profit – some of the people who fell for Obama are falling for Paul – but to build that movement and eventually a mass revolutionary party of the working class. The International Socialist Organization in the US is trying to do that. So too is Socialist Alternative in Australia.
From Syria to Iran imperialism is shaking the sabre of intervention or war. Our job is to oppose intervention and the best way to do that from afar is to argue for the victory of the masses in Syria and Iran against their own national bourgeoisie and its regimes or prospective regimes.
In other news Europe continued its long slow descent into the abyss, the US pretended to increase jobs and the bosses in Australia continued their screaming about productivity and the ‘restrictions’ that Fair Work places on them.
They see the opportunity for a return to even more draconian industrial relations laws now or in the near future under an Abbott government in 2013. In fact much of their current screaming is to soften Abbott up to introduce even more draconian anti-worker laws than Labor’s Fair Work Australia.
After 30 years of class collaboration, the trade union bureaucracy has emasculated the organised working class movement and left it in a poor position to fight an incoming Abbott Government. In fact their lack of real action now makes an Abbott Government more likely and defeats in the future possible.
The one hope is that the rank and file can reclaim our unions and begin the fight back now or very soon.
To have your say or see what others are saying hit the comments button. Like all the articles on this site, comments close after 7 days.