Monday, June 09, 2014

South Australian Labor delivers unions to Abbott's Royal Commissioner.


South Australian unions are incensed that the State Labor government has transferred to the Royal Commission into unions full powers to investigate State-registered associations.

To add insult to injury, the move was never discussed with SA Unions, the State’s peak union body.  Unions only found out about the transfer when they stumbled across a notice from Acting State Premier Jack Snelling to John Heydon, who heads the Commission in the South Australian Government Gazette.

No doubt the SA government will claim that the move is purely administrative, and that unions that have not “done the wrong thing” have nothing to fear.

And if the Royal Commission was an absolutely impartial body, perhaps running alongside Royal Commissions into corporate tax evasion and bribery or corporate flouting of occupational health and safety guidelines, there may be a case to argue.

However, Royal Commissions into unions have a proven track record of setting out to intimidate union officials and members, and of having to meet the corporate agenda to provide a case for busting unions.

Why, for example, did the State Labor government not call the Royal Commission for what it is, and put to practical effect the often spoken about “protections of the state industrial relations system”?

Why, for example, does the command from Snelling to the Royal Commissioner require inquiry into employees of the unions and delegates or other representatives of the unions?  Isn’t it enough to attack the officials without going all the way down the food chain?

In essence, the liberals (ie Labor) and the conservatives (ie Liberal) serve the same master and play by the rules of that master whose name is Capital.

The Labor Party is not a shield behind which the workers may shelter; rather it is the platter on which the head of John the Baptist was brought to the king.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

For better government, we must break the cycle....

The right to elected political representation is dear to all Australians.

We want good government that brings benefits to us as a people.
But we are continually frustrated by a recurring electoral cycle of hope that Labor will do the right thing by its electoral base; frustration and anger when it gets into office and betrays those hopes; an electoral win for the conservatives; and then a return to the hope that Labor gets re-elected and can be trusted….”this time”.

We live in a country where you and I and Clive Palmer and the CEO of Qantas all have one vote.
But the reality of property ownership under capitalism means that we are fated to be a client state of “big and powerful friends”; that there is a mismatch between our existent political democracy and our non-existent economic democracy; that we do have a ruling class that exercises continuing  power regardless of which political party gets into temporary office.

We can only break out of this self-defeating cycle of electoral hope and despair when we make some basic and fundamental changes in this country.
Firstly, we must properly address the original sin of the colonial unsettling of the continent’s First Peoples.  This requires a Treaty between the Australian government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.  That Treaty must acknowledge more than the prior existence of ATSI peoples.  It must recognise that they exercised prior occupancy, custodianship and ownership of the continent.  It must acknowledge that the unsettling of their relationship to country was a crime that occurred through violence or the threat of violence. It must acknowledge their inalienable right, through their communities, to Land Rights and to self-determination.

Secondly, we must jettison the Constitution, that weak and obstructive compromise between the British imperialists, the separate colonial elites and the developing forces of nationhood.  A new Constitution must be republican, democratic and national.
Thirdly, we must have our rights and liberties – those catch-cries of the Eureka Stockade – enshrined in a Bill of Rights.  Human rights in Australia are poorly defined and not well protected.  International conventions and treaties on human rights to which Australia is a signatory are not enforceable under Australian law. The Bill of Rights must be located within the new Constitution and not be subject to the whims of the government of the day.

Fourthly, we must decisively reject the suffocating embrace of the neo-liberal agenda.  We stand for the restoration of the social purpose of government.  The so-called “free market”, dominated by imperialist finance capital, leads directly to the path of nation-wrecking.  Why should the Board of Qantas, for example, not be sacked and the company renationalised?  We are an island nation that requires the security of controlling the means by which our citizens may depart from or return to the country.  We cannot place ourselves at the commercial or political mercy of foreign-owned carriers.
Fifthly, we must prioritise the five pillars of our people’s livelihood as the foundation of good government.  They are housing, transport, health, education (public and free), and employment.  The prioritising of the needs of capital by both major parties must stop.  Capital can either be harnessed for social purposes or be freed to wreak a destructive path through our people and our communities.  Our agenda for these five pillars will be built in the suburbs of the working people through strong community organisations committed to a long-term alternative form of service provision.

The spirit of Eureka is one of defiance of out-dated and self-serving power structures.
The spirit of Eureka is one of struggling against the odds for extending democracy and justice to all.

The spirit of Eureka is one that stands for a just, democratic and sovereign Australian republic.
…………………

“I call on my fellow diggers, irrespective of nationality, religion or colour, to salute the ‘Southern Cross’ as the refuge of all oppressed from all countries on earth.”    (Rafaello Carboni, November 1854)

“We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.” (Eureka rebels’ oath, November 1854)

………………….


Contact information:

Spirit of Eureka, PO Box 3119 Rundle Mall, SA 5000


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Christopher Barnett: guardian of the flame


Guardian of the flame

I am reprinting below an unedited statement from the Facebook page of expatriate poet Christopher Barnett.
Christopher has lived for many years in Nantes, France.  Much of his writing is in the adopted language of that country.
As a working class teenager, Christopher joined the movement to oppose the US imperialist war of aggression in Vietnam and became a revolutionary.  He joined the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist). 
Through a series of twists and turns both personal and geographical, Christopher established Le Dernier Spectateur (The Last Spectator), a theatre in Nantes where he works as a performance poet with poor and marginalised peoples. 
Last year, Wakefield Press, a South Australian publisher, brought out a 320-page book by Christopher, When they came for you/elegies of resistance, a series of Facebook poems inspired by the Israeli Zionist murder of Gaza Flotilla participant Furkan Dogan, a Turk. 
Last November The Conversation published a review of that book under the title The greatest Australian poet you’ve never heard of.   
Later this year, documentary film-makers Anne Tsoulis and Georgia Wallace-Crabbe will release These Heathen Dreams, a study of Christopher’s life and work, subtitled journey of a cultural bolshevik.
Christopher is ill.  He struggles with pain.  He sees much greater pain in the bloody crimes inflicted upon the peoples of the earth by imperialism and all reactionaries.
Like all of us, his candle will eventually be extinguished.  While it burns, he helps keep alive the great flame that lights the way forward for the wretched of the earth.
……………………….
from where/i come
it is as if the institutions of fear, so necessary for capital to survive(with all its applied violence, both physical & interior) was founded in australia.
yes you had the hearsts, the beaverbrooks, the springers etc but it was in australia that such an institution could be constructed - perfectly.
the medias owned by so few people, people who delighted in the destruction of community life unless it was a source of profit. a form on caging both culture & community. the medias owned by people with a vested interest in cultivating an institution of fear (when i was young sport was very local, very tribal an integral part of community life but that too was transformed both as an engine of profit & a means of alienation - until it is not sport at all but the stock exchange of the fields)
the framework of that is almost entirely conceived by the comprador bourgeoisie & their masters in washington
bread & circuses but bread & circuses, meticulously & brutally conceived, to capture the breath of the people, not for their exaltation but for their execration
an already deeply colonised culture exacerbated with a cross control of all medias, especially in a time where the normal ideological institutions like education & church & family were either deeply compromised or in plain collapse.
our generation witnessed the collapse of civic life - we witnessed it up close
silence piled on top of silence working in complicity with the savage rhythm of those medias - (i can remember returning to australia for a month in 1994 & the sound the percussive sound of australian television was physically unbearable)
there is no national conversation - there is too much noise for that & those media have made listening - a sin, a sin most are not even capable of committing.
the destruction of civic life was planned over drinks with kerry & rupert & peter abeles laughing at the maelstrom they had modelled would soon be applied in all anglophone countries - in concert. There is a specificity in australian media, & there is a specificity to its particular cruelty
what western counties & their cultures do is to destroy the destinies of their people - the poorest as always are the easiest target & the target with which the greatest concentration is unleashed
in a word, i was born in the 50’s & there must be now millions of men & woman who have never received a decent education, who have never had the work that befits their desires or dreams, if indeed they have work & i have worked this arena so often i know now here & in australia there are now three generations who have not known work & never will
why do you think thatcher/blair & their acolytes created the jurisprudence of ‘asbo’[1] & all the rewriting of 18th century jurisprudence about ‘public order’
the elites know that they are deeply hated & they have built a jurisprudential wall around their privileges. It is why they have criminalised every form of resistance, especially those within communities
the institutions of fear have been writing full time to demonise such acts of resistance in every form & in every sphere. These these elites wonder why on the weekends their cultural precints are full of people wanting to king hit one another. The campaign against this, in australia, again reveals a hatred of the people. There is no analysis or context. The scribblers for the monstrous media, for the institution of fear, are not there for that, they are there, so that all citizens are frightened. Fear is so easily ramped up, so easily elaborated by ‘journalists’ who have never experienced life in any of its forms
thatcher was ready & reagan too - they were ready to collapse all institutions, those of jurisprudence, of public bodies, of legislature of the academy into a maelstrom of murderous melodies or at least melodies constructed by murderers.
to do this civic life had to be destroyed & so it was.
& so it was possible to once again profane against an ancient culture like mesopotamia as a rapist would - fucking the country into the earth littered with holy books, ancient manuscripts, staining all the ancient busts & sculptures with blood, with a million people's blood & the west would feel nothing for the real or the ancient. for the screams & the tears, for the blood & the soil
it would be served up only as noise by the institutions of fear - so success & celebrity silenced any interior screams that might let on what was really happening
australian ‘journalists’ work for monsters & engage in monstrous practices - the near silence/sanitisation of the detention/torture of refugees is only the latest of its crimes
what is done, is being done to aboriginal people is equally concealed, equally sanitised by these so called ‘journalists’, servants & scribblers, almost without exception
you have to cook an aboriginal man in a paddy wagon for the media to wake up but it is all too soon forgotten, as were the deaths in custody, they continue & we all know that
it is a pity murdoch can only die once, i wish he could die many times & a death more painful than my own.
althusser wrote about the apparatus of state in the 60's, but being a reasonable man but also a deeply troubled one, perhaps he was blind to the diabolic nature of it's impulse because it is more than about profit or control. it is about degradation & destruction
the destruction of civic life exacerbated two impulses, already existing in their populations, fear & inertia & as each 'crisis' emerged these impulses would be exacerbated a little more but each time with greater intensity, &  like imperial wars, they make use of chaos, the chaos already at the centre of the colonised mind with a focus on crime & celebrity, where the two are intertwined & it would appear to me the arrival of 'telereality' at the turn of this century was to destroy all interiority, to make of interiority a form of pornography. the moral failure of populations in the west to react to the carnage of empire is concurrent with the complete destruction of an 'inner life' - & it is at this point too, that instead of substantial information - newspapers were flooded with 'lifestyle' & instead of facts, commentary, self interested commentary took its place -
we must all wake up, by moments & ask ourselves, "what kind of world is this"
it is not necessary to see it as a conspiracy, on the contrary it is the coherent 'refined' expression of the elite's hatred & contempt for the people. current conditions require that that expression is articulated with great viciousness - so even a quick scan of newspapers & their other media will reveal it's expression. the way the poor, the underclass, the marginalised are treated in our times is not possible without the institutions of fear. it requires a moral death, to be replayed & repeated, over & over, again & again. as in ancient times there are still two rivers that mark the point of no return
the tigris & the euphrates
c b mai 2014


[1] Introduced by the Blair government in 1998, an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) could be issued in response to "conduct which caused or was likely to cause harm, harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons not of the same household as him or herself and where an ASBO is seen as necessary to protect relevant persons from further anti-social acts by the defendant." It was essentially aimed at rebellious working class youths.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ukrainian anti-fascists stop Kiev military


The collapse of the military push by the Kiev coup leaders into Eastern Ukraine, coming so soon after CIA Director John Brennan met with the nationalist glove puppets, and in the wake of deputy US imperialist chief Joe Biden's recent visit,shows that the contention and struggle between the US and Russia over their respective spheres of influence is far from over.
A total of 21 armoured vehicles were either liberated by anti-fascist Ukrainians, or forced by them into withdrawal.  They were not seized by armed “terrorists”, but by local people who disarmed the soldiers.  This was agreed to by the Kiev troops’ commander.  His surrender of assault rifles to anti-fascist citizens is a major humiliation for the nationalists and fascists in Kiev, and shows that whilst they may have the support of the US imperialists, they are steadfastly opposed by a substantial part of the population of the Ukraine.
None of this is reported in the Western media, or if there is mention, it is distorted.  Anti-fascists are portrayed as pro-Russian thugs.  The photo below, from Bloomberg News, has armed anti-fascists captioned as “masked pro-Russian gunmen”.  It is simply easier to demonise these opponents of fascism and US imperialism by describing them only as “pro-Russian”, when even a non-Ukrainian speaker can identify the anti-fascist content of their banner and slogans.
 
Conversely, very little is done to explain through the Western media the obsession of the Kiev coup leaders and supporters with WW2 Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and his boss Adolf Hitler.
Images such as those below, taken after the coup in Kiev, are certainly available to be searched for on the Internet, but they have rarely been seen in Western media. 
 
(Above: skinhead and others fascists march under a portrait of Nazi scum collaborator Stepan Bandera.  Below: Bandera's portrait hung at the entrance to the Kiev Council.)
 
 

 

(Above: Reverence for a monster in today's Kiev).


The uncomfortable truth about the Kiev coup leaders and their supporters has been concealed by Murdoch and Co.
We are still in the era of imperialism.  We are still in the age of the struggle to redefine spheres of influence and control.

What is relatively new in the wake of the global financial crisis is the resurgence of actual fascism.  Golden Dawn appeared in Greece and Nazi and neo-Nazi groups are organising across Europe.
This calls for great efforts on the part of anti-fascists to unite and roll back fascism and its garden bed of shit-fertilised imperialism.

 .......................
Further reading:


 Who is Stepan Bandera?  (see link below) 

Monday, March 03, 2014

Qantas: Sack the Board, Nationalise the Company


Its disastrous flirtation with neoliberalism has had anything but a romantic ending for Qantas.

The once Australian government-owned national carrier, with its exemplary safety record, had its wings clipped courtesy of Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating’s privatisation decision.

 
It is now destined for foreign ownership, or worse, at the hands of the nation-wreckers in the Liberal Party who, in the space of months, have overseen the closure or threatened closure of General Motors-Holden, Toyota, SPC Ardmona and anything else that doesn’t taste of chocolate.

Under CEO Alan Joyce and his scary band of Directors, morale at Qantas has plummeted and jobs have been thrown out the window.

 
In a post following his grounding of the entire operations in 2011 (see: (http://mike-servethepeople.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/nationalise-qantas-now.html ) I called for Qantas to be nationalised, and identified the members of its Board as “a war cabinet of the most reactionary, best organised and openly aggressive sections of the ruling class.”

Please note: best organised does not equate to most competent.

At least two of its directors bear that out:  Gary Hounsell and Paul Rayner are both on the board of the very underperforming Treasury Wines Ltd.

Before we look more into the Board, the case for re-nationalising Qantas must be stated.

An island nation requires the security of controlling the means by which its citizens may depart from or return to the country.

It cannot place itself at the commercial or political mercy of foreign-owned carriers.

A government that placed the interests of its citizens before those of foreign capital would maintain a national airline.

We do not have such a government, or the remotest prospect of having one, given that Liberal and Labor are two arms on the same body, the brain of which is incapable of thinking from the perspective of the independence of the nation and the rights of the people.


Too much attention is focussed in debates around Qantas’ performance on the CEO, Alan Joyce.

Sure, his ancestors probably sold gunpowder to the British, but look at his collaborators.

Notice their interlocking directorships and ties to finance capital, to mining and energy, to construction, to the reactionary anti-working class legal firm Freehills and corporate criminals like the tobacco companies. 

These are profiles of the ruling class, the class whose members only have one vote like the rest of us, but who rule by virtue of the great mismatch between the political and economic forms of democracy.

It is a mismatch that can only be reconciled through the ownership of economic assets by a state led by the working class, imho.

Leigh Clifford, AO

BEng, MEngSci

Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director

 Leigh Clifford was appointed to the Qantas Board in August 2007 and as Chairman in November 2007.

He is Chairman of the Qantas Nominations Committee.

Mr Clifford is a Director of Bechtel Group Inc. and Chairman of Bechtel Australia Pty Ltd and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. He is a Senior Advisor to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, a Board Member of the National Gallery of Victoria Foundation and a Member of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria. Mr Clifford was previously a Director of Barclays Bank plc.

Mr Clifford was Chief Executive of Rio Tinto from 2000 to 2007. He retired from the Board of Rio Tinto in 2007 after serving as a Director of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited for 13 and 12 years respectively. His executive and board career with Rio Tinto spanned some 37 years, in Australia and overseas.

Age: 66

________________________________________

Alan Joyce

BApplSc(Phy)(Math)(Hons), MSc(MgtSc), MA, FRAeS, FTSE

Chief Executive Officer

 Alan Joyce was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Qantas in November 2008.

He is a Member of the Safety, Health, Environment and Security Committee.

Mr Joyce is a Director of the Business Council of Australia and a Member of the International Air Transport Association's Board of Governors (having served as Chairman of IATA from 2012 to 2013). He is also a Director of a number of controlled entities of the Qantas Group.

Mr Joyce was the CEO of Jetstar from 2003 to 2008. Before that, Mr Joyce spent over 15 years in leadership positions with Qantas, Ansett and Aer Lingus. At both Qantas and Ansett, he led the network planning, schedules planning and network strategy functions. Prior to that, Mr Joyce spent eight years at Aer Lingus, where he held roles in sales, marketing, IT, network planning, operations research, revenue management and fleet planning.

Age: 47

Maxine Brenner

BA, LLB

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Maxine Brenner was appointed to the Qantas Board in August 2013.

She is a Member of the Remuneration Committee and the Audit Committee.

Ms Brenner is a Director of Origin Energy Limited, Orica Limited, Growthpoint Properties Australia Limited and the State Library of NSW Foundation. She is also a Member of the Advisory Panel of the Centre for Social Impact at the University of New South Wales.

Ms Brenner was previously a Managing Director of Investment Banking at Investec Bank (Australia) Limited, the Deputy Chairman of Federal Airports Corporation and a Director of Neverfail Springwater Limited, Bulmer Australia Limited and Treasury Corporation of NSW. She also served as a Member of the Australian Government's Takeovers Panel.

Earlier, she practised as a lawyer with Freehills and was a law lecturer at the Universities of New South Wales and Sydney.

Age: 51

Richard Goodmanson

BEng(Civil), BCom, BEc, MBA

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Richard Goodmanson was appointed to the Qantas Board in June 2008.

He is Chairman of the Safety, Health, Environment and Security Committee and a Member of the Nominations Committee.

Mr Goodmanson is a Director of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited.

From 1999 to 2009 he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company. Previous to this role, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of America West Airlines. Mr Goodmanson was also previously Senior Vice President of Operations for Frito-Lay Inc. and was a Principal at McKinsey & Company Inc. He spent 10 years in heavy civil engineering project management, principally in South East Asia.

Mr Goodmanson was born in Australia and is a citizen of both Australia and the United States.

Age: 66

Jacqueline Hey

BCom, Assoc Dip (Marketing), GAICD

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Jacqueline Hey was appointed to the Qantas Board in August 2013.

She is a Member of the Audit Committee.

Ms Hey is a Director of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited and is Chairman of its Change & Technology Committee and a Member of its Audit and Risk Committees. She is also a Director of the Australian Foundation Investment Company Limited, Special Broadcasting Service, Melbourne Business School and Cricket Australia, and a Member of the ASIC Director Advisory Panel.

Ms Hey is the Honorary Consul for Sweden in Victoria.

Between 2004 and 2010, Ms Hey was Managing Director of various Ericsson entities in Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland and the Middle East. Her executive career with Ericsson spanned for more than 20 years in which she held finance, marketing, sales and leadership roles.

Age: 47

Garry Hounsell

BBus(Acc), FCA, CPA, FAICD

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Garry Hounsell was appointed to the Qantas Board in January 2005.

He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a Member of the Nominations Committee.

Mr Hounsell is Chairman of PanAust Limited and a Director of DuluxGroup Limited and Treasury Wine Estates Limited. He is also Chairman of Investec Global Aircraft Fund and a Director of Ingeus Limited.

Mr Hounsell was formerly a Director of Orica Limited and Nufarm Limited and Deputy Chairman of Mitchell Communication Group Limited. He was also a former Senior Partner of Ernst & Young, Chief Executive Officer and Country Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen and a Board Member of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

Age: 59

William Meaney

BScMEng, MSIA

Independent Non-Executive Director

 William Meaney was appointed to the Qantas Board in February 2012.

He is a Member of the Safety, Health, Environment and Security Committee and the Remuneration Committee

Mr Meaney is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Iron Mountain Inc. He is a Member of the Asia Business Council and also serves as Trustee of Carnegie Mellon University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Mr Meaney was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of The Zuellig Group and a Director of moksha8 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He was also the Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer of Swiss International Airlines and Executive Vice President of South African Airways responsible for sales, alliances and network management.

Prior to these roles, Mr Meaney spent 11 years providing strategic advisory services at Genhro Management Consultancy, as the Founder and Managing Director, and as a Principal with Strategic Planning Associates.

Mr Meaney holds United States, Swiss and Irish citizenships.

Age: 53

Paul Rayner

BEc, MAdmin, FAICD

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Paul Rayner was appointed to the Qantas Board in July 2008.

He is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a Member of the Nominations Committee.

Mr Rayner is Chairman of Treasury Wine Estates Limited and a Director of Centrica plc. He is also a Director of Boral Limited and Chairman of its Audit Committee.

From 2002 to 2008, Mr Rayner was Finance Director of British American Tobacco plc based in London. Mr Rayner joined Rothmans Holdings Limited in 1991 as its Chief Financial Officer and held other senior executive positions within the Group, including Chief Operating Officer of British American Tobacco Australasia Limited from 1999 to 2001.

Previously Mr Rayner worked for 17 years in various finance and project roles with General Electric, Rank Industries and the Elders IXL Group.

Age: 60

Barbara Ward, AM

BEc, MPolEc

Independent Non-Executive Director

 Barbara Ward was appointed to the Qantas Board in June 2008.

She is a Member of the Safety, Health, Environment and Security Committee and the Audit Committee.

Ms Ward is a Director of a number of Brookfield Multiplex Group companies, O'Connell Street Associates Pty Ltd and the Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation.

She was formerly a Director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Lion Nathan Limited, Brookfield Multiplex Limited, Allco Finance Group Limited, Rail Infrastructure Corporation, Delta Electricity, Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy. She was also Chairman of Country Energy and NorthPower, a Board Member of Allens Arthur Robinson and on the Advisory Board of LEK Consulting.

Ms Ward was Chief Executive Officer of Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services from 1993 to 1998. Before that, Ms Ward held various positions at TNT Limited, including General Manager Finance, and also served as a Senior Ministerial Adviser to The Hon PJ Keating.

Age: 60

……………..

So, away with all these parasites!

Let’s soar through the skies on the wings of independence and socialism.

You know it will happen, and so do I….

Friday, February 28, 2014

Pillar talk


When a politician is so obviously in bed with big business, all sorts of pillar talk tends to come out.

In the case of Tony Abbott, the sweet nothings whispered in his ear from the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, various Chambers of Commerce, the Property Council and other unions of the capitalist class led to his identifying, prior to the election, five pillars that would underscore his term of government.

Those five pillars were not Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Twiggy Forrest, Gerry Harvey and WesFarmers, as has been claimed by certain cynics.

Rather, they were manufacturing innovation, advanced services, agricultural exports, education and research, and mining exports.

These five pillars were part of a service contract entered into by the Coalition to pleasure the ruling class for a three year term of office.

Housing, transport, health, education (public and free), and employment – the five pillars of working people’s livelihood – were not part of that service contract.

But they do form an essential component of a vitally necessary independent working class agenda.

We must take seriously the task of settling in for a protracted struggle for control of the vast urban stretches of our major cities.

We must anticipate the likelihood of contested responsibility for providing essential services to the people as we struggle to elevate them to their rightful position as the rulers and decision-makers of an anti-imperialist independent nation with key areas of the economy socialised, and with plans to advance to a fully socialist economy.

We must develop mass organisations around these five people’s pillars that can function through a lengthy period of dual power between the organisations and structures of the imperialists and their hangers-on, on the one hand, and the working class and its allies in the intermediate sectors of the people on the other.

One of the future tests of maturity of a working class vanguard will be the extent to which it can maintain a revolutionary, as opposed to an economist or reformist, orientation as it seeks to meet the lifestyle needs and living standard requirements of those it seeks to serve.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Yes, let's end the age of entitlement!


Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has renewed his call for ending the “age of entitlement”.

It is a sentiment with which we thoroughly agree.
However, we suspect that there might be some slight disagreement between ourselves and Mr Hockey on just what is meant by an age of entitlement.

 
We would most probably agree that the term refers to people who believe that they are entitled, without any effort, to be on the receiving end of an endless flow of money, privilege and reward.
But before we pop the champagne corks and clink glasses with good ol’ Joe, toasting our shared commitment, we had best ask a few more questions.

Is rejecting the “age of entitlement” aimed at that class of parasitic financial investors who do nothing but make money out of money?
Is rejecting the “age of entitlement” an attack on the whole exploitative bourgeois class who take unto themselves the surplus value created through our labour power?

Is rejecting the “age of entitlement” a refusal by parliamentary cretins to line their own pockets through all sorts of lurks and perks such as attending friends’ weddings or travelling interstate to purchase property under the guise of doing electoral work?

 
No, and we won’t bore ourselves by going into the detail of Newstart Allowances, bushfire compensation, workers’ compensation, drought relief, CentreLink benefits, penalty rates, public libraries, Medicare, aged care, rental assistance, public education, pharmaceutical benefits schemes or free air.
Hockey has in his sights precisely those entitlements that we, the majority, have clawed out of the entitlements that the rich, the arrogant few, believe are theirs as our social betters and owners of property.

He is not about ending the “age of entitlement”; rather he seeks to extend the selfish entitlements claimed by the parasitic rich by pushing down on us.
Yes, we want the age of bourgeois entitlement ended, and we will fight to establish anti-imperialist independence and socialism so as to bring to an end the class structures that, since the times of slavery, have guaranteed underserving entitlements to the exploiters and robbers at the top of the pyramid.