Archive for 'ALP'
The true crisis in Labor is not that leadership strife is preventing it from effectively promoting and implementing its policies. It is that these policies run directly counter to the interests of the party’s historic base: the working class, the poor, the dispossessed. Labor is proving is that it is no alternative to the ruling elite, but its willing instrument. This has always been the case. Labor MPs, like all other parliamentarians, serve power, and serve it adamantly. It is just that no one remains in the party to argue against this or to offer a vision of an alternative. This is why Labor’s membership has crumbled. This is why its electoral support is dissipating toward record lows. This is why voters find it harder and harder to distinguish between Labor and Liberal. This is the true crisis for Labor, a crisis that no simple leadership spill will solve.
The ALP has lost its working class heartland, not because of who leads it but because of its rotten neoliberal policies. Abandon the neoliberal policies and personalities, Labor.
I have a suggestion for Labor. Abandon neoliberalism. Adopt a radical program like that which Chavez put forward. Tax the rich to improve the lives of the 2.2 million Australians in poverty and fix up the 17% gender gap. Use this money to negotiate a treaty with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
That of course would just be the opening salvos of a radical program to fundamentally challenge the rule of capital. It would involve nationalising the banks, mining companies and the other big battalions of capital and massively increase spending on public health, education, transport and social payments and develop a real program to address climate change.
That of course would just be the opening salvos of a radical program to fundamentally challenge the rule of capital. It would involve nationalising the banks, mining companies, and other big battalions of capital and massively increase spending on public health, education, transport and social payments and develop a real program to address climate change.
Labor’s crisis is about politics and policies, not people. It doesn’t make much difference if Labor is led by Gillard or Rudd or some other snake oil sales person – the pro-profit and pro-business policies of the party would be much the same.
Is there an alternative to the failure that is Labor? The need now for a revolutionary socialist workers’ party is great. But we cannot hurry history. Workers will have to learn the lessons of struggle and history, with input from the revolutionary left where we can to patiently explain the way forward and our view of the world.
Labor might be gone but the struggle continues.
It is important to fight every manifestation of Labor’s neoliberalism now, its attacks on workers, its racism, sexism and homophobia, its kowtowing to religious bigotry.
But that will not be enough because any gains, even if won through mass action, itself problematic in today’s environment of class peace, will be under attack as the needs of capital for more and more profit reinforce the attacks on women, Aborigines and the discrimination against gays and lesbians and the acquiescence to religious bigotry of all parties in government, Labor or Liberal.
A revolutionary workers party, big enough to offer an alternative vision of real democracy and production to satisfy human need, is needed now. That is what Socialist Alternative and its unity project is about.
Unlike John Faulkner, don’t waste your time on the Labor Party, a moribund organisation of time servers and careerists bowing down at the altar of profit.
Instead check out Socialist Alternative and consider becoming part of a growing movement of revolutionaries in Australia to help build the fightbacks needed today and ultimately to challenge the dictatorship of capital.
Posted by John, August 23rd, 2012 - under ALP, Australian Labor Party, Bourgeoisie, Class collaboration, Class struggle, Class war, Classes, Ruling class, Strikes, Struggles, Tony Abbott.
Abbott’s instability, his thought bubble approach to policy, his climate denialist base within the extreme right of the Liberal Party and the looming economic crisis in Australia all make for a possible tumultuous period of rule for the current leader of the Opposition and his by and large unremarkable front bench if they win, as they will, the next election.
The key will be class struggle. How much longer can Australian workers not fight?
As Labor politician Andrew Leigh says, each of us can be a Peter Norman in our own lives. That is why the Canberra Refugee Action Committee has called a rally in defence of asylum seekers and against Julia Gillard’s Pacific ‘Solution’ for this Saturday 25 August at 12.30 in Garema Place.
Surely now that the complete degeneration of Labor as a party of social democracy has become clear to almost everyone else in Australia, those good people in the left of the ALP should be rethinking their approach. They should re-evaluate both their commitment to reformism and look again at the alternative, revolutionary socialism. It is to suggest they leave the ALP and join the revolutionary left or at least work closely with us.
That way we can fight together for immediate reforms, for refugees, for equal love, for better wages and conditions, in defence of jobs, for better government services together, without the left in the ALP being shackled to the reactionaries. And with the ultimate goal in mind – socialism, a democratic society where production is organised to satisfy human need.