Is it Rooty Hill for Gillard?
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is spending a week in Rooty Hill. She’s abandoned Kirribili and the mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour to ‘slum’ it with the locals in Western Sydney, but only for 7 days mind. We plebs are all well and good but live there permanently? No way.
Voters evidently want to reciprocate the feeling. Labor will be wiped out in Western Sydney. Ed Husic is the Labor Party member for Chifley, the Federal seat which includes Rooty Hill. The swing against him at the 2010 election was over 11% on first preferences.
Despite that, Husic held the seat with more than 51% of the first preference votes. However such is the depth of hatred for Labor in this working class seat that he could lose it.
Specific polling in Western Sydney shows a swing against Labor of 12% compared to 2010. That would give Husic less than 40% of the first preference vote in the forthcoming September election, a swing against Labor in his seat over the 2010 and 2013 elections of a just under 25%.
That is 12,000 of the 50,000 Labor voters in 2007 deserting the ALP.
I have written recently about how Labor is making Abbott and his ship of fools look good. The reasons seem simple enough.
Labor has presided over a shift in wealth from labour to the rich and capital to try and address the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. The decline in profit rates has dried up the pool out of which reforms in the past have been paid for. We are in the period of reformism without reforms.
On top of that Labor in New South Wales governed for 16 years by being the most right wing and neoliberal State Labor government in years, setting the ALP’s low benchmark very low indeed.
Revelations at the Independent Commission Against Corruption about the fiefdom of corruption that was important sections of this failed Labor government have only sickened workers across the Western Sydney region.
Workers have no left wing alternative to vote for, to hear different arguments against austerity and racism, to organise a fight back against the bosses.
In this period when the only option seems to be Gillard or Abbott, working class voters are plumping for Abbott. That is because we have two parties of the bosses fighting for our votes.
Abbott will of course be a viciously anti-working class Prime Minister, if we workers let him.
Can we defeat him? Yes, not at the ballot box – Labor’s decline is complete for the time being – but through strikes and demonstrations. It has been a long time since class war by us has been thought about in any real and sustained and widespread sense.
To keep Abbott on the defensive after he wins the next election will require a new militancy in the trade union movement. Most of the trade union bureaucrats are scared of their own members’ shadow. They will be useless in any fightback against Abbott.
We need to organise now in our unions to beat Labor’s attacks and by doing that strengthen our muscles for the battles ahead.
Julia Gillard can have all the stunts she wants. It shows the contempt Labor has for working class people that they think a few days among the proles will change our votes. The more people in Western Sydney see of Gillard the less her vote and that of the Party’s will be. Fight back now.