Archive for 'Neoliberalism'
Given Labor’s bipartisanship (read capitulation to Abbott’s rabid jingoism, his warmongering and his cult of fear) as well as its neoliberalism, my guess is that the Liberals and the National Party will be ahead in the polls by about mid April.
Week one (or should that be weak one?) of good government in Australia has gone well hasn’t it? After his near death experience in the party room meeting last Monday when 39 of his own colleagues out of 100 voted for none of the above in a leadership ballot – ah OK, it was a spill motion to declare Abbott’s position as Prime Minister vacant – it has been all up, up and away for the good government that Abbott then promised. And what a choice at the next election: Tzetze Tony or Belly-laugh Bill. Both are neoliberal necrophiliacs. Our task remains to build an alternative to these conjoined neoliberal twins.
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.
The outcome of neoliberal policy since 1983, when Hawke Labor began implementing it and laid out the red carpet for Howard and then Abbott, has been a massive shift in wealth in Australia from labour to capital. The process of neoliberal regulatory capture in tax policy and tax law has now, if Second Commissioner Mills’ speech is any indication, also successfully infected the administration of the Australian Tax Office. All the sweet words in the world will not disguise the fact that the fox is now in charge of the revenue hen house.
All Billboard Bill and the Labor Party have going for them is that they are not Tony Abbott and the Liberals.
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?
The other day Australia’s Finance Minister, Matthias ‘the terminator’ Cormann, called Opposition leader Bill Shorten an economic girlie man. Unlike the book of Matthew (and the neoliberals) I don’t believe the poor will always be with us. They are a creation of capitalism. We have enough in Australia (and indeed globally) to feed, house and educate everyone. Only by overthrowing the system that produces want among plenty can we eradicate poverty. That doesn’t make me girlie, manly, boyish or feminine. It makes me a socialist.
A great meme which captures what is so wrong with this Abbott/Hockey Government, a more vicious but less successful version of neoliberalism than Labor when in government.
Hot off the presses, my article in the Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association on Neoliberalism in Australia and the Henry Tax Review.
The fact that over 100000 people turned out across Australia to demonstrate against this Government should give us hope that we can continue the fight and build a mass movement against Abbott and neoliberalism. Let’s try anyway and see what happens.