Archive for 'Labor Party'
Prospective independent socialist Senate candidate in the ACT, John Passant, today welcomed the selection of former Chief Minister Katy Gallagher as the Labor Party’s replacement for retiring Senator Kate Lundy.
Mr Passant said that he looked forward to debating the neoliberal and pro-austerity Ms Gallagher on the big economic and social issues of the day. Let’s shake up politics in Australia, he said. Put a Socialist in the Senate.
This is a link to my pre-publication manuscript on the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the changing nature of the Labor Party. You can download access to the article from the UoW website that is that link.
The choice is clear. One of the likes of Abbott, Turnbull, Bishop, Shorten, Albanese or Plibersek leading the neoliberal attack on our jobs, wages, freedoms and social spending? Or us as workers defending jobs, wages and conditions and fighting for and winning better social services, better public health, public education and public transport, justice for aborigines and asylum seekers and a managed decade long transition to renewable energy?
Maybe it is time for a socialist to not just be building or supporting these progressive campaigns but to stand for the Senate in the ACT against the sell-out that is Labor.
Tom Bramble has written about the contradictions of Whitlamism in Red Flag. Here is a snippet:
If Whitlam is to be remembered as a significant reformer, he also should be recalled as the man who paved the way for every grubby Labor government that followed him and the degeneration of the party that has resulted.
This is the link to the full article.
This Wednesday Jon Stanhope is speaking out against Australia’s refugee disgrace at 6:30pm in the Manning Clark Centre at the ANU. Stanhope, the former Labor Chief Minister of the ACT, recently called on Labor politicians to repudiate their party’s support for punitive refugee policies, saying: “I challenge any senior members of Shadow Cabinet such as Tanya Plibersek, Anthony Albanese and Andrew Leigh to look me in the eye and tell me that these policies reflect what the Labor Party stands for.”
If Labor hacks like Albanese were serious about reclaiming Whitlam’s legacy they’d abolish university fees and loans, make universal health care a reality, abolish the gender pay gap, oppose the war in Iraq, legalise same sex marriage and take visionary action to address climate change. They’d welcome refugees, stop the Northern Territory Intervention and basics card, announce a royal commission into deaths in custody and begin negotiations with Aboriginal peoples to recognise sovereignty and pay the rent. They’d abolish restrictions on unions and the right to trike. That is just for starters.
The crocodile tears from these Labor Party hypocrites is cover for their neoliberalism. In honouring Whitlam they dishonour the reforms working people forced Gough to introduce.
The alternative to a neoliberal ALP is not a return to a Whitlamite ‘nirvana’. First, it wasn’t a nirvana. Workers were still exploited, making all the wealth the bosses expropriated.
Second there can be no return to the halcyon days of the late 60s and early 70s because the system has aged, profit rates now are much lower than then and the long recession can only be overcome by massive economic crisis or revolution.
The first alternative is a return to the militancy of the late 60s and early 70s. Then the task is to build a fighting alternative, a revolutionary socialist organisation committed to a society based on democracy and satisfying human need.
Albanese, Parke and Burke not only support the racist, misogynist, warmongering ALP; they are integral to its racism, its sexism and its war mongering, not to mention its ‘caring’ neoliberalism. Their opposition provides left cover for the dominant right wing. It gives false hope to left wing Labor members. It might even win a few voters back from the Greens. Our task has to be to point out this reality and to talk to those with illusions in Labor not to repeat the same errors of the past. Let these champions of freedom and refugees actually join the campaigns and mobilise ALP members and supporters. Why do you think they don’t?
There is no alternative to defeating the neoliberalism of Abbott and the neoliberalism of the Labor Party than class struggle; massive, unified strikes.