[Marxism] election time in Oz

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 18:16:13 MDT 2010

I doubt if there will be much interest in a post on the election in
Australia, but I live here, and I have discovered it is therapeutic to write
from time to time about what is going on here. What are the issues that are
occupying the mind of the great voting public.  Well the Tories, filth that
they are, are trying  to fight the election on the issue of "border
protection".  That should strike an echo in Arizona and California! Some 4
thousand desperate people have made their way here from Sri Lanka,
Afghanistan and other hell holes.

The right would have it that they are a great threat to the "Australian way
of life".  The governing Labor Party in an effort to accommodate itself to
the racists, has unrolled a policy very like that of the former Tory PM John
Howard.  Refugees will be processed off shore, which effectively means being
kept in prison camps for years. I cannot convey adequately my disgust at
this racist maneuver.  the number of refugees is inconsequential in any case
and they do not in any way represent a threat except for the fact that they
are not white Anglo colonialists.

This is the ugly side of Australia and a reminder of its status as a white
colonial settler state.

For the life of me I cannot think of any other issues.  Both parties are
ignoring climate change and they will effectively do nothing to move
Australia away from fossil fuels and the economic reliance on the export of

In terms of the economy the neo-liberal consensus which was lifted
temporarily to boost the economy has returned full force and both parties
are pledged to "fiscal conservatism". That is code for continued attempts to
keep the living standard of the elite up and that of the general population

Another issue of the political agenda is the war in Afghanistan.  Yet
Australian troops are beginning to die.  They are hailed as heroes fighting
for freedom etc, but the rhetoric rings hollow.  Really all that the NATO
troops seem to be doing is to maintain the Karzai family's franchise on the
heroin trade.  Meanwhile tragically the poor and the working class continue
to pay a price for Australia desire to play a role in the Grand Game.  It
has been always so.

So no sign of a break anywhere.  The Labor Party grows more and more like
the Liebral and National parties.  More and more poltical topics are placed
in the taboo basket.  the one possible break - with the row over the tax on
the mining barons' super profits has been shelved.  In the absence of
politics the election is being fought on the stylistic differences between
the two leaders. I have a visceral dislike of Abbott but refuse to be drawn
into what is becoming more and morelike watching an Iron Chef episode..

I hope the Greens prosper but I have my doubts.  Their Leader Brown is a
decent bloke but very limited in terms of charisma and understanding of the
need to build a radical alternative to the current gridlock. Still they may
do well in the Senate.  Apart from that I hope the Socialist Alliance will
do well.  Certainly thye have taken the novel oapproach of trying to raise
issues and put forward policies that are different.



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