Of course Tony Abbott in power will be a right wing bastard
‘Look over there’ said the evil angel. ‘It’s the devil.’
That’s apparently why we have to vote for the evil angel Labor Party – to help ward off the Tony Abbott devil.
It is a non-choice. The devil is an evil angel.
The two major parties agree on basic economic policy – neoliberalism. This is the idea that the market knows best; that we should privatise government enterprises, cut back on government spending on social welfare, public education, health and transport, and use the state to restrict unions.
Abbott can use weasel words all he likes but business wants greater workplace ‘flexibility’. Workchoices in some form will be back.
What is missing from the debate however is that Workchoices hasn’t really left. Labor’s Fair Work legislation kept about 90% of Workchoices.
Strikes are illegal except in certain very limited circumstances.
The threat of fines for ‘illegal’ strikes is enough to stop much industrial action.
At my workplace for example the Chainsaw Vice Chancellor sacked 13 of the 32 staff in the School of Music. The unwillingness of staff to strike (‘illegally’ as it would have been) has seen the campaign against the sackings defeated.
The VC has destroyed the School of Music despite a demonstration of 1000 in support and a well attended union meeting of over 300 without so much as a union gun being fired.
The VC can now turn his attention to delivering a rotten Enterprise Agreement and sacking the 150 staff and more he mooted before the School of Music debacle broke out.
This is happening under Labor’s industrial laws, laws which are strangling the union movement.
Labor and the Liberals often have similar policies. Oh, they might fight over the detail – Malaysia or Nauru for offshore torture of refugees; a do nothing carbon tax or a do nothing action plan for addressing global warming; cutting public services; sacking public servants; tax cuts for companies and the rich.
Many times they agree. The war in Iraq; the war in Afghanistan; the US Alliance; keeping Aborigines in subjugation, women oppressed, gay marriage off the agenda and much much more come to mind.
About 80% of the time the Opposition supports the Labor Government’s legislation.
It is true that they sometimes disagree. It is always the case in families that the siblings will fight, but they are still part of the same loving family, in this case a family managing capitalism.
The decline of Labor as a party of social democracy has a number of fathers.
It is not just falling profits across the globe since the end of the post war boom (with ups and downs since then) but the capitulation of the trade union movement, in particular its leadership, to fighting the bosses.
Class collaboration has replaced class conflict, most infamously in the Accord.
Industrially the result has been a massive fall in union membership.
Economically the result has been a massive shift of wealth from labour to capital.
As I have pointed out before the share of national income going to the bosses is at its highest since records began to be kept in 1960 and that to labour its lowest.
Politically the result has been a capitalist workers’ party becoming a CAPITALIST workers’ party and embracing neoliberalism with little resistance.
Hawke and Keating laid the ground work for Howard. Howard laid the groundwork for Rudd and Gillard. Gillard is laying the groundwork for Abbott.
Abbott might pursue Labor’s general agenda of attacking jobs, wages, social services and public servants with more gusto. He will introduce even more restrictive industrial relations laws. If we let him.
The way to fight Abbott is to strike against Gillard Labor and its rotten anti-working class policies.
Otherwise we won’t have built up our muscle to take on a resurgent reaction gathered around Tony Abbott.