Above: Coal seam gas protesters greet cyclists on the Lakes Oil sponsored Tour of Gippsland as they pass through Sale, Victoria. Peoples' struggles like this will intensify.
What can the working people expect when the dust settles after the 7th September Federal parliamentary elections?
Will the casualisation, insecure work and loss of jobs be stopped?
Will the offshoring of jobs out of Australia be stopped?
Will the offensive by big business and monopoly corporations on workers’ hard won wages, working conditions and union rights cease, or even be rolled back?
Will the cuts to public spending on health, education, community services and benefits stop?
Will the rising cost of housing, utilities, child care and food be reined in?
Will the disappearing manufacturing and technological industries be rebuilt?
Will the rural communities’ livelihoods and the environment be protected from plunder by the multinational mining corporations?
Will the profits bloated mining corporations and banks be made to pay a superprofits tax?
Will the privatisation of a few remaining public assets stop?
Will a genuine Treaty be made with Australia’s Aboriginal people?
Everybody knows the answer is a resounding NO.
In fact, whichever major political party is in government the attacks on workers’ rights, unions and working conditions will escalate.
That’s because the main job of bourgeois parliament and its two main political parties is to make the economic and political system of monopoly capitalism work.
The Business Council of Australia, the Minerals Council and Murdoch, representing the local and foreign monopoly corporations, are at the core of the ruling class that rules and owns Australian parliaments.
They issue instructions and directives to their lackeys in parliament to step up attacks on the working class to enable big business to squeeze more profits from the labour of workers (productivity). They demand that the economic crisis of monopoly capitalism is shifted on to the backs of the people through cuts to public spending on services for the people, privatisation, increasing taxes on the people and cuts to company taxes.
It’s true that in some circumstances Labor in government seems less ferocious than the Liberal Party in attacking the people.
Liberals act more openly on behalf of the more reactionary sections of monopoly corporations and US capital in Australia.
However, the final result is the same. Labor and Liberal both represent different sections of local and foreign monopoly ruling class. It’s merely a matter of differences in tactics between the most powerful sections of the ruling class on how to control the people, especially the working class.
Experience repeatedly shows how Labor in power is useful to big business in dispersing and silencing organised working class struggle. The Accord is just one example. And when Labor loses its usefulness in suppressing and diverting struggle the ruling class discards it.
Bourgeois parliament and its two main political parties are mainly window dressing and a facade creating illusions that this is where the nation’s most important political and economic decisions are made and where the real power resides.
It sets up illusions of democracy. The people exercise their democratic rights by voting for either the hard or soft tactics of monopoly capitalist class to rule over the majority of working people. That’s why it’s called bourgeois democracy.
This is not to denigrate the Labor Party’s working class and progressive rank and file members, supporters and the honest politicians who enter parliament, not as careerists and opportunists, but genuinely believing they can improve the lives of working people. But no sooner the elected politicians enter parliament then their singular role becomes that of serving the interests of capital, not the workers. There are countless examples of this, especially in the history of the ALP-aligned section of the labour movement.
Some small changes can be brought about in parliament, but they are on the fringes and are not in any way allowed to tamper with the monopoly capitalist class rule.
For the working class and the working people the alternative to the cesspool and distraction of bourgeois parliament is developing our own independent agenda and organisations outside parliament, in workplaces and in the communities, in cities and the country-side.
The future lies in building a powerful force for change around common demands, and struggle that defends and advances the interests of the people and unites the great majority. This is where a genuine and vibrant people’s democracy will spring from and flourish, and lay the foundations for an anti-imperialist democratic and socialist Australia.