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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
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‘Left’ Labor and Greens attack workers and services

The ACT Labor Government is the most left wing in Australia. A minority Government, it survives with the support of the four Greens.

The Great Recession has seen a turnaround of about half a billion in its Budget fortunes. 

The Territory Budget two weeks ago predicted a deficit of $82 million (saved by Commonwealth funding from a real deficit of  $247 million.)

But that was before the Commonwealth Budget cut GST to the ACT by about $53 million for the coming year.

So the Territory Budget deficit this coming financial year will be around $135 million. 

This ‘left wing’ Labor Government has responded by attacking its workers and public services. 

And there has not been a peep out of the Greens opposing these attacks.

They could force the Government to pay its own employees adequately and retain and expand services. But they haven’t. 

The Greens are more worried about plastic bags than people.

This ‘left wing’ Government is urging wage restraint. 

So it has set aside a miserly 2 percent for pay increases next financial year and 2.5 percent the year after.

These amounts are below headline inflation of 2.7 percent and well below core inflation of over 4 percent. 

Teachers are considering a campaign against these real wage cuts.

And the response of this ‘left’ Government?  The tired old Tory mantra of jobs or pay increases. 

We want both.

What sort of sick society can’t deliver more teachers and nurses and better pay at the same time?  The one we currently live in.

This ‘left wing’ Government has hit upon a novel way of reducing Government outlays.  From next year there will be an efficiency dividend of 1 per cent imposed on the public service.

That dividend has been such a  success at the Federal level. Not.

As an aside, all the bull dust from my union, the CPSU, about affiliating to Labor to influence their decisions is just that – bull dust.

It is a substitute for strikes to defend jobs and increase pay.

Maybe instead of wasting money on advertisements and time and effort on affiliating to the ALP my union could launch an industrial campaign to defend jobs and services and win real wage increases.

Certainly teachers are thinking about striking. If they do, unions across the ACT must support them. 

A victory for the industrially strong teachers would be a victory for all Territory workers.

It’s not jobs or pay increases; it’s more jobs and real pay increases.



Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 19, 2009 at 10:58 am

This is ridiculous.

The ACT government is NOT ‘left labor’ at all.

Stanhope is a rightwing business oriented lawyer. The Cabinet only has a minority of Left members.

If the Left was fully in the ALP Left – the outcomes would be very different.

So, at least I know who to blame.

Comment from Leonie
Time May 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Thanks Chris. So it’s my fault Katy Gallagher, a member of the Left, is attacking workers and services in the ACT? Now who is being ridiculous?

Clearly this is the most left wing Government in Australia, and the Greens have pulled it more to teh left on some issues. But if Mick Gentleman had retained his seat and the Left had 3 votes, what bloody difference would it make? None. The labour left is as committed to capitalism as the right.

Even with the Left in majority the logic of managing capitalism would have forced the ALP left into attacking workers and public services.

If only the reformists would join the revolutionaries in building a fightback among workers and a long term goal of overthrowing wage slavery rather than supporting it.

Comment from Leonie
Time May 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Didn’t the CPSU affiliating bolster the left? To what effect if they can’t even control their ‘left’ Ministers.

Comment from Chris Warren
Time May 20, 2009 at 10:31 am


Yes absolutely – it is “your” fault. As Marx and Engels explained – left sectarian abstention from labour parties deserts the working class and hands the machinery over to the middle class.

Yes – while you are to blame as an individual, you share in the blame through left sectarianism, so in this context it is your fault – completely.

Left sectarianism is problem – not the cure.

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