Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ozzies kick out the Tories

Except they call them Liberals over there.

Howard - probably one of George Bush's closest neo-liberal allies on the world stage has ended his 11 years in power with a real thud, almost certainly losing his own seat in the process. Difficult not to be cheered by the news frankly.

Labour's landslide could spell three major developments a) withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq b) signing up to the Kyoto agreement and c) the overthrow of Oz capitalism. Except c that is.

In other news it looks like the Greens have increased their vote and gone from four senators to five. This is very good all round, it does not just mean that Green Party representation has increased by 25% but by breaking this threshold they will be entitled to official party status giving them more resources and parliamentary status. With any luck this might be able to bolster the environmental, "anti-war" turn the Australian government is about to take - particularly as most of it is window dressing anyway.

Unfortunately it also looks like the socialists have bottomed out, so whilst there are definite signs of some kind of upturn in industrial struggle after 11 years of Howard it's clear those, like the Socialist Alliance, were always going to be squeezed in this election.

I would say from our experience here in the UK, that now is the time when Australians are most going to need a real, principled progressive movement and the opportunities that lie ahead will be many, but like any new period it will be far from plain sailing from here on in.


Anonymous said...

Tories, Shtories ,liberals and laberals and fair Blairs.
No there is no commitment to withdraw troops from Iraq.
Just a commitment to reduce some front line troops while shifting to a 'support" role .
Strike levels and union membership are actually both at their lowest levels for generations .
So where is this supposed upsurge in workers struggles?
Is it any different in the UK?
This is not expected to change soon ,as the call will go out to stop struggles to protect the 'working peoples "govt.
The greens are more 'left" pro union and anti war than "labor."
As for why that is so, see Lenins analysis of the liberal/labour parties in both England and Australia.
Where he explains the corrupting role of the labour aristocracy in social democratic type parties.
This analysis still holds only more so!
Stop speading ilusions on social democracy as "labor"and trade unionist economism.
all the best "Underclass"

a very public sociologist said...

I don't think anyone can accuse Jim of having illusions in the Labor party, just as he has no illusions in our very own New Labour. But you have to take in account that if Labor was put into office by a mainly progressive vote - regardless of its clothes stealing from Howard - that constituency will have certain expectations and will at least win a few crumbs from Rudd's table.

Jim Jay said...

Labour were always going to be a barrier to progressive advance until they can be put into power - if you can't get rid of a Tory government you can't overthrow capitalism.

In terms of winning short term crumbs it is the right thing to do and in terms of moving forwards a movement for a completely different kind of society it's absolutely essential.

Incidently it's been my impression that workers struggle in Australia is doing rather better at the moment than it is here.