BOOTLICKER

Proposal Working Class Platform

2017-03-17

One of my comrades is a member of Workers’ Liberty. After having a conference recently, the organisation drew up a proposal platform for the radical left in Australia to endorse for a renewed struggle against the bosses and the state. I reproduce the article this comrade wrote here. I endorse the charter.

I     The Article

Is the Turnbull government in such a shambles that Labor can confidently expect to win the next election?

If Labor were to win the next federal election, do many people really expect that Labor would reverse “rising income and wealth inequality”, and insecurity, that are feeding “non-mainstream parties that promote a more nationalistic agenda”. Is Labor in a position to satisfy the “concerns of electorates … who feel left behind by the solutions put forward to address weakened post-crisis economic growth?” (An investment advisor’s description of the problem).

At the last election Labor did eat a long way into the LNPs majority on the strength of commitments to protect Medicare, to tighten bank regulations, and cut back on tax breaks and subsidies to the most wealthy in superannuation and negative gearing. But Labor has credibility problems. Since the Accord it has helped to create many of the conditions for growing inequality, and many union officials have been complicit.

The vacuum of “political capital” is what has opened up room for the right wing nationalists to step in with their line on how to “make Australia great again”. It is a crude appeal to nation, blaming global trade and refugees for insecurity.

We make a class analysis of the roots of inequality and insecurity. In brief:

The story that neoliberalism is the problem does not point to an alternative, nor does it appeal to an identifiable social force to change things. Growing political instability in the western democracies has cracked open one of the biggest inhibitors for putting forward a radical socialist platform – that it would undermine stability.

Workers Liberty believes that the left could now assert a more radical platform in the labour movement and for the working class to rebuild a movement for itself as the social force that needs this platform for equality and freedom. A platform that clearly addresses working class interests is also a potentially constructive basis for uniting and organising, and could enable the left to transcend some the more factional pursuits that repel many people from organised politics.

II     The Charter

We propose these draft points for a union charter with demands on both government and employers:

We would like to hear responses to this draft charter from labour movement activists.