Archive for 'Julia Gillard'
There is a continuity in our politics. We have two parties of neoliberalism who argue over the detail. The first and arguably most successful governments of neoliberalism (most successful from the point of view of the bosses) were the Hawke and Keating Labor governments. Hawke and Keating and their neoliberalism made Howard acceptable. Rudd and Gillard and their neoliberalism made Abbott acceptable. Shorten and co and their neoliberalism are making Abbott potentially re-electable.
Antony Loewenstein wrote an article in the Guardian recently about feminism lite. It has provoked a huge reaction. What do you think?
Kevin Rudd is once again leader of the Labor Party writes Mick Armstrong in Socialist Alternative. But the ALP remains an absolute disaster zone. Labor is still likely to face a devastating defeat in the upcoming elections – defeat at the hands of Tony Abbott, one of the most despised Liberal Party leaders ever. If Labor can’t beat a disgusting reactionary like Abbott, whose whole social outlook is completely out of kilter with the mass of workers in Australia, then it should immediately be put out of its misery.
Women like Gillard or Thatcher running the ship of the capitalist state make no difference to the dynamic drivers of the system – the need to extract surplus value from productive workers, women as cheap carers and raisers of the next generation of workers, and all that flows from that – the second class citizenship of women, the low wages, the systemic sexism.
What has made a difference is the organised struggles against oppression, especially militant action by unions. Julia Gillard is part of the problem. Ordinary working women are part of the solution.
So although Thatcher and Gillard have or had seemingly very different approaches to industrial relations, their goal is the same – to shift wealth from labour to capital to address falling profit rates. They use different strategies on occasion to get there. Thatcher tried to manhandle unions into a strait jacket. Labor in Australia asks workers nicely to try it on and compliments us on the fit. The way to fight the neoliberal Abbott is to fight the neoliberal Gillard.
We have come of age, and our politics have come of age. Aboriginal people can manage our own affairs, on our own terms. We are ready to treaty…can you Close that Gap Julia?
It is because Labor’s policies have been the policies of neoliberalism, of kowtowing to the rich and powerful, with occasional rhetorical flourishes of class war merely showing how far removed we are from it, that it offers no class analysis of society and the way forward for workers that Tony Abbott will be the next Prime Minister.
Rather than this being a rupture it is a continuation of Labor’s politics of neoliberalism. As Hawke and Keating led to Howard, so Rudd and Gillard are now leading to Abbott.
The solution for workers seems clear enough. Fight both brands of neoliberalism, not with television advertisements but with strikes.
A militant industrial response from workers and their unions to the systemic gender pay gap has the best chance of improving the lives of women at work. That is a fight that must of necessity take on the ALP for whom the bosses and their profits are more important than equal pay. The first step in that process must be for workers in low paid and traditional gender stereotype industries to organise to smash the glass ceiling of low and unequal wages.
Without class struggle no alternative working class political ideas can prosper, can break through, can shine, let alone lead. So enjoy your reading about Ricky’s retirement and Ralph’s rort, about Abbott’s allegations and Gillard’s gadflying. One day politics, real class politics, will burst forth and we will be able to say, like Marx, well grubbed old mole.
Instead of taxing Gina Rinehart, the world’s richest woman, Labor is attacking single mums, some of the least well off women in Australia. Maybe it’s time for the social media crowd to defend them in a massive campaign against Gillard.