Archive for 'Australian Labor Party'
The ABC’s The Killing Season explains nothing, yet exposes everything, about what is wrong with Labor today writes Erima Dall in Solidarity
No matter how badly Abbott and co treat asylum seekers, many workers will still have insecure, poorly paid unfulfilling jobs. Joining in the demonisation of refugees won’t change that and only reinforces and assists the very people who create the rotten system that gives us rotten jobs and enables them to worsen our conditions. While the one sided class war the bosses have waged successfully against us cannot go on for ever, mass class struggle isn’t going to break out in the immediate future. Instead we may well see Captain Crook and his listing ship Team Australia win the next election on the back of demonising asylum seekers, MUSLIM!!!!! terrorists and lifestyle choice Aborigines while a pathetic Opposition cheers them on and a cowed labour movement continues its surrender.
Labor’s tax avoidance crack down statement was the old pea and thimble trick. It wants to give the impression of doing something about big business tax avoidance (always a popular issue among ordinary workers) without really frightening the big business horses. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind.
James Supple writes in the socialist magazine Solidarity about the ongoing and deep-seated problems in bourgeois politics in Australia. He says that underpinning the turmoil in parliamentary politics is the low level of class struggle. The greatest strength the working class majority has is in its industrial strength and in mass movements to fight for change outside of parliament. This is where real reforms, for land rights, equal pay, penalty rates and long service leave, have been won. That is why socialists put such emphasis on fanning the flames of struggle—this is where the hope for change lies.
I have written about the Australian Labor Party and its changing nature viewed through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax disaster. I argue basically that it is moving from a capitalist workers’ party to a capitalist party. Passant, J. (2014). The minerals resource rent tax: the Australian Labor Party and the continuity of change. Accounting Research […]
They might only be straws in the wind but two recent pieces in The Australian suggest Rupert Murdoch might have realised his preferred Abbott government and its open attacks on the poor and working class has been a failure. He might be inching towards a more cooperative approach with labour and Labor.The union movement (especially the remaining rank and file) should remember the lessons of the Accord. There is an alternative to supping with the devil, whether that devil be a smiling ALP or a scowling Liberal Party. That alternative is to fight against the attacks of the bosses and their politicians on wages, conditions, safety, jobs. If you don’t fight you lose.
The essentially social democratic desires of the majority of the Australian people are in conflict with the needs of capital. At the moment the political consequences of this are what seems like the eternal roundabout of Labor and the Liberals. The Labor Party attacks us for 3 years to be replaced by a Liberal Party that attacks us for 3 years to be followed by a Labor Party that attacks us for 3 years. That at least appears to be the current cycle.
Leaders matter. What the ruling class wants and needs is not only a political leader with a program to continue and intensify the wealth shift from labour to capital but also to be able to implement it, and do so in a way that plucks the working class goose with the least hissing. Abbott is not that plucker.
A social democratic desire among workers for improved living standards and services is both systemic, arising from the forced sale of our labour power to survive, and historical. The reality that workers’ living standards are falling relatively, and may have to do so from capital’s point of view in real terms, conflicts with the very real yearning of workers for a better world of full employment, improved wages and conditions and good schools, hospitals and transport. In Australia at the moment that yearning finds expression not in strikes and demonstrations for these outcomes – strikes are at near historic lows – but in the yo-yo of electoral change from neoliberal Labor to the neoliberal Liberals to neoliberal Labor.
If people are interested in my contributions to exploring the nature of the ALP and its move from a capitalist workers’ party to a CAPITALIST workers’ party and onto a capitalist party, I suggest my academic article on the MRRT and the ALP called ‘The Minerals Resource Rent Tax: the Australian Labor Party and the continuity of change’ might be a good place to start. The reference is John Passant , (2014) “The Minerals Resource Rent Tax: The Australian Labor Party and the continuity of change”, Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 27 Iss: 1, pp.19 – 36. A pre-publication copy (with a few typos corrected before publication) can be downloaded from the University of Wollongong site via this link. Once there hit the download button on the middle right of the page.