Archive for 'Australian Labor Party'
The process of change from Henry to the RSPT to the MRRT can best be understood, not just in the context of bad design, but, building on the work of Bramble and Kuhn, in the context of the Australian Labor Party as a capitalist workers’ party. I argue that 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 what the father of rent tax in Australia, Ross Garnaut, describes as a ‘problematic’ tax.
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.
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 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,
This is me at Kim Carr’s launch at the ANU of his new book on why you should sell your soul to the devil and join the ALP.
I am proud of banners that say F**k Labor. This expresses the justified anger many have with Labor over its plans to deport asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea. It is part of the Left relating to that section of society disgusted with the ALP’s actions and which is an audience for ideas of not just anger and rage against Labor but understanding why Labor does this. The real hope is in the ten thousand people who demonstrated last weekend against Labor’s disgraceful action and who will continue to fight for refugees.
If Canberra readers want to show the Labor Party how disgusted they are with the ALP’s disgraceful and racist PNG policy, I would urge you to join me and hundred of others at 12 pm on Saturday at Woden Square (end of Furzer St, next to PO & MLC /Lovett Tower) at a demonstration in defence of refugees called by the Canberra Refugee Action Committee.
We will be marching to a nearby ACT ALP conference to let Andrew Leigh and the other members of the Party know we strongly oppose this disgusting policy.
If you want to join the fight against the barbarities of capitalism, if you want to fight the system that breeds injustice and inequality, war, racism and homophobia, that sends vulnerable asylum seeks to rot in PNG, or even if you just want to find out more given that Labor is not an option, then you should consider one of the revolutionary socialist groups in Australia like Socialist Alternative.
So while the reality may be, as I have argued elsewhere, that it makes no difference which Labor leader is selling us the shit sandwich of neoliberalism, in the short term it does. The swing to Labor under the newly recycled Rudd expresses workers’ hopes for a better world. Time, and the reality of capitalism, will destroy that illusion but at the moment many of us appear spell bound by the magician whose tricks give us hope.
It is false hope to be sure but it will take workers time and the experience of Rudd in power for longer than a few weeks second time round to understand that.