Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rudd's return to the two horse race

Vanguard August 2013 p. 3
Ned K.

A few years ago Rudd wrote a paper in which he saw himself as a warrior to “save capitalism from itself”.

With Gillard as Labor leader, the opinion polls forecast a wipe-out for Labor, with an Abbott-led government likely to control both upper and lower houses.

A gutted Labor has advantages for big business, but also a danger in that people look for other alternatives if they perceive that Labor has lost any of its pretence or electoral capacity to be a party representing the interests of working people.

Hence the mass media of Murdoch and Fairfax both applaud that with Rudd there is again ‘a contest’, which they hope will steer people back to satisfaction with the two party parliamentary road. If this occurs, the big business rulers can continue to rule in the ‘old way’ of the parliamentary two party circus.

Opinion polls in the very early days of Rudd’s return as Prime Minister and leader of the ALP indicate that the illusion of the Labor Party as a party for the people is far from dead, and the old trick of just blaming the leader (in this case Gillard) is working again.

Given this scenario, what is the best option for the progressive movement in Australia in the coming federal election?

It is clear that that the 2007 to 2013 experience of Labor ‘in government’ demonstrates the primacy of building a broad social movement led by the working class, with an independent political and economic agenda and independent organisational capacity in workplaces and the community.

A secondary need is further exposure of Labor ‘in government’ so that even more people learn through experience that the problem with Labor is not who the leader is, but that it is one of the main political props of ‘free market’ multinational dominated capitalism in Australia.

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