Archive for 'ALP'
In the circumstances of reformism’s despair and degeneration, abuse becomes a substitute for politics. To win laughter back we on the left need to help organise the fight, fight, fight against the neoliberalism of both parties which renders so many on the soft left, in their passivity, humourless and without hope.
Those demanding “modernisation” of the Australian Labor Party want a party like the Democrats in the United States writes Rick Kuhn in Red Flag. Shorten’s reforms reinforce the long term trend towards such a party, in which union officials have minimal influence but union funds are gratefully received, and party leaders don’t need to spend much time justifying their actions when they sink the boot into workers.
The question of Labor linking or not linking to the trade union bureaucracy is the wrong one. The real question is how to build a workers’ party committed to socialist revolution. That task for the revolutionary left involves becoming the place those people in Labor and near it and even more so outside it who want to build a better world turn to and join in that fight. Labor’s neoliberalism and inhumanity help open up that possibility.
It looks to me as if profit and competition are the barriers to addressing climate change. If that is the case then only a democratic revolution of workers to run society to satisfy human need can address climate change. As the banners at some environmental demonstrations and eco-socialist conferences say ‘System Change, not Climate Change.’
This vote for the leadership of the Australian Labor Party was a stage managed political fashion parade. Members got to vote on which model of neoliberalism they preferred. The models often held hands as they strutted the catwalk mouthing the same platitudes. Not policies, note, but platitudes.
Prominent past and present Labor politicians, liberal literati and ALP well-wishers in the Murdoch press have been complaining for years about the influence of factions inside the party writes Rick Kuhn in Red Flag.
Whether this whingeing is accompanied by calls to curb connections with the unions or not, it is part of a campaign to liquidate Labor’s links with its working class base. That would turn the ALP into a pastel version of the deep blue Liberal Party, the equivalent of the US Democratic Party, another straightforward party of big business.
What a choice Labor Party members have! It’s a choice between a Labor hack in previous Labor governments, governments which cut single parent payments, demonised refugees, continued the Northern Territory intervention and the war in Afghanistan, oversaw an historic the shift in wealth to the ruling class and increased the gender pay gap and a Labor hack in previous Labor governments, governments which cut single parent payments, demonised refugees, continued the Northern Territory intervention and the war in Afghanistan, oversaw the historic shift in wealth to the ruling class and increased the gender pay gap.
The spin from Labor is that disunity cost them the election. This is fantasy land stuff. If only they had all united behind rabid neoliberalism then Labor would still be in power. Yeah, right. I have a bridge in Sydney to sell you too.
The disunity theme means that the real reasons – Labor’s massive shift to the right economically and socially over the last 3 decades and the collapse of class struggle over that period – can be and will be ignored by the neoliberals who are the ALP.
There is an alternative. Its name is struggle.
The result of Labor’s fawning over big business while in office isn’t just the disappointment of its working class and progressive supporters. The ALP has pushed the political atmosphere to the right, making it easier for conservative and downright reactionary ideas to get a hearing. It has paved the way for an even more right wing anti-working class Liberal government.
The Australian Labor Party is a capitalist workers’ party. It is this tension in the ALP, the shift in its internal balance further towards capital and the lack of class struggle that has seen Labor preside over a flawed tax,